If not Meyer, then who (or what)?

While I was pondering HeismanPundit’s shot across the bow last night, I asked myself if there were any coach or scheme in the SEC that’s had the kind of impact on the conference that HP tries to attribute to Urban Meyer. Without casting aspersions on Meyer, who is obviously a fine head coach, I did come up with two things, neither of which involve Florida.

On the coaching front, there is one offensive genius in the SEC and his name is Spurrier. I’m not just saying that because of what he accomplished at Florida, although as far as I’m concerned, what he did there still has a greater impact on how football is played in the conference today than anything else from the past 10-15 years.

But what he’s done at South Carolina in his first two years – with erratic QB play, an offensive line that’s had to be rebuilt from scratch, a false start at defensive coordinator and the crap leftover from the Holtz regime – is nothing short of remarkable. We all knew what he could do with talent, but what he’s done with a team that so far hasn’t measured up to the standards of the powers in the conference is equally impressive. He’s a blocked field goal away from beating Florida twice. He beat Florida and Tennessee in the same season, something Georgia hasn’t done since the Walker era.

His offense, with only one all-conference type player in Sidney Rice, hasn’t missed a beat (third in the SEC, at 395 yards a game). His skill in managing a game is unsurpassed. As Westerdawg points out, if you have to pick a coach for one game, he’s the guy you’d want.

As for scheme, I didn’t see anything out there this past season that got in players’ and coaches’ heads like Arkansas’ mutant, neo-Wing T offense with McFadden at quarterback.

Check out this YouTube video at about the 2:15 mark:

The body language from the Tennessee players after the touchdown pass is something to behold: Deliver us from McFadden. Please. I know it’s a one-off thing that’s perfectly tailored to the Hogs’ current personnel, but it’s devastating to watch that offense break down an opponent. Given Georgia’s difficulties stopping the run earlier this past year, I’m sort of glad the Dawgs didn’t have Arky on the schedule.

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