"You Can't Spell Citrus Without UT..."
Steve Spurrier's words still stick in my mind as clear as if he said them yesterday. These are words that reverberate through my mind and crawl through my skin every time Tennessee finishes with another sub-par, or even worse, year.
I suppose if the sentence itself didn't have any elements of truth to it, now days it wouldn't sting so badly, but it still remains a classless thing to say, regardless.
But hey, what's that old adage? What goes around comes around. Better yet, I like the modern day one...Karma's a bitch.
Hey Georgia fans, how about "Is Ray Goff still the head coach there?" or "Ray Goof."
Florida State fans "Free Shoes University." Auburn fans (in reference to a dorm fire that burned 20 books) "but the real tragedy was that fifteen hadn't been colored yet."
Alabama fans "In 12 years at Florida, I don't think we ever signed a kid from Alabama, but I hear the scholarships they were giving out there were worth a heck of a lot more than ours" (in reference to the recruiting violations in the early 2000's).
The list goes on, and I'll be sure to quote some more in reference to Karma here shortly.
Spurrier has had some amazing years as a head coach (and he would be the first one to tell you that). His more overlooked and underrated accomplishment would have to be Duke, no doubt.
Spurrier actually took the Blue Devils to the ACC title game in 1989, which currently seems unimaginable, as well as won ACC coach of the year in '88 and '89.
Obviously he deserved to lead a bigger program, so he then became the ol' ball coach at Florida, where he inevitably became famous (or infamous) in the eyes of many college football fans.
So there he is, amongst the national spotlight, receiving countless accolades, achievements, and titles (both figuratively and literally).
He was winning like crazy: 122 games in 12 seasons to be exact. He had the SEC by the you-know-whats, winning six conference titles, and running up scores on everyone.
Yet winning isn't enough for the ol' ball coach—he likes to rub it in (and then some) just to show everyone who the man at the present time is. He seemed to have a secret with the X's and O's that no one else did, and it wasn't until later that we finally realize he just prefers to pass, which seemed unheard of at the time.
So now we're in the present, and pass-first hasn't been working out all that well for the ol' ball coach lately. Just plain ol' passing seems like a thing of the past.
We have the more popular and ever-growing spread, Wildcat, smarter defensive coordinators, faster corners and safeties, and a stable of educated head coaches who are making Spurrier's Xs and Os seem like old news.
Arrogance, which seemed to be the jelly to his peanut butter at the time, looks now to be the water on his fire. Florida was conquered and he wanted his legend to grow, so he bolted to the pro's where all of which is stated above was already in motion at that level.
Spurrier was out of his league. He was no Bill Walsh.
Some would argue that it was because he didn't have the right quarterback for his offensive scheme. Well, two of the quarterbacks he played were his own from Florida. Let's face it; he was way out of his league.
Defeated, and knowing he didn't want to tarnish anymore of that infamous reputation, he went back to what he knows.
Now Spurrier being Spurrier, he could have gotten a job with a more relevant program than South Carolina (no offense Gamecocks), but he chose them–undoubtedly because he knew that he would put them back on the map like he did Duke and Florida, and thereby levitate his status once again...arrogance.
"I know why Peyton came back his senior year–he wants to be a three-time Citrus MVP"—Spurrier.
So where's your three-time MVP (at any position) now coach? Maybe it was you, instead of Holtz, that should have been giving funny pep talks on ESPN, considering you haven't had a nine win season, and he has.
Yes, he has a slightly better record (28-22 in four seasons compared to his 33-37 in six seasons), but just give it time. I don't think you have much more time though.
Time has seemingly caught up and passed the ol' ball coach by. Spurrier still has his job because of his past deeds alone, but that well is about to run out.
Has he lost his creative edge? Is it the recruiting? Is it the lack of quarterback play? Are other coaches actually better than him these days? Are his X's and O's retiring to tic-tac-toe?
All of these might be possibilities, but I like to think...
Karma is a bitch.
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