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Spurrier lobs a coupla barbs Saban’s, UGA’s way

Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban AP

If you’re looking for a solid indicator of how Steve Spurrier feels about his ball team’s prospects for the upcoming season, just listen to the Ol’ Ball Coach talk.  Specifically, listen to how the South Carolina head coach talks about — or take jabs at — the opposition.

Using that theory, and based on one interview, Spurrier is feeling pretty damn frisky about the 2012 edition of his Gamecocks.

In a wide-ranging talk with ESPN.com SEC blogger Chris Low, the OBC was asked about his counterpart at defending national champion Alabama and a change in schedule involving Georgia.  Like a middle schooler with a pair of pigtails dangling in front of him, Spurrier simply couldn’t resist giving a little tug to both.

First, when asked about his thoughts on Nick Saban and the job he’s done at Alabama:

““He’s got a nice little gig going, a little bit like Calipari. He tells guys, ‘Hey, three years from now, you’re going to be a first-round pick and go.’ If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.” 

That’s right, Spurrier tweaked Saban by comparing him to Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who’s roundly criticized on most fronts for bringing in five-star recruits as one-and-done’s before they shuffle off to the NBA.  Three Tide players — Trent RichardsonDont’a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrickleft school early for April’s NFL draft.  The Gamecocks?  Spurrier had two make the early leap — Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore.

Of course, picking that particular nit wouldn’t much faze Spurrier — who may or may not have been shirtless for the interview — or impact his decision to mildly tweak Saban with a Calipari comparison.

As if that weren’t enough, Spurrier in that three-sentence quote said, in essence, that just about anybody could win in Tuscaloosa, conveniently forgetting the likes of the two Mikes — Shula and DuBose — as the prime recent arguments against his thesis.

And, believe it or not, that wasn’t even the biggest tweak of the conversation.  Rather, Spurrier saved that for long-time rival Georgia when asked about the UGA-USC game being moved to later on in the season from its normal slot the second weekend:

“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

Somewhere, Stephen Garcia is having himself a good chuckle.  And a lukewarm PBR.

Someone else having a good chuckle?  The man in charge of the program the barb was directed at.

“How bout that. I think that’s funny. That sounds like Steve,” said an apparently amused UGA head coach Mark Richt, who sports a 4-3 mark against the Bulldogs’ SEC East rival since Spurrier became head coach.

Love him, hate him or utterly despise him, the game of college football’s a better one when the OBC is involved — and yanking chains.  Somewhat related to that topic, Spurrier also addressed how long he intends to stay on the sidelines with visor in the fully-cocked position.  As usual, the 66-year-old coach (he’ll turn 67 April 20th) wouldn’t pin himself down to a precise timeline for stepping away, although he did hint to a high school recruit that he’ll be around for a few more years.

““I used to think 60 [when he would retire]. When I was 55, I’d say four or five more years. When I got to 60, I’d say four or five more. And when I got to 65, I started saying three or four more. I’ll tell you what. We had a good-looking quarterback come through on Junior Day, and I wrote him a letter and said, ‘If you come here, you might extend my coaching career two or three years.’ ”

Here’s to hoping that career extension comes with or without landing the unnamed QB prospect.

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33 Responses to “Spurrier lobs a coupla barbs Saban’s, UGA’s way”
  1. cuckflemson says: Apr 12, 2012 8:32 PM

    You conveniently left out that he followed up the Saban comment by saying he thinks Saban is the best coach in the SEC (which I firmly believe). What say you Jonkybon? I know you have something clever to add.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 12, 2012 8:52 PM

    The Ol’ Ball Coach is being the Ol’ Ball Coach. Tweek and needle, mess with their minds. He knows the SEC is a tough place to play and to win. Any advantage he can get, he will try. I would like to witness a conversation between the Ol’ Ball Coach and Miles of LSU. I don’t know if I would understand it all, but it would be entertaining!

  3. vegasrobert says: Apr 12, 2012 8:53 PM

    Love spurrier. But he forgets Saban won nat champ at LSU, too. No matter. He had the balls to say what he said so he rocks

  4. brewcrewfan54 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:17 PM

    I love it when Spurrier starts taking shots at people. The guy is awesomely arrogant!

