Spurrier could make history (again) at the Georgia Dome

Nobody asked me but:

1. Steve Spurrier has a chance to make history (again) at the Georgia Dome: The No. 1 story line heading into Saturday’s SEC championship game is whether or not No. 1 Auburn can stay undefeated and give the conference a shot at its fifth straight BCS title.

The No. 2 story line is whether or not Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, with everything swirling around him, can lead his team to a victory and, in the process, lock up the Heisman Trophy.

Almost lost in this game is that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has a chance to win his seventh SEC championship, exactly 10 years after he won his sixth and final one as the head coach at Florida. Spurrier’s seven SEC titles would move him past Vince Dooley and John Vaught on the all-time list. Spurrier would be second only to Bear Bryant who won 14 SEC championships (13 at Alabama, 1 at Kentucky).

For the first time at the SEC championship game, Spurrier is here but is not the headliner. I’ll bet he likes that.

2. TCU is making a good move to the Big East: It’s really a no-brainer. From the start of the 2012 season Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs will know they are good enough to win the Big East and go to a BCS bowl game. No debate. No having to ask for respect. Win your league and you go. Now TCU has to get serious about men’s basketball and the Big East has to figure out how to stage a conference basketball tournament with 17 teams. Understand that the Big 12 (now at 10 teams) was never going to invite TCU to be a part of the club. The Horned Frogs had to step out and do the best thing for their school.

 3. I’m sorry that Boise State lost. I was hoping that  Boise would go to the Rose Bowl and somehow wind up playing Ohio State in what would be known as “The Little Sisters of the Poor Bowl.” Last week Ohio State president Gordon Gee (the former president at Vanderbilt) said the teams in the Big Ten and SEC deserved a shot at the BCS championship over Boise because “We don’t play the Little Sisters of the Poor.” For about 48 hours the media went just a little batty and then Boise State lost to Nevada Friday night. It was on the same day that Auburn came back from a 24-0 deficit to beat Alabama and Oregon beat Arizona with a strong second half.

So at the end of the day was Gee right? Probably, but I am reminded of something said by the late, great Lewis Grizzard: “Damn, brother, I don’t believe I would have told that.” You may think it. It might even be true. But you don’t say it.

4. Jon Gruden to Miami? Jon Gruden? Did I miss something? What is the facsination with Jon Gruden? Won a Super Bowl. Dynamic personality.  Loved it when he sat down with the quarterbacks (Tebow, McCoy, etc.) in the summer of 2009 and gave them the unvarnished truth. It was compelling television and I watched every minute of it. But somebody has to tell me how Gruden’s skill set translates to college football, which is a completely different game. There is no doubt that Miami will make a big splash and win the press conference if it happens. But I’ve seen too many guys come from pro football (Charlie Weis comes to mind) who believe they are so much smarter than everybody and will be able to just out-scheme people to wins. They believe they can flash a Super Bowl ring and the  recruits come running. It doesn’t work like that.

And let’s get this on the record. Miami  hired Randy Shannonto clean up the program and he did.  While other schools were living on the police blotter, Shannon instilled discipline. Miami’s graduation rate under Shannon was second only to Duke in the ACC. He didn’t win enough games, I get that. But if you’re a Miami fan you need to thank that man for what he did for your school as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.

5. Vanderbilt needs to get serious about football: First of all, Bobby Johnson did a helluva job at Vanderbilt with the resources he had. Yeah, he went 2-10 his last season but under Johnson Vanderbilt was consistently competitive and a tough out. As the years pass Vanderbilt fans will realize how good Johnson really was.  Now Robbie Caldwell, who replaced Johnson last summer, is gone. Vanderbilt has some decisions to make. First of all, spend the money to get a top flight coach and give him the money to hire a top of line staff. In other words, spend the money necessary to give Vanderbilt a reasonable shot. Do that for five years and if it doesn’t work out, you can scale back on the next coaching hire. It’s like Vanderbilt wants to commit to football but doesn’t want to commit at too high a level because it would be, well, unseemly. 

