By Rixon Lane
The most anticipated rematch on Saturday isn't South Carolina facing a Missouri team that feels it let one get away last season.
It isn't Dylan Thompson against a Tiger defense that forced him to the bench in last year's game.
Instead, the biggest rematch of the day will occur seven hours before kickoff. If it even happens at all.
Two years ago, college football analyst and "College Gameday" contributor Kirk Herbstreit was introduced to "Sir Big Spur," South Carolina's live mascot.
It did not go well for the former Buckeye quarterback.
"I was told that [Sir Big Spur] was lethal," Herbstreit said on Friday when asked about the confrontation in 2012. "Somebody told me, '[Lee Corso]'s going to bring this thing out and you better look out because he's dangerous.' I was like, 'he's bringing it out on the set?' They said, 'oh yeah, he's bringing it out on the set and when he brings it out, be ready.'"
Herbstreit was skeptical.
"I was like, 'he's not bringing it out,'" he said.
Then came selection time.
After referencing his recent bad luck with picking dog mascots and reminding fans that he had predicted a 400-year SEC championship drought for the Gamecocks, Lee Corso donned the head of Cocky, much to the delight of the South Carolina faithful.
As the fans applauded the decision, Sir Big Spur appeared in Corso's hands.
"Sure enough, he brought it out. I was like, 'what the heck is going on here?'"
Suffice it to say, college football fans enjoyed poking fun at Herbstreit's reaction, a trend that has not gone unnoticed by the analyst.
This year, if Corso produces the rooster again, Herbstreit says he isn't backing down.
"If he does it," Herbstriet promised, "I'm going to stand in there so I don't get humiliated again."
Despite his first encounter with Sir Big Spur, Herbstreit insists he isn't pulling for a Missouri prediction from Corso.
"I hope he brings it out," said Herbstreit. "It's always a lot of fun when he does."
More so for some than others, of course.