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      Columbia expected to score big with Gamecock's top ten ranking

      COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -It's almost that time of the year for grills to light up, and the best Garnet and Black sporting symbols of Gamecock nation on them are pulled out for the upcoming USC football season.

      With USA Today recently ranking the Gamecocks number seven in the preseason ranking, the highly anticipated season is said to be one for the history books.

      "Former students and friends of mine said I'm coming to watch the Gamecocks," said Tom Regan, a Sports and Management professor at USC. "You're going to be really good this year."

      Regan says people from as far away as London, New York and Los Angeles have already contacted him about coming to watch a home game. He says from the study he has conducted, this football season could be a major economic boost for Columbia.

      "Take a look at the impact. There are many people around there with the Gamecock Village, the Lofts, and the parking condominiums," said Regan.

      Those properties are paid tailgating spots which are usually private investors, utilizing Gamecock football as an asset, according to Regan.

      â??The intangible benefits and the economic benefits as far as direct spending are going to be enhanced this year as long as the success of Gamecock football stays in the top ten,â?? said Regan.