Steve Spurrier is a bitter man.
In Paul Finebaum’s upcoming book, details of the open door former Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore extended to Spurrier in 2006 will be outlined…an offer that ole Steve now regrets not taking.
Just listen to him. Spurrier opines and whines like a bitter girlfriend whose former love has gone on to bigger and better things. Not that Alabama was ever his love, but the Tide had certainly expressed interest as Mike Shula’s tenure came to an agonizing end. And as Garth Brooks sang, some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
This week at SEC Media Days Spurrier continued his assault on the work of Alabama head coach Nick Saban. He wanted to illustrate that while Saban has had #1 recruiting classes, and is “the best recruiter college football has ever seen,” he’s only won the SEC title twice in his seven seasons at Alabama.
That is, two more times than Spurrier’s nine seasons at South Carolina.
This wasn’t the first time the Gamecocks’ washed up head coach has made jabs at Saban, who for the record never responds. Last year Spurrier was quick to point out how easy it is to win at Alabama…possibly juxtaposing the difficulty he’s had in winning consistently in Columbia.
Of course, it’s hard to put together a game plan when you spend most of your time on the golf course.
In the 1990’s Steve Spurrier was the face of college football. But those days are gone. Phil Fulmer began gaining ground on Spurrier at the turn of the century, and Steve did what he does best: Ran.
Spurrier ran to the NFL where he was a total failure in his two seasons in Washington. His experimental two seasons led to a 12-20 record with the Redskins, where he quickly found out that he wasn’t the cat’s meow he thought he was. A .375 winning percentage will send you back to earth quickly. (For the record, Saban went 15-17 in two seasons with the Dolphins, a winning percentage of .469…not good in any rite, but better than Spurrier.)
But perhaps nothing sent the “ole has been” back to reality as quickly as the University of Florida not rushing to embrace him with open arms when his little escapade had ended. The Gators had moved on, suffering through the Ron Zook years into the Urban Meyer era at Florida…a coach who would double Spurrier’s national titles in just six years in Gainesville.
That wasn’t supposed to be. Like a husband who goes after a Vegas showgirl, he was supposed to eventually trek back home, say his “I’m sorrys” and be welcomed back into the family. Afterall, he led his alma mater to relevance in the 1990’s, owning the league at a time when fierce competitors like Curly Hallman, Mike Dubose, Ray Goff, Jim Donnon, Terry Bowden, Sparky Woods and Brad Scott roamed the sidelines.
Instead, Spurrier’s legacy wasn’t enough, and the ego-centrical, lazy leader needed a soft place to land. Somewhere he could create reality for himself and a fanbase that had never experienced much of anything.
In his first seven seasons with the Florida Gators, Spurrier went 73-14-1 with one lonely national title. In Saban’s seven seasons at Alabama, he’s 79-15, with three National Championships.
In Spurrier’s first seven seasons at South Carolina, he went a whopping 55-35, with zero titles, unless you count the 2010 SEC East title, giving him access to the bludgeoning his team would receive in Atlanta. Heck, in his full nine seasons in Columbia, he’s only won 77 games, two shy of what Saban has done at Bama in 7.
At 69, Spurrier knows his time in coaching is drawing nigh. At 219-79-2 (.733) in college, he’s assembled a more than respectable career. But that just isn’t enough. Something eats at him. He’s a man whose ego can’t let him rest, but whose affinity for leisure can’t let him work.
Perhaps it’s that invitation in the fall of 2006 that he turned down. The opportunity he knows he should’ve taken, but that in his arrogance he instead thumbed his nose at. Or maybe it’s that, at just 62, and 170-51-1, he knows that Nick Saban will eventually do what he’s done best in his time in coaching: Erase Spurrier’s legacy, exposing him for what he is.
Spurrier runs better than anyone in the business…his mouth, that is. But we all know what a barking dog is worth. The media loves it in this 24-hour, 7-day-a-week need for occasional soundbytes. But funny how ESPN promos opt for lifted trophies amid confetti over wagging tongues. And everyone knows, NOW, that’s ALL Steve Spurrier is.
(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)
21 thoughts on “Steve Spurrier: Still bitter, after all these years”
“…owning the league at a time when fierce competitors like Curly Hallman, Mike Dubose, Ray Goff, Jim Donnon, Terry Bowden, Sparky Woods and Brad Scott roamed the sidelines.”
That’s gold, Jerry!
It’s an old quote from Seinfeld. It fell on favorable ears over here.
Spurrier may be “spurned,” I agree with that. But he was a great player, and he was and still is a great coach.
Is he nearly as elite as Saban? That’s not really fair.
That’s not fair at all, actually.
While nobody could explain South Carolina’s loss to Tennessee last year, didn’t we want to see the Gamecocks in the SEC title game again? After all, the last time they played Alabama they put the best win on us that we’ve seen since, plus they defeated the SEC East champion (Missouri) and had the same record at the end of the regular season.
And while it’s one thing to say LSU was once relevant and Saban/Miles helped make it a better program than it ever was, South Carolina was never that program. It was never good. Ever. Spurrier fixed it, for what it’s worth.
Beating Clemson six years in a row doesn’t hurt either. The Iron Bowl might be the best rivalry in sports, but the battle for the Palmetto State is, to me, the most underrated and underexposed rivalry in the country. It’s hateful. I’ve never seen an Auburn player swing-kick an Alabama quarterback on the ground, on the field, while a deupty sheriff tries to stop them.
For the record, that was the last time Clemson beat South Carolina.
