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South Carolina will unveil an 85-foot-high banner of head coach Steve Spurrier on the side of Williams-Brice Stadium before the Gamecocks meet Texas A&M on Thursday night.

HOOVER, Ala. -- Steve Spurrier's time at the podium in the main ballroom at SEC media days annually is always entertaining.

South Carolina's coach wasted little time in shooting a couple of verbal jabs at a couple of his conference foes, including long-time rival Tennessee.

The Gamecocks, picked to win the SEC East at this event last July, lost four of five games in the middle of last season and beat Miami in the Independence Bowl to finish 7-6 -- the same record as the Volunteers and Arkansas, Spurrier noted Tuesday morning.

"We got rejuvenated. We got new life," the 70-year-old former Florida coach said. "We were 7-6 -- same as Tennessee and the same as Arkansas -- and I think they're sort of celebrating big seasons last year.

"So we were celebrating also. We were doing some cartwheels and high-fiving after that Independence Bowl game because it was a year that could have gone real south, and guys hung in there and somehow or another found a way to win the game."

Spurrier is 0-2 against current Tennessee coach Butch Jones.

The Vols rallied from a 14-point deficit in the last four minutes of regulation and won 45-42 in overtime at South Carolina last season in the game that ultimately got them to bowl eligibility.

Tennessee beat Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl for the program's first winning season in 2009.

Tennessee upset the 11th-ranked Gamecocks 23-21 on a short Michael Palardy field goal as time expired in Knoxville in 2013.

Arkansas blanked LSU and Ole Miss late last season and hammered Texas in the Texas Bowl to finish 7-6, the Razorbacks' first winning season since 2011.

Spurrier, who is 14-9 against Tennessee during his tenures at South Carolina, Florida and Duke, spoke for roughly 30 seconds before leaving the postgame press conference abruptly following the loss to the Vols.

"I felt like getting away a minute," he said. "I was quickly at the press conference and left. Hopefully, people can understand, some losses are tougher than others, especially when you have a good lead and you can't hold it.

"But we're rejuvenated with the end, with the bowl game, 7-6. Huge win for ourprogram, for me, for all of us."

Tennessee's turn at SEC media days is later Tuesday.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com.

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