Blog ... Spurrier 100% Southern Fried
Hearing Steve Spurrier speaking; he is 100% southern to the very core.
By: BE Coleman
There is one thing for certain when hearing Steve Spurrier speaking; he is 100% southern to the very core. His mannerism, wit, and those whimsical phrases are in perfect harmony with the southern culture's outlook.
With Spurrier you get the real deal, there is no guessing about what you're getting with the "Ole Ball Coach." He is both honest and happy within his words, is a man who shaped a pass frenzy culture all across the land of Dixie.
While several other SEC coaches are grabbing some deserved attention across the conference, there is one thing clear. Steve Spurrier is the conference's true linchpin and clearly a valuable asset - wherever he is coaching.
While Mark Richt is pushing Georgia to the cusp, Les Miles on a proverbial tear and Urban Meyer still gleaming, sees they all fall under the shadow of success that has been raised since Spurrier came to the SEC.
Carolina's "Spurrier raised the bar that everyone plays under," as Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer noted when Spurrier took over in Columbia. Spurrier has reaffirmed that he is a man on a mission to make Carolina a legitimate contender annually.
Noise Was Made In 07
The coach with 221 games under his belt as a head coach, said that his program was "pumped up a little bit," last week. Having seen Alabama selected to go bowling with an identical record, it left a bad taste in the rooster's craw.
Finishing up at 6-6 last season, then sitting home during bowl season has Spurrier looking upward. After seeing his program breaking into the Top 10 last season may be the notice that he is making some unnoticed strides. An avenue he enjoys!
In week one of the BCS last season the Gamer's were ranked 6th in the nation at 6-1.
"So we have made progress. We have made progress. What we need to do now is compete on the field with Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. It's been those three, then it's been the other three" teams in the division.
Break On Through
Carolina could have easily been an 8-4 program had a game in Knoxville, one with rival Clemson not slipped away. Spurrier called them "heartbreakers." Saying they are just history now. "They were games that were sort of within our grasp and we didn't put it away."
Yet Carolina's biggest problem was in being plagued with injuries on defense in 2007 as LB Jasper Brinkley was injured and Captain Munnerlyn broke his foot during the Arkansas contest. Both players absence were significant in impact as the Carolina depth chart loaded up with younger players.
The youth showed up as both games slipped away in the wee seconds as the young SC defense had trouble hanging on. They are the type of games that if you win, can put a little cock in the walk of Cocky.
The coach says he thinks things are looking up in Columbia last week at the SEC Media Days after quelling any talk he would think of moving on the week before.
To the contrary says Spurrier, who is having son Steve Jr. to begin putting together the weekly game plan. The coach who once handled everything outside of defense, has become more delegating in job duties. His son just happens to be the next guy standing in the progression line after a near dozen years on staff(s).
"If things go well then he did it, if things go bad then it is my fault," noted Spurrier who said he will still be right there in the planning. In a clutch game, expect Senior to pull out his rusty bottle cap, piece of broken glass, and a pop-top for a diagram in the dirt.
You're the bottle cap Tommy…okay…now run down by Mr. Jones car and turn inside left… Ken you're the broken glass, take off left then go to the center…Joe run into the end zone past the O'Malley's hedges…then look!
Spurrier noted that Jr. has more championship rings at home than nearly every head coach. Having had coaching stints at Florida and Oklahoma before joining Spurrier at South Carolina. The Junior Spurrier has two National Title's on his own resume and may be the exact time for him to look upward.
Changing Of The Guard Effect
Regardless of the early projections in Carolina by the local media, has forgotten one important item when speaking of SC recruiting. While Lou Holtz left Columbia with a semi-stocked team, they just were not exactly the type of player's Spurrier coaches.
In fact Spurrier is just now coming into the core of players that he himself signed to build the program. While some say it is a do or die situation – Spurrier says "nah, it's just beginning - you better get on board here."
There is little anyone can compare in the Holtz coaching philosophy and the all out wide open play calling that made this man from Tennessee a house hold name in the SEC. It is nearly night and day different with a little gray area in the middle.
In fact, Spurrier returns a team that is in its best shape since coming back to coach college football in 05. The Ole' Ball Coach says the Gamecocks are much stronger, are much larger and certainly do look trim and fit. "They look real good noted Spurrier."
Keeping An Optimistic Attitude
The Spurrier led team's have defeated Tennessee, Florida and Georgia in that order since taking over as the coach, that was a big frustration point under Holtz's tenure.
Many forget Carolina was a 0-11 program under Holtz in 99, having best seasons in 00 and 01 going 8-4 and 9-3. Spurrier has one .500 team that was as much a lack of quality player depth than anything else. Going from 6-1 to 6-6 is bothering, that left two questions.
Either it was coaching, or a rash of injuries that doomed the Carolina run. It should be very apparent there is not a coaching dilemma, as all know it was injury riddled.
You can knock Steve Spurrier down, but he doesn't stay down and is back up, ready to go try it again. That's all he knows, that's how he is, it is what he is about. It has been stated by many -- that Carolina was a good move for him -- after all he is the one ultimate Gamer.
Covering The Bases
Having Spurrier coaching in the game certainly gives Carolina a decisive edge in any contest. LSU, the defending national champs did not exactly roll over the Gamecocks last season. Number #8 Kentucky was shown the door handily in Columbia – the Wildcats were not a weak team in 07 or 06.
Only two teams defeated Carolina with any amount of authority last season, Florida and Arkansas. Other teams that ran into Tim Tebow and Darren McFadden fared?
Every team in the SEC East has an early season flaw, fixing it before the other guys fix theirs is the name of the game from week to week. If there is a seam that can be ripped, Spurrier has the resume. Exploiting an opponent's weakness especially when watching from the sidelines is where he is most dangerous making a key adjustment.
South Carolina has something that 119 other teams don't have, Spurrier himself on the sidelines keeping the true college spirit alive and well for another generation of students.
Speaking of 100% Southern Fried and Chicken it's time to go see where that Gamecock Caboose is parked…there is always time to eat a few spicy wings. Man, its good!
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