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.

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Braves shut out by Trojans

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Braves shut out by TrojansMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country season

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country seasonBuilding on the success of the track and field season, [more]

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football poll

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football pollDefending state champion Myrtle Beach opened the 2019 preseason as [more]

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sun

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sunThe Grand Strand’s 60-mile strip of sand and surf is [more]

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball Classic

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball ClassicIt’s been quite some time since this much new blood [more]

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur title

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur titleCoastal Carolina rising sophomore Tyler Gray carded four-straight rounds of [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy cause

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy causeThe water is a second home for August Powalie. The Myrtle [more]

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meetIt has been a long and winding trip to California [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels Memorial

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels MemorialAs surfers prepare to hit the South Strand this weekend [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Braves shut out by Trojans

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Braves shut out by TrojansMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach