Steve Spurrier and USC: A Work In Progress

steve newsomeContributor IApril 22, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 01:  Eric Norwood #40 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after making a defensive stop against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Upon accepting the head coaching job at USC, Steve Spurrier cautioned the Gamecock Nation that there was a long way to go to bring USC to where it needed to be in the SEC. 

There would need to be major upgrades in both talent and facilities. However, many believed Spurrier would wave his magic wand, and begin dominating the SEC once again.

After a narrow 17-15 loss to Georgia, and key wins over Florida and Tennessee in his first year, USC finished second in the SEC east.

Expectations soared to new heights even with Spurrier cautioning fans once again there was still a long road ahead. The following three years were a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows, and many have began to wonder again if USC will ever get it done. As a die-hard fan for over 30 years, I have seen many ups and downs at USC, but I can confidently say I feel we are getting there.

As head coach, Spurrier has led USC to 28 wins over the past four years. He has posted four winning seasons, and been bowl eligible each of the four years.

That may sound like mediocrity for Spurrier, but it is a big step for USC. Recruiting top talent is a must for any team in the harsh SEC. There have been many times over the years when USC has lost out on top talent simply because they did not have the facilities to turn recruits heads like other SEC powers.

That has began to change.

Recently, USC implemented a $200 million master facility plan which will include a 35,000 square foot academic center, state of the art sports medicine facility, players lounge, weight room, and locker room.

Over the next few years, there will be an athlete village added, a 60,000 square foot coaches support building, and millions in added land, parking upgrades,and beautification.

These things have gone a long way in showing top recruits that USC is dedicated to becoming a top program. USC has landed a top 24 recruiting class each of the past five years, which was highlighted by a number six in 2007, and a number twelve in 2009. We are competing and often times winning recruiting battles against many traditional powers in the country.

Spurrier is turning USC into a program that is a threat every time they step on the field. They are no longer doormats in the SEC. They have top coaches with top talent and a rabid fan base that will show up every time. They have an athletic director with vision, and they are building state of the art facilities that will rival any in the country. There is not much they can do about our past, but the future looks bright for my Gamecocks.