Being a California boy for the first 3 decades I’ve always followed USC football and UCLA basketball. Did I mention I’m a fair-weather fan. I don’t follow the teams too closely when they’re not playing well.
Anyhow I moved to Florida a couple of decades ago and under the fell influence of one of my bicycle riding buddies, began to follow FSU football. That was good. Bobby Bowden was a middle aged genius and FSU won a couple of national championships. Then the dreaded “Spurrier years” began at U.F. FSU fans both hated and FEARED Spurrier.
A couple of things you should know about U.F. Before Spurrier they had NEVER won the S.E.C. title. Under Spurrier they won a bunch of them. Before Spurrier the Georgia Bulldogs OWNED U.F. But in the Spurrier years his teams won 10 of 11 from the Bulldogs. He owned them. Peyton Manning, perhaps the best college quarterback , NEVER beat Spurrier teams. So Steve was a terrific coach.
Then he left for $10 million dollars to coach in the NFL. For several reasons, he was not successful. Us FSU fans were SOOOoooo happy that he had left U.F. The coach you loved to hate, and feared, was gone.
Well he got out of Pro football and put his hat in the ring to take over from Ron Zook at U.F. – who had followed Spurrier. For reasons somewhat unfathomable, U.F.’s response to Spurrier’s desire to return was tepid at best. Spurrier withdrew his name from the U.F. search and got snapped up by Univ. of South Caroline – the raging Gamecocks.
Well the Gamecocks have never been particularly good and over the summer a number of their best players were kicked off the team due to fairly serious disciplinary reasons. Then when the season started Spurrier lost 4 or 5 of his best players. But he has WON! USC (South Carolina) is an amazing 7 wins and 3 losses. In his first year Spurrier has accomplished two amazing feats.
One, he beat Tennessee in Tennessee. Let me just say this, Phil Fulmer hates Steve Spurrier. South Carolina had NEVER beaten Tennessee in Tenn.
Then yesterday Spurrier beats the Florida Gators. USC had not beaten the Gators since 1935. But Spurrier beat a team that was better at every position than his. That is simply an amazing feat.
Now that Spurrier’s teams will probably never again play FSU – I LOVE Steve Spurrier. The “ol’ ballcoach” is a genius.
So on this Sunday morning, KUDOS to Steve Spurrier. He should get the “Coach of the Year” award for his genius in having an absolutely terrible team achieve a winning record. Go Gamecocks!