  5. cometkazie says: Apr 12, 2012 9:38 PM

    To sorta quote Phil Harris, that’s what I like about the South-East Conference.

  6. wvuandsteelers says: Apr 12, 2012 9:48 PM

    Loved the Georgia line.

  7. 78lion says: Apr 12, 2012 9:50 PM

    Steve is one of the good guys. Good for college football. Nothing he said wasn’t true.

  8. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 10:31 PM

    Hope Spurrier gets that good-looking QB prospect because football without the Ol’ Ball Coach would be dull football indeed. His tweaking of Saban is always great fun.

    Hey, Coach Spurrier … LSU is somewhere besides Alabama, but thank you for the props to our program (and conveniently forgetting the losing seasons we’d also like to forget). :D

  9. jumbossportsblog says: Apr 13, 2012 5:33 AM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  10. gatiger says: Apr 13, 2012 7:40 AM

    I would certainly support Saban leaving Bama and giving someone else a try to see if Spurrier is correct. Bet Bama’s recent success is directly tied to him.

    If my Tiger memory serves me correctly, we had a pretty good string of victories going against them prior to Saban’s arrival, so yeah, I’m up for a little experimenting there.

    As for the OBC, seems to get the talent there at USC, but just hasn’t gotten them over the top. And for the Top QB Prospect, you can expect some Visor Tossing, Brow Beating from the OBC. Can also expect to be yanked in and out of the lineup.

    But stay there a few more years, Spurrier, you are entertaining.

  11. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 13, 2012 7:41 AM

    “Saban has to go somewhere besides Alabama”

    Maybe he is thinking of himself. He was a great coach at Florida. Not so much at S. C.

    Not as easy winning over Alabama from S. C. as it was from Florida. He doesn’t have enough QBes to threaten if they have an off day.

    Saban has never been accused of setting down his best QB for one bad day.He may get into his ear but he gets him back in the game. Just like he did with his kickers last year. Now that had to have been a bad hair day for Saban, yet he just kept on coaching. Has to be the best coach ever. Not perfect, but dog gone close.
    If Spurrier were younger he would have jumped ship a long time ago.

  12. florida727 says: Apr 13, 2012 7:42 AM

    Wow. There’s a shock. “jumboidiot” still whoring for his RE-blog website. Go away already. Man, you’re an annoyance.

    As for Spurrier, the comments above struck it right: the game is far less entertaining when the ‘Ol Ball Coach isn’t spewing forth his comments. Loved him at Florida, still love him as a Gamecock. Hope he coaches until he’s 100.

  13. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 13, 2012 7:49 AM

    I am glad to see jumbosportsblog is a frustration to someone besides me.

    What a jerk!!!

  14. microbrewuga says: Apr 13, 2012 7:57 AM

    As a UGA grad and fan, I’m honored that Darth Visor would even acknowledge us in a statement. (Notice I am not taking issue with what he actually said.)

  15. cometkazie says: Apr 13, 2012 8:06 AM

    St. Nick brought LSU out of the Curly/Gerry doldrums.

    Look at those two’s records after LSU. Curly couldn’t even win at the high school level.

  16. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 13, 2012 9:10 AM

    cometkazie: Sure the Ol’ Ball Coach conveniently forgets history sometimes…but he is entertaining and we need him in the SEC. We don’t have Leach, he went about as far away as he could get (maybe University of Hawaii would have been farther, but you understand), so we need Spurrier. Spurrier watched the entire video of LSU’s game, just to see Miles call the same trick play again he used against FL when Spurrier was coaching there about 5 years before, then Spurrier made a big fun deal about it to the media.

    You are quite right about the Curly/DiNardo doldrums. I think we have to go back to Arnsparger (’84-’86) days to see some consistency. Maybe it is me but I did not even like DiNardo’s restaurant.

  17. nicksabansanahole says: Apr 13, 2012 10:37 AM

    What a jerk! I can’t stand Saban but the ole ball coach is just jealous. I wouldn’t even let him in the front door at my house to let my kid go play with the thugs and druggies he recruits. And he hasn’t even found out his penalties from the NCAA yet. If he gets any kind penalty SCAR is done. The best year in school history didn’t even consist of a conference championship. What a joke!

  18. bamabob says: Apr 13, 2012 10:44 AM

    This guys is a reporter’s dream.

    But as far as the Saban quote goes… sounds like he’s either bitter he didn’t get offered the job or bitter he didn’t take it when he was offered it.

  19. cometkazie says: Apr 13, 2012 10:49 AM

    alligatorsnapper says:
    Apr 13, 2012 9:10 AM
    cometkazie: Sure the Ol’ Ball Coach conveniently forgets history sometimes…but he is entertaining and we need him in the SEC. We don’t have Leach, he went about as far away as he could get (maybe University of Hawaii would have been farther, but you understand), so we need Spurrier. Spurrier watched the entire video of LSU’s game, just to see Miles call the same trick play again he used against FL when Spurrier was coaching there about 5 years before, then Spurrier made a big fun deal about it to the media.

    You are quite right about the Curly/DiNardo doldrums. I think we have to go back to Arnsparger (’84-’86) days to see some consistency. Maybe it is me but I did not even like DiNardo’s restaurant.
    +=+=+

    Wasn’t Gerry’s wife the restaurateur? I think she was a d’Angelos franchisee. Passed by the place a million times in BR but never ate there. A really good friend who worked there catered a party for us and the food was really good.

    Spurrier is fun to be around. I would love to have him over for dinner and conversation.

  20. dkhhuey says: Apr 13, 2012 12:34 PM

    God Spurrier makes me laugh!!! College football is a better place when he is coaching and making these types of statements!!! Totally hilarious!

  21. wethog66 says: Apr 13, 2012 12:41 PM

    I used to love Spurrier and his comments like this, but being a Skins fan I just roll my eyes now. Spurrier couldn’t hold Saban’s jock.

  22. harbourimages says: Apr 13, 2012 1:21 PM

    Once an ahole, always an ahole. This is the same “Ole Ball Coach” who, upon arrival in Washington to coach the Redskins, said something like, “What’s the big deal? I only gotta beat three other teams to win the division.” Yeah, well, we all know how THAT turned out, don’t we…. LOSER!!!

  23. papabush88 says: Apr 13, 2012 1:34 PM

    If you like Spurrier’s jabs, then did you also like Lane Kiffin’s when he was at Tennessee? Or, are you cherry picking?

  24. jimbo75025 says: Apr 13, 2012 2:15 PM

    Eh, I am a UT grad and God knows we have been the subject of some of the OBC’s zingers.

    That being said, I really have no big issue with the guy-most of his stuff is just old fashioned good natured ribs to rivals.

    Just kind of one of those people you love to hate but be never does anything incredibly outlandish. More power to him and CF will be worse off when he retires.

  25. papabush88 says: Apr 13, 2012 2:40 PM

    Lane Kiffin isn’t taking these jabs anymore at big USC. His attitude has changed. I know Spurrier isn’t like a Rex Ryan who is just loud and obnoxious, but I prefer qualities that Jon Gruden has as far as Head Coaches go. Gruden is the type of coach that I’d want to play for, and play my hardest.

  26. jonkybon says: Apr 13, 2012 5:23 PM

    cuckflemson says:
    Apr 12, 2012 8:32 PM
    You conveniently left out that he followed up the Saban comment by saying he thinks Saban is the best coach in the SEC (which I firmly believe). What say you Jonkybon? I know you have something clever to add.
    _______________________________

    The fact you need to include me, by screen name, in one of your posts shows as much class as the Douche Bag this article is about. Spurrier proved once again, what a scumbag he is.

    He can count on Richt having class and suspendening a player for violations no matter who they are, yet Spurrier wouldn’t dare. I love SC’s violation protocals. If a player is on his third (of four strikes) for drugs and gets arrested for B&E the B&E counts as a first offense in a new category. UGA suspends a player 10% of the team games for a first offense. Spurrier sits down with the underage thug, shares a pitcher of beer and explains that type of behavior will not be tolerated (only if you’re caught by the law or the press). No where but SC is there a registered sex offender on a Div 1 coaching staff (Mangus).

    Best thing to happen to the NCAA is when this piece of sh^t gets banned, like his program will from bowls the next few years. Two major suspensions in seven years. Couldn’t happen to a better group of fans.

    Just for you Cockflemson, since you’re obsessed with Clemson. No pride in your own team (extremely understandable).

  27. drjem says: Apr 14, 2012 7:11 AM

    My brother is a Gamecock graduate (undergrad). I am a ” U ” graduate (undergrad, Masters & Doctorate). My younger brother never lets me forget the “THUG” reputation we have at the “U.” Forever jabbing by asking how many drive -by – shootings we had this week, etc. I am happy I went to the “U.” Gave me a good education & if I say so myself, I make a good living. But, let me tell you gentleman, when we (The University of Miami) plays Alabama….I am a hardcore ALABAMA fan.

  28. waynefontes says: Apr 19, 2012 4:57 PM

    papabush88 says:
    Apr 13, 2012 1:34 PM
    If you like Spurrier’s jabs, then did you also like Lane Kiffin’s when he was at Tennessee? Or, are you cherry picking?

    ————————————————–

    There’s a difference. Spurrier actually has done something to earn the right to shoot his mouth off.

    Spurrier has won a national title, and built two programs (say what you will, Florida was nothing before he arrived). Also coached Duke to an ACC title.

    Lane Kiffin… has Monte Kiffin for his dad.

  29. papabush88 says: Apr 19, 2012 5:34 PM

    waynefontes: Never heard of the concept of “earning the right” to run your mouth. I always liked coaches that didn’t do that. Lane doesn’t do it anymore, and he’s coaching his best football. Rex Ryan took Jets to two consecutive AFC championship games and he still bothers me. But I guess if Lane wins title or Rose Bowl this year, he has “earned” his right to run his mouth. BCS title or not, bringing back a program under severely egregious sanctions is a huge accomplishment in itself. We’ll see…..

  30. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 22, 2012 8:16 AM

    cometkazie: Ate there several times with a group from work and then with family, and we were all going to a game at LSU. It probably would have been much better with your friend cooking all the food. Maybe he was off those nights. We overheard several other patrons on the nights were there complaining to the wait staff about the quality and taste of the food. One couple walked out. No one at our table ever reacted so negatively, but we finally decided there were too many much better restaurants in the capital city than to go there again.

    I finally tried a little place in North Baton Rouge recommended by southernpatriots’ family–Tony’s Seafood. Without a doubt, the best Cajun/creole cooking in Baton Rouge, but no place to sit, you have to take it with you or sit in and eat in the car, but with that said, the food itself is really good.

  31. cometkazie says: Apr 22, 2012 1:28 PM

    ‘Snapper, the restaurants that survive in BR usually have either good food or serve large portions.

    I always heard Tony’s was good but never made it up there.

  32. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 23, 2012 4:41 PM

    kazie, I think you are correct about Baton Rouge, but maybe that standard goes throughout Central and South Louisiana. There are a couple of restaurants in smaller towns I know (Jennings, Jeanerette, etc) that neither offer good food nor good portions, but seem to last. My wife once told me that it was because “there was no other restaurant”….ha. I think she is correct. It must be intolerable up there in KY now since the Wildcats have won it all again in round ball. They will never learn to play football now…ha.

  33. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 24, 2012 8:27 AM

    We are here to talk about football, so why all the talk about restaurants and basketball? If you do not respect basketball why bring it up. After all people who do really well at that sport make a tremendous amout of money. They must be crying all the way to the bank that you do not like their sport.
    My favorite sport is football, but it is not a bad thing that Kentucky wins the basketball championship quite often. After all Florida won it also.
    There are teams out there that can’t play anything.
    One thing I have noticed though is that given the opertunity the SEC will take one of their teams apart. They are happy they are the number one conference, but each team wants to be the reason. That is normal. No one wants to be the bottom of the conference. Be proud that your conference is number one in two sports.
    I am looking forward to WV helping to change that fact to the Big 12. Just one thing though,WV, please do not get so into yourself that you do not meet your own expectations. Play your best and stay humble.

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