I’m not saying Spurrier’s not bitter or that he doesn’t run his mouth, but frankly that’s what I like about him—he’s honest to an outrageous fault. Whereas most coaches will spew the exact same generic garbage about tenacity, working hard, “good kids,” and effort, Spurrier will bash anyone. Most importantly, he’ll bash his own players. Usually it’s some of the most hilarious coach-talk I ever get to hear. Les Miles comes in second place, and after all, whatever Spurrier says is inherently harmless—-if anything it inspires teams to play harder, not worse.
I can’t imagine what college football would be like today if Spurrier had been hired at Alabama, but at the same time I’m at least a little bit curious what Nick Saban might have done at a school like South Carolina.
After all, Spurrier at SC has “almost” won the SEC and potentially the national title as many times as Alabama has “almost” won but narrowly missed the national title under Saban, and under strangely similar consequences.
As close as Alabama was in 2008 and 2013, so was South Carolina in 2011 and 2013. Is it that much of a stretch to think Saban could have done as good or better at South Carolina in the same time period? And, if not, is it that crazy to think South Carolina was close enough to win the national title a time or two under Spurrier? We lost one by missing 4 field goals in a single game, South Carolina lost by two points to Tennessee last year after their best-ever QB was hurt late in the game.
I don’t mean to sound like a Spurrier homer, but the SEC is better with Spurrier at the Gamecocks doing better than they’ve ever done in history. And, at least for now, Spurrier still has bragging rights over Saban and Alabama. I was in Columbia, SC all day for that game that ended Alabama’s winning streak, including for College Gameday. It was the most fun I ever had losing a football game. Those fans were prepared for a loss, and instead it was (and still is) the greatest win in Gamecock history.
And without disecting their roster, the Gamecock’s look as impressive as ever heading into 2014. Bob Stoops trash-talked Alabama. Then he beat Alabama. Steve Spurrier beat Alabama, then he trash-talked Alabama. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get Alabama and the Gamecocks to meet in Atlanta, and if we do, I can’t wait to hear what the ol’ ball coach has to say then. Roll Tide.
Clemson beat Carolina in 2008. Spurrier has won 5 games NOT 6 in a row over them. Dabo beat Spurrier in his first season there but lost the next 5. That fight was in 2004. Just correcting because I don’t want ppl inflating numbers in here like Tommy Tuberville and Auburn fans are known to do
I’m fine with that, no worries, I just thought there was more important stuff there is all but I hear you. It’s interesting to think about.
Yeah, and after that I’d like to get Okie and Stooopid in the first round of the playoffs. (The first round just to make sure ol’ Nicky has his normal 5 weeks to get ready to stomp your ass).
Why CrimsonSH#T, so OU can manhandle the Crimson TURD for the second straight year?
Spurrier was on the 0-14 Tampa Bay Bucs. He is actually one of the most balanced individuals in sports, He can win or lose and maintain his style and unique personality.
It would have been interesting to see him as coach of the Tide
Would have been interesting, but he turned ya’ll down. Saban was your second choice. Remember that folks.
Who cares now? We got the better coach!
Who could be that lucky to have a second choice that is better? I love Saban. Can’t wait for Paul Finebaum’s book. Bet he didn’t write it himself.
Um, no. Nice try, though.
Saban was Mal Moore’s first choice, not Spurrier.
Mal Moore tried to get Saban several times over several seasons. That’s part of what makes the partnership between Saban and Alabama so great——–it’s the perfect fit for both of them, but Mal Moore knew it. Saban isn’t leaving Alabama—-we can spout on about Texas and money and challenges and whatever else, but Mal Moore found Nick Saban the perfect fit in Alabama, it just took him time to do it.
41-9 Spurrier owns Saban
44-15 Spurrier owns Saban.
35-21 Spurrier owns Saban.
20-6 Saban got one.
That’s three for Spurrier, and one for Saban.
Numbers don’t lie.
I guess using your faulty logic, Bobby Williams, Mike Dubose, Mike Shula, Gene Chizik, Will Muschamp, and Les Miles are all better coaches than Steve Spurrier. 2 of those games between Spurrier and Saban were at different schools for both. Bryant was 0-2 against Ara Parseghian and 0-3 against Dan Device but neither of those 2 were better overall coaches. Saban has 4 National Titles. Unless you are a total Dufus, you understand National Titles weigh more heavily than Conference Championships. Spurrier has 6 of those, not 7 like he claims at Florida. He tries to pass off 1990 as a Conference Title because his probation team was not eligible though they had the best record. However, they lost that year 45-3 to Tennessee, the team with a tie on their record that was awarded the SEC crown. I told Steve one year at Media Days that using his faulty logic for 1990, Auburn should be awarded the 1993 SEC title for having the best record and being on probation. Steve told me to go suck on some fish heads and had a tear in his eye.
i like spurrier don’t think he is bitter – poking is his style of humor,,,not a hard worker and has grossly underachieved
Not a Stevie Superior fan, but you Bammer TURDS are more full of crap than a Christmas goose!
Beware, reality is about to set in for the TURD and it won’t be pretty for you delusional ass hats that keep flapping your toothless gums!
Payback is a BITCH, and Bammer is gong to be getting it back in multitudes!!
Rammer Jammer, Yeller Hammer;
GO TO HELL ALABAMMER!!
7 in a row about to be 8
Enjoy it while you can TURDS, because its coming to an end faster than you think. And when it does, Vol fans will be giving sh#t back to the obnoxious Bammer inbreds 24/7/365!!
We’re enjoying it.
Make no mistake.
But it’s going to come to an end fast? You say this the same week Nick Saban became the second-longest tenured coach at Alabama behind only Bear Bryant? Strange logic, if you ask me.
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