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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has been good throughout the 2013 college football season.

There have been no verbal barbs thrown at opponents. Heck, he even complimented both Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and his wife Kathleen.

But Thursday, at a press conference for the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., Spurrier couldn't help himself. This time it was his alma mater Florida that was the recipient of a lighthearted barb.

"I think we will have a big turnout of Gamecocks down here," said Spurrier. "Somebody told me the Gators are going to be home for the holidays, so maybe we can get a bunch of Gators at our ball game and help fill up the stands here."

Florida, normally a Southeastern Conference power, finished the season with a 4-8 record and will not compete in a postseason bowl game for the first time in 23 years.

Spurrier, on the other hand, is celebrating unprecedented success with the Gamecocks. Bowl eligible in each of his nine seasons at South Carolina, the team owns a 32-6 record during the past three seasons.

A win over Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl would likely mean finishing in the top 10 in national polls for the third straight season.

But despite being the only team in the country to defeat three teams (Central Florida, Missouri and Clemson) rated in the top 15 in the final BCS standings, the Gamecocks have yet to accomplish Spurrier's biggest goal - winning an SEC championship.

"This year was similar to the last three years in that we beat the (Eastern Division) winner, but we lost two and they didn't lose again," said Spurrier. "If we want to win the division maybe we need to just try to beat everybody and we might get there."

Willie T. Smith writes for The Greenville (S.C.) News, a Gannett affiliate.

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