"In the South, a college football game is practically a formal event. Everyone, especially the ladies, gets all dolled up. But USC takes it to a whole new level. That football crowd is like something you would see in Vogue magazine," ESPN Game Day.

Starting in the wee hours of the morning, fans gather around Williams-Brice Stadium for the social event of the season - tailgating. Dressed to impress in their best garnet and black duds, tailgaters lay out their elaborate spreads of Southern dishes like barbecue, fried chicken, homemade biscuits and pimento cheese.

SEC games play on flat screen TV's and satellite dishes are set up in the beds of trucks. Fans bounce from tailgate to tailgate, receiving a warm welcome, whether or not they know the hosts. Fierce yet friendly cornhole games are aplenty and "Sandstorm" can be heard blasting from speakers all around. One thing is for sure, we're "cocky" about our Gamecock pride!

best tailgating locations

  • Carolina Fair ParkSeawell's and River Rat Brewery are a sea of garnet and black. Tailgaters start as early as five hours before kickoff. 
  • Cheer on the team, cheerleaders and the "Mighty Sound of the South East," University of South Carolina's Marching Band, as they enter the stadium on "Garnet Way" in Gamecock Park. 
  • Want a classy experience away from the rowdy crowds? Rent a luxurious train car on the Cockaboose Railroad. Watch the game in style with brass chandeliers and flat-screen TVs. Did we mention they're air conditioned?

best shops to get your garnet and black
Don't forget your bow ties and cowboy boots! Addam's BookstoreBritton'sMiss Cocky, Garnet and Black Traditions and LaRoque are all shops with the latest garnet and black garb.


southern living tailgate tour
Do you stalk the mailman, anxiously waiting for your monthly subscription to Southern Living to arrive? Then you're in luck because the first-ever Southern Living Tailgate Tour is coming to town this weekend!

Southern Living's senior food editor, Julie Grimes will face off against Cobblestone Bread Co.'s executive chef, Nathan Lippy, in a "Sandwich Smackdown". Tailgaters will sample the delectable dishes to vote for their favorite and be automatically entered to win $500 for their own legendary tailgate party.

On the menu: Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders on Cobblestone Bread Co. Windy City Hot Dog Buns; Chicken Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Balsamic Glaze on Cobblestone Co. White Grinder Sub Rolls. Create your own with recipes on cobblestonebreadco.com.

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014: University of Tennessee vs. University of South Carolina @ the Grandstand inside the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, look for Cobblestone Bread Co.'s blue food truck. Rain or shine!