I have been (and continue to be) out of town for business purposes, so forgive me for being late to responding to arguably the biggest bombshell to hit college football this season. Steve Spurrier resigning from his position as South Carolina football coach.
While I could see why this move was inevitable (his team is in the midst of a two year slide, and dude just turned 70 years old), I am still stunned by Spurrier’s departure.
I mean, who is going to follow in the footsteps of Spurrier’s bravado? Remember his infamous smack talk of the Tennessee Volunteers while coaching his alma mater Florida Gators? First there was Spurrier smacking Tennesee for always falling short of the SEC championship game and annually qualifying for the Citrus Bowl during his tenure.
“You can’t spell ‘Citrus’ without U-T…”
Then there was cracking then Tennessee QB Peyton Manning on his decision to come back for his senior season…
“I know why Peyton came back for his senior year. He wanted to be a three-time star of the Citrus Bowl.”
And who could forget Spurrier cracking on then rival Florida State and legendary coach Bobby Bowden?
“You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University.”
Upon arriving at South Carolina, Spurrier turned his sights to Dabo Swinney and Clemson. The war with words he had with Swinney ranks as one of my favorites. When asked to compared winning an SEC title to beating Clemson, Spurrier offered this gem:
“What I’ve also learned at South Carolina, our fans realize there’s more to life than winning the SEC championship. They really do. We’re in a state with Clemson. Clemson used to pretty much own South Carolina in football, no question about it. We have a state championship trophy. If you ask our fans at South Carolina, I can assure you a majority would say, ‘We would rather beat Clemson than win the SEC.’ That is how big it is to them, that one game. Personally, I’d rather win the SEC. I don’t mind saying that. Personally, that’s the bigger trophy.”
And when Swinney was asked about his relationship with Spurrier and said, “He’s from Pluto, and I’m from Mars”, Spurrier cracked him hard:
“Dabo probably thinks there’s only, what, nine planets out there? I think I read where Pluto may not be considered one now.”
When asked to comment on a fire at the Auburn library that destroyed 20 books, Spurrier offered the following:
“The real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”
My favorite quote of Spurrier’s came after learning that Tennessee and Arkansas had the same record as South Carolina last season:
“We were 7-6. Same as Tennessee, same as Arkansas. I think they’re sorta celebrating big seasons last year. … There are people in Knoxville and Fayetteville still doing cartwheels over going 7-6.”
College football is not going to be the same without Steve Spurrier. I’m personally going to miss the hell out of him.