But in order to compete in the SEC, you gotta be all in. Vanderbilt ain’t close to being all in when it comes to football.

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456 comments Add your comment

Gen Neyland

December 1st, 2010
10:12 am

That quote from Grizzard had something to do with farm animals or his (wink wink) exile to Illinois. Really, it was the farm animals…

Anybody got the time to pull up his last column before his final surgery, do it and link it here. It might be appreciated by those within that weren’t even born yet.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
10:12 am

As long as we have Trooper Taylor we be the new U!

matt

December 1st, 2010
10:14 am

JPTigers – AU is very clearly Cam’s team. If Miss State had outbid AU for him, then Miss State would be ranked #1 and AU would be ranked somewhere in the low 20s. The only difference between the teams is Cam Newton.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:14 am

Who has dominated this rivalry over the last 2 decades?

Well, we won 7 out of 10 from 1990-1999, Aubie won 7 out of ten from 2000-2009. Your answer? Nobody dominated the last two decades. But go ahead if that’s what you need to tell yourself. You all know that Chizik and Saban are a mismatch and that this is a fluke year for you. Have fun with it, you’ll be due for another one in oh, six years or so I guess (that’s how long it’s been since 2004, in case you didn’t catch that).

Old School

December 1st, 2010
10:14 am

ARdawg,

Thank you, best post of the day.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:16 am

Bama dude

The point of GT was, they choose to leave. They were not booted out or asked to leave as you suggest should happen to Vandy.

If Vandy wishes to leave for more competitive pastures in other conferences fine, that’s their choice. To infer they should heavily invest in football, you and Barnhart need to get your collective heads removed from your butts

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:16 am

ARDawg, you realize that the SEC is the SEC for ATHLETIC purposes, right? You also realize that there are schools who participate in different conferences for different sports? And that Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Boise are changing conferences while BYU decides to go their own way? This is business son.

Leonard Postero

December 1st, 2010
10:17 am

The biggest hen house fight of them all is Satdy night in the Bird Dome down in Georgia- a bunch of war eagles from the Plains in Alabama comes in to visit a bunch of fighting roosters from Carolina in a great big fighting ring in Georgia – who woulda thunk this one up?
The War Eagle fliers have shown the Tiger faithful that the direction of flight they took a couple of years ago was the right one. Led by the biggest fighting eagle this side of the Mississippi, the War Eagles are perfect and have their eyes on a championship style bird bath in January –

The fighting roosters from Carolina have a couple of extra sets of spurs attached to their running legs – and they have an old ball coach who keeps slinging those eggs left and right – tryin’ real hard to bust that big ole goose egg off the loss side of the big fightin’ birds from Alabama.

Being the underdog is one thing the fighting chickens from Carolina like – problem is, everyone knows it – ain’t no secrets here – I’m afraid when it’s all said and done, the Carolina roosters will fight like banny roosters but will scatter like chicks in the barnyard when the big birds get done with them – Leonard’s Losers – in a close one South Carolina

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:18 am

To infer they should heavily invest in football, you and Barnhart need to get your collective heads removed from your butts

I never said that. They are who they are and shouldn’t change for anybody. Doesn’t mean that who they are matches the rest of the SEC.

Cecil Newton

December 1st, 2010
10:20 am

JPTigers…..missed you at church last sunday. You’ll need to double up at the offering plate this Sunday.
War Cam!!
We laughin all the way to the bank fools.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:25 am

Bama dude

There’s a business aspect to higher education in general. Football is but one aspect of it, not the only aspect. And I have to disagree with you, the SEC institutions are known in other circles for much more than athletics. Again, you can’t see the forest for the trees. Football is all you care to see. There’s more at stake than Vandy investing heavily in football to appease your or Barnhart’s warped priorities. There is still a sense of Pride and Honor among the fiercest SEC football fans. Very unbecoming of you to make such statements. You normally, seemed like a reasonable Bama fan. What’s wrong with you?

Old School

December 1st, 2010
10:26 am

“This is business son.’

What a patronizing, know-it-all putz.

