Two years later, plea still the same

Even seven years after the initial comment, many South Carolina fans have a strong dislike towards ESPN GameDay analyst Lee Corso for a statement he made back in 2005. Carolina fired back with an ad campaign two years later that Corso did not like. Corso will be in town again Saturday when sixth-ranked South Carolina hosts fifth-ranked Georgia.

Lee Corso has certainly not been a fan-favorite in Columbia since head coach Steve Spurrier accepted the job as head coach at South Carolina. Shortly before Spurrier's first game as head coach of the Gamecocks on September 1st, 2005, Corso launched a jab at Carolina that has not been forgotten.

"I don't think Spurrier wins the SEC or national title! I don't care if he coaches here 400 years!" Corso now famously said on the GameDay set in the fairgrounds back in 2005.

The comment couldn't have come at a worse time from Corso to Carolina supporters. Carolina was about to step onto the field for the first time since the darkest moment in its history, a brawl near the conclusion of the South Carolina/Clemson game the year before. Lou Holtz announced his retirement as was expected, and Spurrier was hired, a move that shocked many. Hopes were at an all-time high and the comments from Corso were like a knife in the back of Gamecock Nation.

Two years later, then-Carolina Athletic Director Eric Hyman started a campaign based on Corso's statements, called "The Game is On." Before each week a different video was played on the board, "a rally point for Gamecock Nation," Hyman said. There was even a website, www.letsshowcorso.com (now defunct). Corso did not take kindly to the campaign as evidenced by the following clip from the 2007 GameDay show from Baton Rouge on the second week of the 2007 season. (click)

Corso would later say that Carolina would never win an SEC Championship, and if they did, he would personally crawl across the field at the Georgia Dome.

In 2010 GameDay returned to Columbia for the match-up with Alabama. Prior to that Saturday, Spurrier challenged Carolina fans to be respectful of Corso, something they failed to do the previous time GameDay was in Columbia in 2006 for the Tennessee game. Though fans seemed to heed Spurrier's plea in 2010, Spurrier issued the same statement at his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon.

"I encourage our fans to be nice to Lee Corso," Spurrier said. "Lee Corso really likes us. He made a statement eight years ago that we'd never win the SEC, and so far he's right. We haven't won it yet."

South Carolina has been close to winning the SEC, playing for the title in 2010 and coming up one win short in 2011 from returning. If Carolina hopes to return to Atlanta in 2012 and prove Corso wrong, they must beat fifth-ranked Georgia Saturday night. Regardless of whose head gear Corso pulls out at the end of the show Saturday morning, Spurrier believes he does not pull against South Carolina no more than any other analyst would.

"Lee Corso has been nice to us," Spurrier said. "I really believe he pulls for South Carolina a lot. He's a good guy."


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