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Steve Spurrier, the Master of Trolling, Dubs Defensive Sub Rule the 'Saban Rule'

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Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterFebruary 21, 2014

When it comes to "winning the press conference," nobody on the planet does it better or as consistently as South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.

Whether it's at a podium, on a teleconference or in a one-on-one situation with a reporter, when the red light of any recording device goes on, so do does the Head Ball Coach.

He made his stance on the potential "10-second rule" on Thursday to George Schroeder of USA Today, subtly trolling the nation's top college football coach in the process:

"So, you want to talk about the 'Saban Rule?' That's what I call it. (It) looks like it's dead now, hopefully."

Spurrier said that he left a voice mail for Air Force's Troy Calhoun, who is the chairman of the rules committee, voicing his displeasure of the rule—which could be approved or rejected by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel on March 6 (via Schroeder's report):

"I just told him I was against it. It's ridiculous. Let's let everybody keep playing the way they've been playing."

Spurrier just killed two birds with one stone.

Not only did he come out strong against a rule that would impact the points in a game in which offenses can and can't hurry-up, but he coined a term for an incredibly unpopular rule that directly relates it to the head coach of a conference rival.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
South Carolina head coach Steve SpurrierRich Glickstein/Associated Press

He's a master of trolling.

According to Schroeder, Saban asked to address the rules committee at its meeting last week. That committee was the one that developed the "10-second rule," which would prevent teams from snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the play clock except in the final two minutes of each half. 

NCAA coordinator of officiating Rogers Redding told Schroeder that Saban's request to address the committee was unusual but not necessarily unprecedented.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier (right)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier (right)Dave Martin/Associated Press

At this point, though, it doesn't matter how much of an impact Saban's presence in the discussion had in the proceedings. A high-profile coach in his own conference has now tied him to it, which will essentially draw a line between the rule's opponents and proponents.

Effectively, he took shots at Saban in a passive, yet wildly aggressive manner, knowing his comments will get spread all over the Internet. In the process, it will add his name to the chorus of coaches coming out strong against the proposed rule change while making one of his peers look bad in the process.

Spurrier is no dummy. 

He knows the power his words carry, and he takes advantage of that when an opportunity presents itself. He's a national treasure because, love him or hate him, you listen to him. More importantly, he knows you do, and he embraces the attention.

If he can make a rival look silly in the process, then that's just a bonus for him.

Never change, Head Ball Coach. Never change.


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