Buzziswiser

December 1st, 2010
10:27 am

Tony
1. If not for the BCS, Spurrier/SC would be the story here. If Cam is dirty, the NCAA needs to throw Auburn under the bus

2. What kind of geography are they teaching at The Athens Day School. Big East ??? TCU needs to be in the Big 12. What about all the other sports and the travel required. How can you expect students, alunmi and parents to follow/sport their team.

3. Boise State as a BCS buster would have been a hoot, but it was great game and win for U of Nevada.

4. Agree with you on this though Gruden could be another Pete Carroll hopefully without the probation. Randy Shannon probably has had a more positive influence on his players than any coach in the ACC/SEC. but it all comes down to the Wins.

5. Maybe Vandy is the one school that has it right and all the others are wrong.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:29 am

Vandy has their moments on the football field. Not as many apparently as you would like to see but, if you looked in basketball, baseball, softball you would see a different Vandy. The bigger picture here is, what if Vandy wish to kick Bama out out of the SEC because it can’t hold a candle to Vandy or the rest of the conference academically? The point here is, academics do matter

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:30 am

ARDawg, I don’t know what you are talking about and you don’t either. “Sense of Pride and Honor?” Give me a break. It’s not all football but football is a whale of a money maker for the schools who do it right. Again, the SEC is an athletic conference within the NCAA. Look at a school like Villanova. What is their conference affiliation? Their hoops team plays in the Big East, the football team in the CAA, and the women’s lacrosse in the Patriot League. Tradition has gone by the wayside.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:31 am

And quite honestly with your logic, Georgia right now and Bama just a few years ago should’a been tossed out of the conference for being a shame to the SEC

Jax_Uga

December 1st, 2010
10:32 am

Thanks, Tony for providing us with the answer for the Aflac trivia question during the SEC Champ. game. I can see it now: “Who would Steve Spurrier break a tie with to be in 2nd place overall for most won SEC titles if he wins today?” Yada, yada, yada.

In regards to Vandy, the school has more of a focus on academics than athletics. I thought i read an AJC article awhile back where former SEC coaches talked about how the Vandy athletic dept was under the Dean of Students and they don’t have a real athletic dept like all the state schools in the SEC, etc. If this is true then why would they want to change this line of thinking. While I am a UGA alum, if my kid gets a scholarship to Vandy to play football, I would be happy b/c its a free education at a great school. I consider Vandy much like my wife’s alma matta, W&L. Yeah they have a football program but they don’t live and die by it. Education is their main focus, even though their sports are Div. III (like Emory).

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:32 am

5. Maybe Vandy is the one school that has it right and all the others are wrong.

Entirely possible, and there are other athletic conferences with schools who are more closely aligned with their priorities.

PMC

December 1st, 2010
10:33 am

Vandy actually is pretty competitive in football. They lost their coach right before the season. They have good players just not the level or amount of great players that the other schools in the SEC have.

The Vandy alumni aren’t going to be as rabid as other fanbases because frankly they have better things to do, but for what they are Vandy has a solid program. They weren’t great this year but they were able to embarass Houston Nutt anyway.

GTBob

December 1st, 2010
10:33 am

@3rdN8,

Its not so much that Vanderbilt’s academics are hindering the athletic programs, its that it’s not a main focus of the University. Vanderbilt is one of the highest ranked universities in the country, with a pretty large endowment and lots of federal research funding. Trying their hardest to improve their football team isn’t high on the priority list of the staff, faculty, students, or alumni. Nobody goes to Vanderbilt because they are excited about football. Thats where they differ from the other SEC schools. If the SEC wants to give the ACC Vandy for Clemson or Fla St though, I would be all for it.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:34 am

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:31 am
And quite honestly with your logic, Georgia right now and Bama just a few years ago should’a been tossed out of the conference for being a shame to the SEC

Nope, because they still have the brands, the fans, the big stadiums, the marketability, and everything that goes with being a powerhouse program.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
10:35 am

AGAIN mullet u can’t comprehend my post! If it’s even over the last 2 decades then how will “order be restored” if ya’ll win next year. My point is that both programs are neck and neck at this point!! U mullets are gonna have to accept the reality that u don’t dominate us like u did in the early years. What will u do when Satan gets bored and moves on like he has every other place he’s gone to in his career? More excuses I’m sure! BTW Bama is currently on probation til 2012 in 17 sports…..Just sayin!!

