Last summer at SEC Media Days, Steve Spurrier looked like a shell of his former self. Gone was the bravado, the rapier wit and sharp tongue. Instead, an aging coach stood before the media. Just another aging coach.
Fast-forward through a 9-win, East Division-title-winning season and the Ol’ Ball Coach is back. Not only was the he #1 hit at last week’s Media Days, but Spurrier’s still talking smack. And unlike Lane Kiffin — who he spoke of as part of his engagement in Chattanooga on Saturday — Spurrier’s digs are usually pretty funny.
Last week, Carolina’s coach said that coaches who win have more reason to talk. And while the coach says he still hasn’t won very much in Columbia, he’s clearly won enough to get his tongue wagging again. Try on these quotes (reported by Mark Wiedmer of The Chattanooga Times Free Press):
On Mike Slive’s proposal to raise academic standards for players — “Some of these guys are not academically capable of raising standards.” (That’s not exactly brochure material for the University of South Carolina, now is it?)
On the need to get athletes more money — “Marcus Lattimore doesn’t have a car. He’s probably had a $15-20 million impact on our school. But he can’t get a car unless a bank qualifies him for a loan. I told him the other day, ‘Go get a loan. I think you’re a good risk.”
On Ohio State’s recent rumored issues with a car dealer — “Ohio State has a better car arrangement than we do.”
On former Tennessee coach — and foil — Phillip Fulmer — “They ought to put Coach Fulmer on an NCAA committee (to change college football). He’s a common sense guy and they need some of that. We’re really pretty good friends these days.”
On his multiple wins in Knoxville (with Duke, Florida and Carolina) — “If you beat Tennessee in Knoxville, you’ve got to learn how to sing ‘Rocky Top.’ We were fortunate enough to beat them a few times up there.”
On former UT coach Lane Kiffin – “I didn’t think much of him, did you?”
And on Kiffin’s suggestion to then-recruit Alshon Jeffery that he’ll wind up pumping gas if he signs with Carolina (a statement Kiffin denies making) — “Yeah, Alshon was laughing about that when we were getting ready to fly to Birmingham for SEC Media Days.”
It’s been a long while since Spurrier felt confident enough to start throwing jabs. And that should tell SEC watchers just how good he feels about his 2011 squad.