Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sputtering in South Carolina


Maybe it’s me but I recall a time when Steve Spurrier’s teams put the fear of god into opposing defensive coordinators. These days, Spurrier’s teams are reduced to embarrassing loses like the one they had to Vanderbilt last Thursday, 24-17. The Spurrier South Carolina experience has been a disappointment to say the least. Now in his fourth year with the Gamecocks, Spurrier has finished 2nd once in the SEC East and his teams have not had that offensive swagger we were used to seeing from a team coached by the “Old ball coach”. While at Florida, Spurrier’s teams would come out throwing from the shotgun right off the bus. They were always loaded with talented wideouts and quarterbacks that fit the Spurrier pass-heavy mold. This system yielded three quarterbacks finishing in the top five of the Heisman voting, with Danny Wuerffel winning it all in 1996. Not to mention the fact that his teams were always in the national championship picture, taking home the prize in 1996. I find it hard to believe that a top high school quarterback would not want to play for Spurrier and his pass-heavy system. Maybe Spurrier has lost his touch in the recruiting game. Maybe his offense is behind the times, with everyone moving towards the spread. Maybe the SEC is just better than it was when he ruled it in the mid-90s. One thing is for sure: Spurrier and his teams were good for college football, they brought big plays and huge scoring to the SEC. I hope that he can recapture what he once had with the Gators. If not, we might see a great coach—one who once dominated the SEC with a .818 winning percentage and six SEC titles—fade quietly into obscurity.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media