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:35 am

GTBob, great post.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:36 am

Yeah, JP, I’m done with you. Not gonna fight with an intellectual midget.

Jake

December 1st, 2010
10:37 am

I’d slow my roll on the Spurrier praise. Yes, it is obvious this is his best team since being at SC. But more importantly, these are the worst UGA, UT and UF teams since he’s been in Columbia as well. Perfect storm for him to win the division, almost by default, so let’s not get too carried away with the love.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
10:37 am

Do any of yall think the SEC will expand and add any teams in the future?

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:38 am

Bama dude

I know what I am talking about. For me to ignore that it’s a business is just as obtuse as you ignoring the importance of the academics. Both are important. It’s a shame you can’t see that

gnarles

December 1st, 2010
10:39 am

I don’t think I’d want to be considered the “new U” if I were an Auburn fan. The fact your two best players are going to be one and done this year, when we’re not even talking basketball, is pretty telling at low the Tigers have lowered their standards for the sake of winning.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:39 am

Bama dude

Have you ever been to a football game at Vandy?

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:39 am

Murph, I think it would have to be the right schools. I think dropping Vandy and adding FSU, Clemson, VT, Miami, and TAMU would make an awful lot of sense. Of course, Texas state law supposedly precludes A&M from defecting.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
10:39 am

Jake,

And just were does Bama rate ? Carolina handled them pretty well?

Sorry BAMA dude,3rdn8,shane Just had to ask the question

Jake-Dont under-estimate Spurrier or his team-You will see on Sat.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:40 am

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:39 am
Bama dude

Have you ever been to a football game at Vandy?

No, but I know their stadium is the same size as Boise State’s.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
10:42 am

BAMA dude,

I wouldnt drop Vandy.I would like to see FSU and Clemson added. Miami would be good.I would also like to see Ga Tech added

LEROY

December 1st, 2010
10:42 am

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:42 am

ARDawg, when did I say academics weren’t important? What I said was that the SEC is an athletic conference. Academics are critical for every institution of higher learning whether they have a sports program or not.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
10:42 am

It’s a shame your done mullet cuz me and my buds were really starting to enjoy it! LMAO HONK IF U SACKED BRODIE!! Go back to kissing your sister!! Rammer Cammer Beat the Hell Out Of Bammer!! WDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gnarles

December 1st, 2010
10:42 am

Murphy,

I hope not. I despised the whole mega conference talk from last spring and summer. I think that would destroy the game. But I’m afraid more is in store only because of the defecting of Boise, Utah, BYU and TCU. The Mountain West is more than likely going to dissolve which means those teams will have to find new homes, and I still suspect the Big East will be ripped apart sooner rather than later.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:43 am

Murphy, you just like the Dawgs having a cupcake.

gnarles

December 1st, 2010
10:44 am

It’s a shame Duke and Vandy aren’t “Ivy League” schools since that is where they belong.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
10:44 am

gnarles that wasn’t me posting! I’m sure it’s Bama Dude or some other mullet stealing my screen name! Love getting under these mullets skin nothin better LMAO

Scott

December 1st, 2010
10:44 am

BAMA dude,

Hey, we can’t all play Ga. State ;)

Larry

December 1st, 2010
10:45 am

Tony,

When was the last time a team defeated two #1 ranked teams in a season? Should SC defeat Auburn, they will have defeated a former #1 in Alabama and the current #1 in Auburn.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:46 am

Scott, every school schedules a FCS school (or two). I was talking about a conference game cupcake.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
10:47 am

gnarles,

I dont know-I think a SEC Super Conference would be good.Of course Im looking at it from a fan stand point.

