By Rixon Lane
With "College Gameday" coming to Columbia this weekend, the biggest question surrounding the matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers has nothing to do with the game.
Instead, the hot topic around South Carolina is centered on the morning festivities.
Who will be the "celebrity guest picker" for the Gamecocks?
In 2010, South Carolina went without a picker for its upset of #1 Alabama. In 2012, USC alum Darius Rucker did the honors, predicting a big win before South Carolina routed Georgia.
Here are your Gamecock Cereal odds to become the guest picker:
Kyle Carpenter: 25/1
Carpenter, a South Carolina student, was the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient and has already had his story told on the SEC Network. He is a fan favorite and would probably be easy to reach, since he lives in Columbia. College football fans across the country might not know who he is, but it would make plenty of sense to use South Carolina's most heralded student.
Stephen Colbert: 50/1
Colbert was discussed back in 2010 and, with him taking over for David Letterman in a few weeks, he would be a high-profile name. Colbert has no direct connection to the university, but he would definitely bring an entertaining aspect to the proceedings. "The Colbert Report" is recorded in New York on Monday-Thursday, but Colbert could be back home this weekend.
Dale Earnhardt Jr: 300/1
Arguably the most famous Gamecock fan in the sports world, Earnhardt Jr. has made no secret that he is a South Carolina supporter. However, NASCAR's schedule is in full swing and Earnhardt will be preparing for a race in Dover. With practices throughout the day on Saturday, there's almost no chance the driver will be able to make it to Columbia.
Ric Flair: 40/1
A fixture on the South Carolina sideline in recent years, Ric "Nature Boy" Flair has become an ardent Gamecock supporter. College Gameday has already gone the wrestling route earlier in the season, choosing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as the guest picker for the season-opening weekend in Arlington. Flair probably will be passed over for a non-wrestler.
Stephen Garcia: 100/1
Perhaps the most interesting wild card, Garcia is one of South Carolina's most recognizable former players in the southeast. Although he was dismissed from the team, most fans hold Garcia in high regard and his work with Saturday Down South has expanded his fan base. Garcia says he has not been contacted, but has indicated he would like to be chosen.
Marcus Lattimore: 150/1
Lattimore is currently on San Francisco's NFI (non-football injury) list, meaning he has not yet played for the 49ers. San Francisco is home this weekend against Philadelphia and it's unlikely that Lattimore will travel cross-country for his alma mater's game on Saturday. The crowd at the Horseshoe will absolutely explode if he does manage to make the trip.
Sidney Rice: 66/1
Rice retired from the NFL back in July at the age of 27. He was one of the first superstars in the Steve Spurrier Era and would likely be able to get to Columbia for the game. His chances might be slightly diminished due to the number of years he's been away from the program, but there's certainly a possibility that he could be chosen.
George Rogers: 20/1
South Carolina's only Heisman Trophy winner, Rogers is at nearly every Gamecock home game. He would be easy to get on campus and is one of the South Carolina football program's biggest stars. After he was not selected in 2012, Gameday would be hard pressed to pass over a local celebrity and a Heisman winner for a second time.
Connor Shaw: 2/1
Everything points to Shaw being the obvious choice for the selection. The Cleveland Browns are off this weekend. Shaw will be in the area signing autographs. His performance against Missouri last season cemented his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history. There's no way he's not the first choice for the job.
Steve Taneyhill: 16/1
With South Carolina celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first bowl-winning team this weekend, Taneyhill has become a popular name for the honor. He is still beloved by Gamecock fans and still resides in the state. His high school team doesn't have a game this Friday, so getting him on set wouldn't be very hard.