Spurrier lobs a few zingers at Sabes
Published on Sunday, 6/22/14, at 8:42 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
You know football season is right around the corner when Steve Spurrier starts throwing a few jabs at another SEC coach.
The dude has been dealing out facts for decades and, fortunately, he’s still handing ’em out. After three consecutive and unprecedented 11-win seasons at South Carolina, the OBC is back in a verbal groove.
(Side Note: For those not familiar with SpurDog lingo, OBC is Ol’ Ball Coach and SOS is Stephen Orr Spurrier.)
In a recent interview with Josh Kendall of The State, Spurrier tossed a few zingers at Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Spurrier said, “How many SECs has (Saban) won there in eight years? He’s won two. He’s won three nationals, but he’s only won two SECs in eight years. Now, if you had the No. 1 recruiting class every year and so forth, I don’t know if he has maxed out potentially as well as he could.”
And he’s doing it at Alabama, which was familiar with collecting ‘natties’ well before Saban stepped foot in Tuscaloosa. Florida had never won a conference title before SOS returned to UF.
During Spurrier’s dynastic tenure, the Gators won six SEC’s in 12 years and, if you listen to the OBC tell it, he really went 7-for-12 because the 1990 team finished first in the league. It just wasn’t eligible for the conference crown due to an NCAA penalty committed by the previous regime.
Spurrier has worked his magic at Duke, Florida and South Carolina, where, before his arrival, pigskin success was a foreign concept for the most part (UF certainly had some elite teams under Charley Pell and Galen Hall, but you didn’t see any banners flying).
“I told Nick Saban one time, I said, ‘Nick, you don’t have to stay there until midnight and your teams would be just as good and win just as many,’ ” Spurrier said. “He said, ‘If I could do it the way you do it, I would, but I don’t feel comfortable unless I try to cover every base, every angle, be totally prepared.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s probably why you do it.’ When I come out there, I feel comfortable we are ready to play. We have our game plan in, going to call this, call that and so forth. Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared.”
All comments made by coaches can be taken out of context and if you read the full article by Kendall from the start, you can see that Spurrier was mostly just talking about his golf game, what he does during the offseason and the amount of hours that coaches work.
But make no mistake, Spurrier thinks he’s a better coach than Saban — and always has.
There’s plenty of merit for that stance, too, especially if you examine the head-to-head games against each other (Florida-LSU and ‘Bama-South Carolina).
Saban schools SpurDog in ‘nationals’ by a 4-1 count, but Spurrier has a similar advantage when it comes to SEC’s. Hell, Spurrier won a conference title at Duke, something Saban never achieved in five years at Michigan St. In fact, the former Spartans coach only finished better than fifth in the Big Ten once.
For the purpose of this comparison/discussion, it’s easy to go with Saban because the national titles are what we remember the most. But there’s even a case for Spurrier on this front, too, as his degree of difficulty has been much greater.
How many nationals could the OBC have collected if he didn’t have to face Florida St. in the 1990s? I’m not saying that Alabama doesn’t play a high-profile non-conference game every season, but recent matchups versus the likes of Clemson, Michigan, Va. Tech (and West Va. this year) don’t exactly match the annual wars against the ‘Noles of the ’90s.
How many nationals could Spurrier have won at Alabama the last eight years? Remember, Mal Moore made overtures to a not-interested Spurrier before the Saban hire came to fruition.
It’s a great convo, one that could go either way, but it’s a given I’d take Spurrier any day of the week and three times on Sunday.