Urban Meyer: The New Steve Spurrier

Joe MorganSenior Analyst INovember 18, 2008

Steve Spurrier looked on from the sideline as Florida converted the extra point, giving the Gators a 56-6 lead with under six minutes left in the game.

This time, however, Spurrier was on the losing side of a "Swamp Romp," suffering the worst defeat of his coaching career at the hands of Urban Meyer and the Gators.

"We got clobbered," Spurrier said. "I don't know what we could have done differently except try to keep things close."

Don't worry, coach, you're not alone. Spurrier's Gamecocks are just the latest blowout victim of the surging No. 3 Gators.

Since their home loss to Ole Miss on Sept. 27, Florida has outscored its opponents 299-63, averaging a 39-point margin of victory. The Gators are also the first team in SEC history to defeat six consecutive conference opponents by at least 28 points.

However, Florida's killer tendency did not result from taking it easy down the stretch. Meyer has been reluctant to show mercy during the 2008 season, often leaving his starters in the game well into the fourth quarter of lopsided games.

The first occurrence featured a late field goal against the Miami Hurricanes, increasing Florida's lead to 26-3 with a little over a minute to play. While Meyer insisted that kicker Jonathan Phillips needed a field goal attempt before the SEC opener against Tennessee, Miami coach Randy Shannon begged to differ.

"Sometimes, when you do things and people see what type of person that you really are, you turn a lot of people off," said Shannon.

If that is the case, Meyer has probably managed to turn off several coaches this season.

However, no coach felt the wrath of Meyer's ruthlessness more than Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt.

Eager to avenge "the Celebration" from their last meeting, the Gators were relentless in their take down of Georgia this season, pouring on the points. Yet, the blowout was not the end of the retaliation.

With less than a minute remaining in the Gators' 49-10 victory over Georgia, Meyer utilized Florida's final two timeouts—just to savor the victory.

Although Meyer originally claimed that he wanted to give his reserves some extra playing time, his answer was a little different the second time around.

"We were trying to win a game," Meyer said.

Yeah right, coach.

Although Meyer is capable of popping out a few gems, he cannot hold a candle to Spurrier's frankness and blunt honesty. If Spurrier felt that he had the better football team, which he did the majority of the time, he would come out and make it known, often angering his opponents with his witty sarcasm.

Spurrier managed to even further incite his rivals' anger, showing indifference to and ignoring their many criticisms.

“I think [other fans] dislike Florida, to tell you the truth, a lot more than me. A few fans might want to yell some insults at me which is fine," said Spurrier. "Hurl insults, just don't hurl bottles, and I'll be fine.”

While Meyer may not share his opinions openly with the rest of the college football world, the gleam of satisfaction in his eyes after a blowout victory suffices for his lack of verbal warfare.

Like Spurrier, Meyer loves to beat you—and beat you good.

Sure, he will rub some folks the wrong way with his coaching style, but Meyer could care less about what others think of him. He has one goal in mind and that is to win championships at the University of Florida.

Just like the Ol' Ball Coach.