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Spurrier embraces the “Battle of the Columbias” name for rivalry against Missouri

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(Charles Smith/AP)

South Carolina and Missouri haven't even played as SEC rivals yet, but coach Steve Spurrier is already getting into the rivalry spirit.

During a speaking engagement in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week, Spurrier said the two schools need to embrace the rivalry, name it and play for a trophy.

The name?

"Since Missouri is also in Columbia, we're going to have the Battle of the Columbias with a big trophy. It should be fun," Spurrier told Rivals site GamecockCentral.com.

South Carolina already plays Clemson annually in the state championship and the winner receives the Hardee's Trophy. The name or the appearance of a potential trophy between Missouri and the Gamecocks has yet to be determined.

Missouri will make its first visit to Brice-Williams Stadium on Sept. 22, marking its second SEC game — the Tigers open with Georgia on Sept. 8.

South Carolina and Missouri have met twice — both in bowl games — and Missouri has won both occasions. The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 24-14 in the All-American Bowl in 1979 and 38-31 in the Independence Bowl in 2005. In that Independence Bowl win, Missouri was down 21-0 after the first quarter, but rallied behind quarterback Brad Smith, who rushed for the game-winning touchdown with 2:13 remaining. That game is considered one of the greatest come-from-behind victories in school history.

While that game probably stirs emotions for both fan bases, it's going to take some time for this rivalry to flourish, especially with Missouri fans still aching for the Kansas series to be resuscitated. However, Spurrier's enthusiasm for the potential rivalry should help spark interest.

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