“That ain’t right.”

From Garnet and Black Attack:

… Steve Spurrier is 21-16 at South Carolina in three seasons…

Yes, the mark is the best for the first three years as Gamecocks head coach since Joe Morrison went 20-14 from 1983-85. (And more consisent; the Man in Black was 5-6, 10-2 and 5-6.) And it marks the first time South Carolina has had three straight winning seasons since a four-year strech from 1987-90 (8-4, 8-4, 6-4-1, 6-5). And Spurrier is so far the first Gamecocks coach with more than one year of service to not have a losing season since Billy Laval (1928-1934) — who actually had a 5-4-2 mark in 1932.

That’s an amazing run of mediocrity.  And consider who it’s swallowing.  Whatever you think of Spurrier as a person, there’s no denying that he goes down as one of the greatest coaches in SEC history.  Yet even someone with his status hasn’t been able to elevate the program.  You have to start wondering if the job is bigger than the man.  Blowing out the back end of the season, highlighted by a loss to Vandy, after jumping out to that great start with visions of Atlanta dancing in the Gamecocks’ heads certainly contributes to the doubts.

As the wheels came off the wagon down the stretch for the ‘Cocks last year, there’s one moment that I thought captured the state of the program:  Cory Boyd on the bench watching the replay of Darren McFadden’s 80 yard TD in the game where USC’s defense was absolutely shredded.  Play by play man Mark Jones notes the emotion that so palpably played across Boyd’s face at the moment.

I give Spurrier credit for giving every indication that he intends to battle this out (which is more than he did in Washington), but where do things go if South Carolina doesn’t hit the 10 win mark soon?  And if Spurrier can’t get the program there, who can?

About these ads

12 Comments

Filed under The Evil Genius

12 responses to ““That ain’t right.”

  1. dean

    Just what I needed to start my morning off after an utterly disappointing evening. A little chicken bashing is good for the soul.

    They’ve had two future College Football Hall of Fame coaches roaming the sidelines the last ten years or so and have achieved jack squat. Yet their fans still persist on talking more trash than any other fans in college football. I guess that’s their way of dealing with their inadequateness.

  2. Good lord, those Carolina DBs looked like they were running in mud for the first 30 yards.

    “Back like cooked crack,” huh, Cory?

  3. Here’s what they should do: Stop hiring HOF coaches on the back end of their careers. Spurrier’s still got some of the drive, sure, but I’m sure there are some days he’d rather just be hitting golf balls. And Granny Lou by the time he got to Columbia was a parody of himself.

    Get a young coordinator with upside. Someone whose legacy isn’t already written.

  4. D.N. Nation — You act like they haven’t tried that, too. Brad Scott was the offensive coordinator for FSU coming off a national title win. Almost the same resume as Richt.

    Total bust. They’ve tried assistants, mid-major head coaches, and THREE hall of fame coaches with national titles — including Paul Dietzel (sp?) who won a title at LSU.

    The state doesn’t have the talent to support two state schools and have Tennessee, UNC, UGA and NC State fishing in that pond.

    Gwinnett County has more blue chippers than the entire state of SC.

    And SC is broke. Totally broke. Their facilities are a decade behind the times. They announced a $200 million fund raising effort to upgrade their stuff….complete with no ETAs, no drawings and no list of priorities. Just a wish list.

    Someone will win at SC one day. But it won’t be a coach recruiting from the golf course.

  5. shane

    GSB, I agree with most of Your post. The OBC hasn’t forgotten how to coach, his problem has been trying to recruit in a State with a relatively small population against increasingly tough competition. The QB posistion is the lynchpin of Spurrier’s offense, but so far He has not found a QB that can keep His head on straight long enough to learn from him. He can take a mediocre QB and make him look good if the kid will work hard and do what the HC tells Him to do. Spurrier is a good enough coach to upset a team or two every year, but unless USC’s recruiting improves he will continue to be just a spoiler.

  6. Ally

    “Whatever you think of Spurrier as a person, there’s no denying that he goes down as one of the greatest coaches in SEC history. Yet even someone with his status hasn’t been able to elevate the program. You have to start wondering if the job is bigger than the man.”

    I used to agree with that assertion. However, given his inabilities with the Redskins and now the lamecocks, I’m beginning to wonder if his “genius” can only be attributed to the endless supply of top talent in the state of Florida.

    Its not as hard to win when you’re king of the hill in one of the country’s biggest & best talent pools.

  7. One thing that tends to get overlooked in comparing the two Spurrier eras in the SEC is the difference in competition. Look at who was on the other side of the sidelines from him in the 1990s: Ray Goff, Brad Scott, Gerry DiNardo, Mike DuBose (who beat him twice in the same season), etc. Now look who he’s up against: Richt, Saban, Tuberville, Miles. He’s gone from top of the heap of a mediocre pile of coaches to middle of the heap of a very good pile of coaches.

  8. Will

    Thank you, Ally. I’ve been wondering the same thing myself for a while now. Spurrier himself has admitted that a lot of his success against UGA in the ’90s was due to the enormous level of talent he had to work with.

  9. DirkDawggler

    I’d like to think that Spurrier is paying a sort of penance for all his good deeds of the 1990s. I remember wishing he’d go to hell after the 1995 beatdown (and score padding) in Athens.

    Columbia = Hell.

  10. Spurrier himself has admitted that a lot of his success against UGA in the ’90s was due to the enormous level of talent he had to work with.

    Well, maybe. But I also remember this quote of his from ’91:

    “Why is it that during recruiting season (the Bulldogs) sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”

  11. dean

    Senator,
    Thanks for reminding me why I hate Spurrier. I’d almost forgotten what an ass he was when he was actually winning.

  12. shadrach

    Is SOS a genius? Good question. He undoubtedly changed SEC football in a way that still manifests itself. Intricate passing, more speed on offense and defense, and fed the explosion on media coverage for coaches with the sound bite. The league has caught up with what was “genius” in 1996. The SEC was still a “cloud of dust” league in the early ’90’s and the defensive philosophies Spurrier coached against we’re, for the most part, woefully inadequate to stop his game plan. Add to that a unlimited supply of top tier atheletes in the state of FL and you’ve got Xanadu for a coach. Oh, but the times have changed….

    He’s a smart coach, but we see now that the “genius” label was fleeting.