Kentucky Wildcats Football: 7 Degrees of South Carolina Gamecocks

Feb 23, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; A member of the Georgia Bulldogs dance team performs for the fans during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia defeated South Carolina 62-54 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky’s Wildcats face South Carolina’s Gamecocks Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 EST in Columbia. The Gamecocks are 16-7-1 against Kentucky, with SC winning in Lexington 38-17 last year.

Here’s the ties between Kentucky and South Carolina in tonight’s 7 degrees:

  • The University of South Carolina is often referred to by a few different English alphabet acronyms and words, including USC, SC, and “Carolina”. Unfortunately for SC, schools more prominent in sports South Carolina competes in simply come to mind first, like University of Southern California (USC) for football and “Carolina” referring to their northern neighbors. In fact, South Carolina lost litigation in 2010 seeking to invalidate the Southern California interlocking SC stating that it was trademark infringement and their copyright. South Carolina lost.

  • Leeza Gibbons, a USC (South Carolina) alum, was the host of Entertainment Tonight. John Tesh was her co-host, and is known still to this day for “The NBA of NBC” theme song. Tesh left Gibbons and E.T. to take his show on the road.

  • The above video of Tesh playing “Roundball Rock”, the official title of the theme song,  was taken during Tesh’s performance at Red Rocks Colorado. While a shade of red, South Carolina’s colors are Garnet and Black.
  • While no disputing that Garnet and Red aren’t the same, there is some dispute over the origination of the school mascot, the “Gamecocks”. While the name appears to have taken hold in 1902, the year South Carolina upset Clemson, one legend has it that Carolina students “paraded through the streets near campus carrying a transparency that had been hanging in a local tobacco store window…Clemson fans could not help noticing that the transparency featured the image of a gamecock standing over a fallen tiger…Two weeks later, the State newspaper began referring to the team as the ‘Game Cocks’.”
  • Another legend does continue the myth and believes the source for the name came from Thomas Sumter, a South Carolina military figure. Sumter was nicknamed “The South Carolina Game Cock”. Professor Colcock, the creator of the transparency the students toted around after beating Clemson, may have been inspired by Sumter when he drew the image.
  • The University of Kentucky’s mascot, The Wildcats, was derived after a football game and involved a military figure as well. Commandant Philip W. Carbusier, head of the military department at old State University, told a group of students in a chapel service following a 6-2 victory against Illinois, that the Kentucky football team had “fought like Wildcats.”
  • The Wildcat is defined by Google as:

wild·cat (wīldˌkat) noun plural noun: wildcats: a small native Eurasian and African cat that is typically gray with black markings and a bushy tail, noted for its ferocity. Perhaps Steve Spurrier was preparing to face Kentucky when this image was taken and was studing ‘bushy tails’.

Image was found and is property of

There you have it, 7 degrees… USC Gamecocks to Kentucky Wildcats.

Topics: Football, Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks

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