SEC Football Q&A: Spurrier's Bigger Feat, Winning at South Carolina or Florida?

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SEC Football Q&A: Spurrier's Bigger Feat, Winning at South Carolina or Florida?
John Sommers II/Getty Images
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the B/R inbox, Twitter and email. Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. If I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.

And we're off:

Definitely South Carolina.

That's not a knock against Florida or a slight against Spurrier's biggest accomplishment: winning an ACC title at Duke. But South Carolina had only one 10-win season in program history prior to Spurrier taking over.

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
Steve Spurrier while at Florida

In eight years, he's taken the Gamecocks to their first-ever SEC East title and back-to-back 11-win seasons, all while the SEC was in the midst of an unprecedented run of success at the national level.

The same argument could be made for Florida prior to Spurrier. The Gators were remarkably average prior to Spurrier's arrival in 1990 (and that might be putting it too kindly), but the Head Ball Coach was able to lead them to six conference titles and the 1996 national championship.

But while success isn't something that was often tasted in Gainesville prior to Spurrier's arrival, the foundation for success at the high school level was still there—at least more so than in South Carolina.

Both are impressive, but South Carolina's success is the bigger achievement.

 

It's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes.

If I'm a coach, I'd want the best athletes, and I'd find them a home on the two-deep. 

In the SEC, this takes on more importance. SEC speed is not a myth, it's a critical piece of the puzzle in the nation's toughest football conference—particularly in the trenches.

Fast and physical front sevens are a staple of elite SEC teams, as are offensive linemen who are equally as adept at being quick on their feet.

Alabama signee A'Shawn Robinson / Photo: 247Sports.com

Typically, 6'4", 285-pound defensive ends who run 4.6 40-yard dashes have five stars attached to their names; and those are the guys that can play anywhere on the defensive line or even stand up and play outside linebacker in a 3-4. 

Alabama signee A'Shawn Robinson is 6'5", 302 and conceivably could play offensive or defensive tackle. Give me him on my team over a 6'4", 270-pound defensive tackle with four stars attached to his name any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

If a 6'0", 200-pound player runs a 4.37 and can play either corner or wide receiver, put him on my team and I'll find a place for him.

With more athletes comes more options, and that is a coach's dream.

 

It's inevitable, and could happen sooner rather than later.

The SEC adopted the 6-1-1 scheduling format at the spring meetings last June, meaning that each team will play its six division mates, one permanent cross-division rival and one rotating rival from the other division.  

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Each team will rotate through the other division on a six-year cycle, which started in 2012, so adopting the nine-game schedule five years from now might make sense on paper.

I think it will happen sooner, though.

Money drives everything nowadays, and with the SEC still working out the details of a renegotiated media rights deal with partners CBS and ESPN, I'd imagine the topic of a nine-game conference schedule has come up a time or two.

Networks want compelling inventory, and another conference game per team would provide quality inventory for the SEC's television partners.

 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

 

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