Spurrier in familiar place

After several false starts, coach delivers on promise

  • Follow College

COLUMBIA --- Steve Spurrier seemed to be a shell of himself his first few years at South Carolina, unable to rekindle the kind of success he had at Florida.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier (right), who has won five SEC championship games, will take the Gamecocks to their first Saturday.   Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina
Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier (right), who has won five SEC championship games, will take the Gamecocks to their first Saturday.


This year looked like it might be another tease when the Gamecocks again followed a big win against Alabama with a disappointing loss to Kentucky. Spurrier was shaken, but not down.

At 65, the South Carolina head ball coach is back in the Southeastern Conference title game.

His No. 18 Gamecocks take on second-ranked Auburn on Saturday.

After five largely so-so seasons, Spurrier can bring a winner to South Carolina in the game he loves the most. It's a second-act few thought Spurrier would pull off with the also-ran Gamecocks.

"The important thing is that our players really set some lofty goals this year," he said. "They set some goals that a lot of people maybe would've laughed at, at the beginning of the season."

Plenty of people laughed six years ago when Spurrier -- citing the Boston Red Sox slogan "Why not us?"-- said his goal was to win an SEC crown at South Carolina.

No one, not even Spurrier, critics said, could move South Carolina ahead of the East's power trio of Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

"I was a little surprised because I thought there were better options where he could be more immediately successful," said Chris Doering, a receiver on three SEC champions from 1993-95 for Spurrier at Florida.

But after several false starts, Spurrier's got the Gamecocks (9-3) set to ruin the league's chance at a fifth consecutive national title.

"Oh, we don't worry about that," Spurrier said. "We worry about South Carolina, our school, our state, our team. And we're trying to win our first conference championship."

Auburn coach Gene Chizik says it's an amazing achievement to coach two schools to the SEC's ultimate game. "It certainly says a great deal about him as a football coach," he said.

Doering says that success is what drives Spurrier, not other's opinions. "I don't think he cares about proving people wrong or any of that stuff," he said.

Indeed, Spurrier talks about the Gamecocks instead of himself. He's also not ready for a victory lap yet.

"We're in about as good a shape as we can expect to be," he said. "We're thrilled with the opportunity to go compete for the SEC Championship."

Gamecocks flourish in coach's sixth year
YEARRECORDSECFINISH
20057-55-3T2nd
20068-53-55th
20076-63-5T4th
20087-64-4T3rd
20097-65-3T4th
20109-35-31st
 Totals44-3125-23

Source: www.gamecocksonline.com

SPURRIER'S WON 5 OF 7 TITLE GAMES

YEAR, RESULT

2000 Florida 28, Auburn 6

1999 Alabama 34, Florida 7

1996 x-Florida 45, Alabama 30

1995 Florida 34, Arkansas 3

1994 Florida 24, Alabama 23

1993 Florida 28, Alabama 13

1992 Alabama 28, Florida 21

x- Went on to win national championship

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
123961
Points
Riverman1 12/01/10 - 07:55 am
0
0
Now if he would just give

Now if he would just give Stephen Garcia a little respect. I swear that kid is going to be tough as nails after playing for Spurrier. You have to be. Remember what Garcia said when asked about stress.

He said, "Ha, I play for quarterback for South Carolina, what do you think?"

justthefacts
35921
Points
justthefacts 12/01/10 - 08:48 am
0
0
USC may pull it off. They

USC may pull it off. They certainly benefited from the other East teams having down yrs. No other team has ever won the division with 3 losses. Hope it's a good game and the Cocks come out on top.

Sandpiper
0
Points
Sandpiper 12/01/10 - 10:21 am
0
0
If Spurrier isn't the best

If Spurrier isn't the best college football coach today, he sure acts just like one. He's accomplished what many great coaches haven't been able to do ... change the loser attitude of the Gamecocks into a winner attitude. This team has "bought in" to the Spurrier approach to football and are developing into a national power. One more year and the Gamecocks will have a 12 win, or better, season.

justthefacts
35921
Points
justthefacts 12/01/10 - 10:33 am
0
0
Sandy, I certainly admire

Sandy, I certainly admire your optimism.

Riverman1
123961
Points
Riverman1 12/01/10 - 11:25 am
0
0
I can't think of any team in

I can't think of any team in the country that has more of a chance at beating Auburn than Carolina. Think about it. Carolina took on undefeated Auburn and turned them into a basket case for the rest of the season. They are playing in Atlanta and will have lots of fans. They led Auburn the last time they played. Sooner or later Auburn's slow starts and luck is going to run out. Auburn is just coming off the emotional Alabama game where they had to come back and may overlook Carolina. Plus the Cam Newton undercurrent is troublesome. Go Cocks.

justthefacts
35921
Points
justthefacts 12/01/10 - 11:34 am
0
0
Oregon quickly comes to mind.

Oregon quickly comes to mind. I believe Arkansas in a rematch could beat Auburn. But, so far, no one has. So, the cocks get the next shot at trying.

Riverman1
123961
Points
Riverman1 12/01/10 - 01:58 pm
0
0
Justthefacts, I can't believe

Justthefacts, I can't believe an SEC guy would say Oregon. The PAC 10-west coast represent everything I hate. Wishy washy football, liberal politics, Hollywood with their idiots. I believe Vanderbilt could beat Oregon.

justthefacts
35921
Points
justthefacts 12/01/10 - 02:14 pm
0
0
River, got to remove the

River, got to remove the emotions, Just being real. Of course, it's just my opinion. I have certainly been wrong before. Time will tell. Vandy...come on. Have you seen Oregon play?

Riverman1
123961
Points
Riverman1 12/03/10 - 10:08 pm
0
0
Justthefacts, yeah, I've seen

Justthefacts, yeah, I've seen Oregon. But it's weird looking at those PAC-10 teams. They all look like their helmets are too big and they run around with these choppy, little steps. Maybe it's the camera angle out there or something.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

GRU monkey death raises questions

Georgia Regents University acknowledged in a statement that it has been placed on probation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.
Search Augusta jobs