Spurrier on the decline

Steve Spurrier is the greatest football mind in the last generation. Since Paul W. Bryant strode the sidelines, no football coach has dominated the SEC in the same way as the visor wearing virtuoso.

The South Carolina coach may be the greatest offensive mind in the history of the game.

But he is lazy.

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He failed with the Washington Redskins because he didn’t want to work 365 days per year; he wasn’t a Bill Belichik workaholic.

Spurrier appeared on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network on May 14, and the coach sounded weary—much more so than any other appearance on the radio program. He announced he had handed off the tedious offensive tasks (like making sure the wristbands get typed) to his son.

When the master painter relaxes his grasp on the brush, even slightly, you begin to question his commitment. Can South Carolina be Spurrier’s equivalent of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus? Or has the master lost his touch?

In the same Finebaum interview, Spurrier was matter-of-fact when he admitted that time was getting away from him. His pigskin clock is ticking.

“If we are going to make a move there, we need to do it in the next three or four years,” Spurrier said.

Is that feasible?

With the growing power in Athens and the relentless work ethic of Urban Meyer, there seems little chance for the Gamecocks to make it to the SEC Championship.

Spurrier could do it. But he would need to spend less time on the golf course, and more time working. He’d have to enter the modern world. A world where coaches teleconference via the Internet.

When told of the video conferencing, The State newspaper reported an almost comedic Spurrier retort: “Is that legal?” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier asked when learning of the latest recruiting wrinkle.

Spurrier promised to keep up. But for the moment, briefly, the game looks to be passing him by.


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  1. 1

    I don’t necessarily think his decline is due to laziness, I just think it’s his age is affecting him in an unbearable way.

  2. 2

    I think you are probably right too. In a sense, he’s burned out on coaching. The stay in the NFL did it, and the late season collapse last year didn’t help.

    I just can’t see him regaining the spark.

  3. 3

    IMO Spurrier missed his chance at USC. I think there was a window when he had a shot to make some noise, but due to several factors he missed that opportunity.

    In all honesty, I see a similar deal with Saban at Bammer. Not saying that Saban has missed his opportunity because that is far from the truth. What I am saying is that IMO Saban has a window of time to show major improvements on the field or the excitement will start to wear off much like it seems to have done with Spurrier at USC.

    I will be the 1st to say that there are some major differences between Saban/Bammer and Spurrier/USC, but anytime there is so much hype around a program hiring a big name coach IMO it narrows the timeframe to succeed.

  4. 4

    Saban has shown slight improvements on the field, at least from our perspective. Even though we seemed to have played more to the level of our competition, this year, instead of the level of our potential, each loss we endured only occurred by 7 points or less.

    Sure, the wheels fell of the bus toward the season’s end, but how many football experts predicted Alabama to finish 13-0 last season? Not a single one. In fact, do some researching and you’ll see 7-6 is what the vast majority of the experts predicted — even the great Finebaum himself.

    If Alabama shows no signs of improvements within the next three years, then there’s room for concern. However, despite losing to Louisiana-Monroe, taking a national championship caliber UGA team into overtime, playing the national champions down to the wire (and credit a below average quarterback for that loss), destroying the eastern division champions in an embarrassing fashion, and the exhilarating come from behind win against Arkansas went to show progress is being made, slowly but surely.

    I understand there is no “I” in team per se, but our quarterback ruined a lot of games for us last season, but, on the other hand, a lot of them he won, though maybe not single handedly, however, he was the key factor in both of the W/L columns — just as Cox was during your guys’ sluggish start. When he was on cue, we won; when he was off, by either fumbling, carelessly tossing interceptions, or pussy-footing around, we lost.

    I’m in no state of panic because Alabama is a program that has a strong history of more good than bad. Occasionally, the bad sneaks up and there’s seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel, but we always find a way. Besides, if DuBose and Franchione can lead an Alabama team to success, there’s no doubt in my mind Saban can do the same. Even Shula had the talent to win in 04 and 05, he simply pissed it away by purposely attempting to run up the score on a weakling opponent.

  5. 5

    I bet he does something at USC this year. He was 6-1 last year and they lost a bunch of big time talent on D to injuries. I bet they compete this year in a big way.

  6. 6

    Umm, ATLSuperstar, what the hell do your Saban apologist remarks have to do with a column about Steve Spurrier?

  7. 7

    Nothing has passed SOS by. He’s still as sharp as he ever was. My only issue with him is, we had our best season with Holtz’s players, yet everybody was wanting to hang Holtz before he left. (well, i was too) but, he energized that group of players and made winners out of them.

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