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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Welcome from Vanderbilt Stadium

By Chris Low


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- No more waiting.

The 2012 college football season is here, and a big part of the intrigue in tonight’s South Carolina-Vanderbilt game is Marcus Lattimore and whether or not he’s back to the old Marcus Lattimore.

If he is, the Gamecocks should be able to grind out a win over a Vanderbilt team that is buying what second-year coach James Franklin is selling.

The Commodores are anything but the Commodores of old. They’re more talented, deeper and play with an edge that comes directly from their coach, who's tired of hearing what hasn't happened in the past at Vanderbilt.

And speaking of coaches, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier lost here four years ago to open the season, and I’ll never forget the look on his face that night.

He looked like a coach who wasn’t long for the job and looked like he’d rather be golfing.

If somebody would have bet me that night that he would still be coaching at 67 and have the Gamecocks ranked in the top 10 nationaly and seeking a second straight 11-win season, I would have lost a lot of money.

He’s turned this program around in a major way, and we’ll see -- starting tonight -- if the Gamecocks can build on their success and win an SEC championship.