Original Published on SEC Sports Report
Could the Ol' Ball Coach be on the hot seat in 2009? When Steve Spurrier returned to the SEC, he talked about winning an SEC Championship. High expectations, tougher conference and mediocre performances have the Spurriers re-shuffling the deck in 2009.
The Gamecocks finished the 2007 and 2008 seasons on crutches. No bowl game in 2007 and a miserable performance at the Outback Bowl in 2008. Spurrier's recent offenses look like they have lost their luster. So what does the future hold for the Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks?
Regardless of the mediocre performances, coach Spurrier is not on the hot seat like some journalists are writing about. Anybody saying Spurrier's job is in jeopardy doesn't know this program from the inside.
It's not in either party's best interest for Spurrier to leave or be fired.
USC would have a public relations nightmare if they fired Spurrier. The man is a coaching legend and he has brought in some of the highest rated recruiting classes in the school's history.
For the same reason, Spurrier can't leave now because he has some better players coming in and he wants to leave on a winning note for himself and Steve Spurrier Jr.
The naysayers use as a reference the recent firings at SEC programs like Auburn led by Tommy Tuberville and Tennessee with Phillip Fulmer. Both Tuberville and Fulmer had highly successful runs with their football programs.
All the insiders indicate that Tuberville and Fulmer had gotten complacent in their recruiting and they both had declining support from their athletic directors. USC A.D. Eric Hyman loves Spurrier and believes in building the program.
I believe both Tuberville and Fulmer had a false sense of security thinking that their winning seasons would keep their jobs secure.
But once Auburn and Tennessee started struggling, a good portion of the fan base quickly wanted their heads. Neither coach could inject confidence into their programs, once the losing started taking hold.
Spurrier's case is different at South Carolina. Spurrier's program may not have had major success but it is going up and the recruiting is getting better. The main difference is Spurrier doesn't have a losing program.
The Gamecocks fans might be mad and complaining about four years of disappointing performances but Spurrier has too much strong talent coming in to leave this program in the near future.
I've been around Spurrier recently and he's not a guy looking over his shoulder. He is busy and he wants to make his players better so he can win some big SEC games. Spurrier is one great quarterback away from having a really good year.
Even in the worst case scenario where South Carolina has a losing season, I don't believe you will see a coaching change. Fans complaining, yes. Coaching change, no.
The best indicator for Spurrier is his run in with Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin down in Destin, Florida. Spurrier pretty much put Kiffin in his place and the new young coach didn't say a word.
This event shows that the Ol' Ball Coach still has some fight in him. That should be encouraging to Gamecock fans.
I believe Steve Spurrier will win some big SEC games and be around for a few more years in Columbia.