South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is polarizing to say the least. Nobody feels lukewarm about “The Old Ball Coach.” You either love him or hate him and whatever side of that fence you happen to fall on, you have to realize that he makes the game of college football infinitely better.
Spurrier took to the podium at SEC Media Days and he described the event by saying, “We’re ready for talkin’ season!”
You can always tell when Spurrier believes he has a good team by the amount of noise he makes and shots he takes. Clearly, Spurrier believes he has a very good team.
There is seemingly nobody that Spurrier likes to poke more than Alabama head coach Nick Saban. The Old Ball Coach is the king of backhanded compliments and he threw a few Saban’s way at Media Days.
“I just made a statement that I think they’ve had five No. 1 recruiting classes out of the last six years, which has got to make him the greatest recruiter in the history of college football,” Spurrier said of Saban’s Crimson Tide.
“Arguably they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team. If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”
And here comes the backhand.
“I guess fortunately sometimes the team that plays the best is the team that wins instead of maybe who has the best players,” Spurrier said. “I mention that because it is amazing. When I was at Florida, we had two No. 1 classes, 1991 Danny Wuerffel, all those guys, we had a bunch of players come in. The next year the guys said ‘Coach, you got too many players on Florida. I’m not going to get on the field.”
“But at Alabama, they just keep signing them year after year after year. It’s amazing. I give him credit for it. They do it the right way. He runs a good program,” Spurrier continued. “It’s just amazing to me how they’ve been able to stack and keep loading up players every year. That’s just what I was trying to mention. They’re going to be the favorites. They got to be the favorites.”
Spurrier added to the pressure that the already white-knuckled Saban feels from the nearly impossible expectations that he is burdened with at Alabama.
But he wasn’t finished. One of the unwritten rules of sports, albeit from athletes or coaches is that you don’t talk about anyone else’s money. Clearly Steve Spurrier doesn’t abide by that rule given his remarks about Texas A & M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
“Kevin Sumlin is a good coach. … He’s a good negotiator, too. He’s got a good deal.”
He took shots against some of the Big Ten rivalries as well.
“I don’t know that you can have a trophy for every game. I know in the Big Ten, they have several of ’em.”
Apparently, South Carolina and Texas A & M will have a rivalry trophy of their own, honoring a South Carolina student who fought at the Alamo, that Spurrier doesn’t seem to understand.
“I always thought Davy Crockett was the hero of the Alamo. … Came in and got killed and so forth.”
He took on his own fans and their perception of the Clemson rivalry.
“I can assure you our fans would rather beat Clemson than win the SEC. Personally, I’d rather win the SEC.”
How about his former, troubled quarterback Stephen Garcia who is now working in the media?
“I saw him on TV last night. … He’s got his long hair back. Looks like he joined Duck Dynasty.”
There were several more great quotes from the most quotable head coach in college football. Here’s hoping that the cockiest Gamecock will be preparing for the SEC Championship game in December so we can get another week of unbridled Spurrier.