Spurrier says beating Tennessee is still big deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says beating Tennessee is big no matter what the Volunteers' record is.

The Vols come to Columbia on Saturday, and the Gamecocks are a rare favorite. South Carolina has beaten Tennessee just twice in 16 years in the Southeastern Conference.

Spurrier has had a long rivalry with Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer. In the first 10 SEC title games, either Spurrier's Florida teams or Fulmer's Vols represented the East Division.

Things are different now. The Vols are 3-5 and Fulmer may be fighting for his job. Spurrier's Gamecocks are just a loss away from his third straight season without a winning SEC record - something that never happened while he was at Florida. The winner will take fourth place in the SEC East.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)