COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Nick Saban prides himself on putting a blue-collar, no-nonsense football team on the field every Saturday.
But the reality is that Alabama has become the SEC's resident rock band that everybody flocks to see.
That's what happens when you win 19 games in a row overall and 29 consecutive regular-season games. The Crimson Tide haven't lost an SEC regular-season game since the end of the 2007 season when they lost at Auburn.
There hasn't been much reason the past few weeks to think they're ripe for the taking today, but this is a South Carolina fan base that can sure taste it.
This place has been crazy since Friday when ESPN's "College GameDay" rolled into town. The partying on the Cockabooses has been a little livelier, and the rooster calls have been noticeably louder.
Steve Spurrier could use a signature win, and the Gamecocks could take a huge step toward their first-ever Eastern Division championship with a win over the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide.
But even with a loss, South Carolina's not out of the East race. The key game then would be Arkansas at home.
However it shakes out, the Gamecocks need to find a way to get to Gainesville with the East title on the line.