BAMA dude,
What could be better than beating Tech? Giving them a conference loss! Put them in the SEC East with us.Would be very interesting for a year end game! But yes I like the cupcake remark lol

It's about $

December 1st, 2010
10:48 am

Didn’t see all the comments re: Randy Shannon, but I think the most important one is that they weren’t drawing anyone to their games. 26K (in a 75 K capacity stadium) to play USF (who would probably have a few of their own fans in the stands as part of the 26K)? That’s more important than the Ws and Ls…$.

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:48 am

Bama dude

I don’t know how many Boise St’s stadium seats. Vandy’s seat about 48K if I remember correctly. I’ve been to many games at Vandy. The Vandy fans are just as rabid although not as big in number. It takes much more intellect to attend and graduate from Vandy as well as much more cash. The SEC is a better conference because Vandy is a member. I’m not even a Vandy fan. But I do respect Vandy and on any given day Vandy’s football team can beat any team in the SEC. Even if you have 12 powerhouse football teams in the conference, the dynamics of the conference wouldn’t be any different than it is now. There’s going to be a whipping boy and last place team every year

NCAA Vultures

December 1st, 2010
10:48 am

I feel sorry for Bama fans having to wait to get vindication for last Saturday’s loss while we ( The NCAA Vultures) drag our feet in the $Cam Newton investigation. I feel sorry for the Auburn fans that the process is slow and that while you’re currently in the throes of exortation and jubulation, this also will eventually come to pass, that Thor’s mighty Hammer will knock a tainted title next to the “other one”, the 1957 model still residing near Toomer’s Corner. We are sad that the Auburn alumni and fans are being dragged to the edge of the cliff only to be pushed off it by the very cheater who led them their.
Just so you know, parts of our investigation are complete amd have been universally known by the public for sometime now, but we confirmed:
A) Cam Newton was NOT enrolled at the University of Florida when he sat with his father and decided not to stay at Florida when Tim Tebow announced he was coming back for his senior season. He was however facing a Student Judiciary Hearing for a cheating scandal that has NOT been confirmed at this moment due to public/student records laws in the state of Florida. We are still waiting for our attorneys motions before the courts to unseal these records to confirm or deny.
B) He DID steal the laptop, he did NOT buy a stolen laptop, as the story circulating goes around. A check of the FACTUAL, er, uh, excuse me, the ACTUAL Police Report can be obtained from the Alacha County Police Department or via the website thesmokinggun.com. Our question was, “why would you buy a stolen laptop out of car when you could’ve saved time and effort by just walking into the room next to yours, where it was, where it came from, and who reported it stolen to begin with, oh yeah, “I bought it out of a car, I didn’t know, some coincidence”, huh?
In summation, the truth may set you free, but it isn’t going to make Auburn fans feel any better when we strip them of the title if they win it. We our QUIETLY hoping that Dark Visor prevails this Saturday, or the Muscovy Ducks. If and when $Cam Newton wins the Heisman, he’ll be speechless, “NO COMMENT”, COMPRENDE HOMBRES?

rockinsockin

December 1st, 2010
10:50 am

SC will be brought back down to reality next season. They still have Garcia as QB (not a positive). Lattimore is great but he’ll be losing 2 key starters on his OL and most of their defense is graduating. And SC doesn’t exactly “reload.”

NCAA Vultures

December 1st, 2010
10:52 am

Lane Kiffen is throwing his name in the hat for the Miami Hurricane job, just thought you’d like to know. However, like most of the Cam Newton stories circulating, we can’t confirm this rumor as he is focusing on UCLA only….

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
10:52 am

ARdawg

December 1st, 2010
10:48 am
Bama dude

I don’t know how many Boise St’s stadium seats. Vandy’s seat about 48K if I remember correctly. I’ve been to many games at Vandy. The Vandy fans are just as rabid although not as big in number.

Capacity is just under 40K. And the “big in number” is the key. Nobody cares how loud they yell. How much money do they spend on merchandise (not per fan, but total?) How many fans will they travel to a bowl game? If they have a good season and are thus put on a prime time ESPN slot, what type of ratings would they offer?