It wasn't quite the warm beach day Florida's known for but there was plenty of fun in the sun for fans of the University of Michigan and the University of South Carolina Sunday afternoon at Clearwater Beach.
The Outback Bowl Beach Day event attracted thousands of football enthusiasts on both sides despite the chilly temps. Many drove hundreds of miles to display loyalty for their teams.
"Nice place for them to gather to have some fellowship for all the fans," said Gamecock fan Bryan Horton.
Fellow USC supporter Steven Vincent was there to shout down the Wolverine fans.
"I hope it is going to be a good game but we've got to beat the Michigan crowd," Vincent explained.
The Politi family has Michigan Blue in their blood. Tuesday will mark the first bowl game they have viewed up close together.
"It is amazing this is my first bowl game ever," said Kara Politi. "I'm excited since I go [to UM] obviously."
The Outback Bowl sand sculpture was a big draw for beach-goers on Sunday. Several musical acts also kept the crowd happy for several hours near the surf and sand. A scant two days away from kickoff fans for both squads were already pumped up.
As for the outcome those in attendance Sunday were split, depending on their allegiance.
Horton, USC fan: "The point spreads 5-6 I'm hoping we can do that maybe 7-8."
Politi, UM fan: "It is gonna be a close game ... maybe 10 point range."
The teams will tee it up just after 1 p.m. New Year's Day at RJS. It will be fun.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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