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Outback Bowl Foes South Carolina, Michigan Coming to Clearwater Beach

The annual bowl game brings festivities and fans of the Gamecocks and Wolverines to town for Clearwater Beach Day on Dec. 30.

Steve Spurrier is coming back to Tampa.

The one-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback brings his South Carolina Gamecocks to play the University of Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

“It's one of my favorite cities in Florida,” Spurrier said in a release. “It probably will be beautiful weather down there, it usually is.” 

According to tradition, this year’s game also features a series of events leading up to it, including Clearwater Beach Day, where the teams, marching bands and cheerleaders enjoy the surf and sand, participate in contests and events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 near Pier 60.

The bowl game features the nationally ranked teams from the SEC and Big 10. The Gamecocks (10-2) are ranked 10 and the Wolverines (8-4) are ranked 18 in the BCS poll. 

This is the fifth time the Wolverines have played in an outback bowl, beating Alabama in 1998; North Carolina State in 1994 and Florida in 2003. They lost to Alabama in 1997.

“They made my final game as an assistant coach at Michigan (in 2002) a very enjoyable and memorable experience,” said Brady Hoke, University of Michigan head coach in a release. “The SEC is an excellent conference and we look forward to the challenge of facing them on New Year’s Day.”

This is the fourth Outback Bowl appearance for South Carolina. The Gamecocks beat Ohio State in 2001 and 2002 and lost to Iowa in 2009.

“It should be a heck of a game and we're looking forward to it,” Spurrier said.

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