Steve Spurrier has done some good things in South Carolina. He hasn't had a season below .500, but he also has dealt with end-of-season collapses. Most notably in 2007, he moved from being ranked in the top 10 after seven games to off the grid after the final game of the season.
South Carolina has been bowl eligible every year in its five years under Spurrier. Spurrier has a respectable 35-28 record in his time in Columbia as well, a mark no other Gamecocks coach has had after five seasons.
With that being said, you have to wonder why on earth I'd consider 2010 as "Spurrier's last chance." The simple answer is, it's time to deliver. Everything seems to be lined up for the Gamecocks to make a serious run at the SEC East in 2010. Not to mention, expectations are at a new high.
The Gamecocks are hot right now and rightly so. Coming off a national championship in baseball, and the first men's national championship in the hundred plus years of competition. It was such a big deal that 13,000 people showed up for the parade.
Steve Spurrier was in Omaha for the big win and was reportedly on hand for at least part of the parade. 13,000 people were that excited for baseball. There are 82,000-plus in Williams-Brice Stadium on six Saturdays of the football season.
When 80,000 people show up regardless of the wins or the losses, the number of expectations grows with the increasing number of people. 40,000 for baseball, imagine the turnout for a football championship...of any kind.
Steve Spurrier is no spring chicken (pardon the pun), and one would think that if he can't deliver in 2010 with the talent returning and coaching improvements, it may be time for the Head Ball Coach to ride off into the sunset. Who, you ask, could fill the visor prints?
That is where the mystery and some would say fun begin. If you go back there is a slide show of coaches I'd like to see replace Spurrier when he's done, but this isn't a wish list. This is a realistic look at who could don the Garnet and Black.
The Gamecocks are an appealing school for a coach: solid SEC recruiting base, continuing improvement in the facilities, and a beautiful campus. Not to mention the ability to give the school its first football championship. There are several coaches who would love the SEC paycheck, and if the job were to come open would jump at the opportunity.
When it comes to a replacement for Spurrier I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that another Gator might take the spot. The Florida Gators Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Steve Addazio just makes sense. Unless he's endlessly loyal to Urban Meyer, he would finally get his chance to be a head coach.
He supposedly had that chance at Florida this season with Meyer's indefinite leave of absence. The absence lasted until recruiting when Meyer jumped right back in and coached their spring game. Addazio will keep his duties for now, but one has to think: If a job comes open, why not?
No matter the result, 2010 will definitely be the year that everyone has a little something to say about the Gamecocks. We can only speculate until September 2, when the Gamecocks take the field against Southern Miss.
Most of the questions will be answered on November 27, when the Gamecocks play their final regular season game against Clemson. What postseason games are ahead, if any? If not, has Spurrier reached the end of his time in Columbia? Only time will tell.