Spurrier walking walk, talking talk with Gamecocks’ gains

Steve Spurrier has always been the main attraction at SEC Media Days, dishing out plenty of dirt to get fans exciting about the impending start of football season.

You remember the classics: “You can’t spell Citrus Bowl without U-T” aimed at SEC East rival Tennessee and referring to instate rival Florida State as “Free Shoes University.”

Those offseason comments meant for boosters’ ears only were the subject of great fodder for reporters looking to Spurrier to fill their notebooks with zingers and one-liners.

Things changed when Spurrier left the penthouse of Florida for the SEC cellar of South Carolina. He toned down his act until his Gamecocks were higher in the pecking order.

Looks like those days are here again. Spurrier uncorked another instant classic on Tuesday: “It’s easier to win a national championship than the SEC. Just ask (Alabama coach) Nick Saban.”

OK, so it’s not a low blow like Spurrier used to deliver at favorite punching bags Phil Fulmer and Bobby Bowden, but it’s a positive sign that he’s not afraid to speak his mind,

The reference to the Crimson Tide’s inability to win the SEC title, or even the SEC West, yet still beat conference champion LSU in the BCS championship game struck a nerve in the heart of Alabama.

But it’s just Steve being Steve. Just as his South Carolina teams have gradually gained confidence in their own abilities, Spurrier’s natural cockiness also has slowly returned.

When Spurrier arrived in Columbia to salvage the scraps of the Lou Holtz era, the goal was simple – beat Florida, Georgia and Tennessee to move into the top tier of the SEC East. No room for the word “almost.”

“A lot has changed at South Carolina in seven years,” Spurrier said. “I’ve got a couple good friends that have been there for 30, 40 years and so forth. One of the guys said, `We used to come to the ballpark hoping for a good game. If we’re playing Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, we were just hoping for a good game, not get blown out. Now we sort of come to the ballpark thinking we’re going to beat those guys. We’re sort of mad if we don’t.’

“I said, `That’s the way you’re supposed to feel, mad or a little upset if you don’t beat them.’ They used to come, if it was a close game, guys jogged off the field, gave them a round of applause, close game. In ’06, we lost a close one to Auburn. They sort of clapped as the guys left the field. So, yeah, I said, `Please don’t do that again. Please don’t clap when you lose a game. There’s no moral victories in any sport.’ So now, yeah, our expectations are high.”

Ironically, South Carolina has cleared the major hurdle of the SEC East. After winning the division title in 2010, the Gamecocks swept the East last season but lost out on the trip to the SEC Championship Game to Georgia because of a pair of losses to the West Division. Now South Carolina must focus on winning the whole league.

Spurrier has even made some comments directed at the Dawgs this offseason, saying he didn’t like the fact that the Georgia game was being moved back in the schedule because the Bulldogs usually had several players serving offseason suspensions in early September. He’s also pointed out that Georgia somehow dodged Alabama and LSU on last year’s and this year’s schedule.

“You think I make the schedule?” Spurrier sarcastically asked a reporter questioning the Gamecocks’ “choice” of open dates. “If I made the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we’d be playing Ole Miss. We don’t make the schedule. We’re not complaining about that.”

Ironically, neither Alabama nor LSU has been South Carolina’s downfall in recent years. The Gamecocks have lost seven games over the past two years and five of them came against Auburn and Arkansas, losing twice in 2010 including the SEC title game.

“Amazingly, we’ve lost seven games in the last two years, and five of them are to Arkansas and Auburn. They’ve had our number. Auburn beat us twice in 2010, championship game. So they’ve had our number. They’ve beaten us pretty good. No, we’re going to worry about Arkansas the week of the game, just like we’re going to worry about Clemson and Florida the week of the game. We don’t talk about stuff like that.”

At least until you start beating them. But if Spurrier’s increasingly loose lips are any indication, the Gamecocks will have even more reason to be cocky this season.

Comments

comments

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid charges

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid chargesShortly after the Carolina Panthers scored a big 31-24 win [more]

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest Monday

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest MondayJaylen Shaw scored 23 points and Zac Cuthbertson added 22 [more]

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biter

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biterThe North Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team lost a [more]

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough loss

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough lossThe Conway High girls basketball team suffered its third straight [more]

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat Warriors

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat WarriorsThe Socastee High wrestling team captured a big win over [more]

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops tests

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops testsAfter taking a week off for final exams, the Coastal [more]

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowouts

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowoutsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team turned in a [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival Socastee

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival SocasteeThe North Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team captured its [more]

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad match

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad matchThe Myrtle Beach High boys wrestling team captured a hard-fought [more]

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks win

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks winThe Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team took its best [more]

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rolls

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rollsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team got a little [more]

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of week

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of weekCoastal Carolina senior guard Jas Adams has been named the [more]

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting process

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting processConway High quarterback D'Wuan Grainger entered his senior season as [more]

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood Academy

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood AcademyThe Carolina Forest boys basketball team claimed its second victory [more]

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with Vikes

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with VikesThe Carolina Panthers find themselves back in the thick of [more]

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports week

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports weekThe Grand Strand prep sports scene has a busy week [more]

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podium

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podiumThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) dodged a snowy weekend in [more]

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competition

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competitionSeven Riptide swimmers traveled to Cary, NC, over weekend to [more]

North team extends streak of dominance over South

North team extends streak of dominance over SouthThe North squad extended its streak of dominance in the [more]

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina Forest

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina ForestThe Myrtle Beach High boys and girls basketball teams blew [more]

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzer

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzerFormer Gamecock-turned-Chanticleer Jaylen Shaw missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at [more]

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior Nationals

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior NationalsCarolina Forest senior and Coastal Aquatic Club swimmer Taylor Steele [more]

Tigers, Chiefs join forces on North-South gridiron

Tigers, Chiefs join forces on North-South gridironThe best local high school football matchup was never played [more]

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach