South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is never afraid to speak his mind and when he does, it’s usually pretty entertaining.
The subject of Spurrier’s golf game came up when he spoke with The State reporter Josh Kendall late last week. Spurrier maintains that it’s important to have other hobbies away from football to focus on during the offseason so when fall workouts finally roll around, he is excited about preparing his team for the next season.
“I have read stories that people who last a long time have outside interests. I can’t grind on football 11 months a year maybe the way some of these coaches do,” Spurrier said. “I mean, they will go 6:30 a.m. to 7:30, 8:00 at night in the offseason. Did you know that? I don’t know what they do. They say they are working.”
When bringing up a specific example of a coach who pulls in those grueling offseason work days that he described, Spurrier, of course, mentioned Alabama’s Nick Saban.
“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.’ Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared.”
Spurrier has led the Gamecocks to a school-record 11 wins in each of the past three seasons. Saban has won three BCS National Championships during his tenure with the Crimson Tide.
“Would we be 12-1 instead of 11-2 (if I worked more)? Oh, you’re kidding. I haven’t heard anybody say that really, but if you wanted to, you can find faults with anybody if they don’t win them all,” 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.”
I don’t think Spurrier said what he said in a spiteful way, he’s just saying that there’s no perfect approach to coaching football at the highest level. Despite only winning two SEC titles, three national titles in seven seasons seems to pretty good evidence that Saban’s method seems to be working out pretty well.
We won't get to see Spurrier and Saban go head-to-head this upcoming season, either. The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks won't play again until 2019.
In 2010 -- last time the two squared off -- Spurrier and South Carolina prevailed, 35-21
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