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

Realistic Fan

December 1st, 2010
7:34 am

Tom

December 1st, 2010
7:40 am

rusty

December 1st, 2010
7:43 am

As an Auburn fan, it sure makes me nervous that the OBC has that much on the line. I am sure we will get SC’s best shot by a lot. I hate it that if we lose, we will have beaten them earlier in the year, have a 12-1 record in the SEC, they will be 10-3, and Carolina will be the champion. Obviously, this is one of those years that as Auburn, you really don’t want the SEC championship game to be played–only have everything to lose. If I am SC I have got everything to gain–that’s just the way it is.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
7:47 am

Spurrier pulls the upset in the Dome on Sat. I can see the Evil smerk now!

bank walker

December 1st, 2010
7:49 am

Big Tone, great piece as usual, but I have to disagree regarding TCU to the Big East. They are located in Ft. Worth, TX. Their traveling will be a nightmare. The best thing for them to do since they are located in big XII country, and they are down to 10 teams, is to try and join them first. The move to the Big East just doesn’t make any sense.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
7:50 am

Interseting stat shown last night.Only one team in SEC Championship history has lost in regular season then beat that same team for the SEC Championship. LSU-2001 Hope I wrote this clearly.

m

December 1st, 2010
7:52 am

Tony, just more of your idiotic rants.

Gee was totally wrong…yet you agree with him. What’s new? Boise schedule is ranked 62…Ohio State’s 64. What an idiot.

The funny thing is Miami is not considering Mark Richt because he doesn’t run a clean enough program to meet Miam’s standards. Hilarious.

The Bs–bcs is the worst and most unfair system ever developed by man and is only supported by idiots like Tony. We need a 16 team playoff and we need to let the athletes decide it on the field…not by some pundit’s idiotic opinion.

question

December 1st, 2010
7:54 am

Will Superior play his freshman QB again?

Doubtful!

Sandman053

December 1st, 2010
7:56 am

@ Murphy I had to read it twice, but it was clear enough…but as to stats, even coaching SC, you just can’t count out Darth Visor.

Top Dawg

December 1st, 2010
7:58 am

Here’s to a South Carolina victory on Saturday.

Facts about Paul Johnson

December 1st, 2010
7:59 am

- He has blown as golden an opportunity as Tech will EVER have to overtake UGA as the premier program in the state, all by losing to a 6-5, and then a 5-6 team. This game is enormous for recruiting in our talent rich state, and we’ve seen the fruits of that with this year’s mediocre “post-ACC Championship” recruiting class.

- I take ZERO heart in the fact we were more competitive in the game than expected. First of all, they are a 5-6 team and tried to give us the game with fumbles, which we promptly returned. Second, we should not be so poor in the first place as to where we are a 14 point dog to a 5-6 team, particularly in the 3rd year of a coach’s regime.

- If Paul Johnson had beaten the two worst UGA teams since Ray Goff, Mark Richt would be OUT OF WORK today.

- Mark Richt would be UNEMPLOYED today merely if Tech had sent Saturday’s game to overtime and won, after all UGA had to do was kneel on the ball. Of course this was not possible, since the unbalanced nature of our offense precludes the development of a credible passing game which can threaten an opponent in a 2 minute scenario. Joe Hamilton, in a Ralph Friedgen offense, would have tied that game on Saturday. Under Paul Johnson, we stumble around and skip footballs into the turf.

- Paul Johnson DOES NOT CARE about the UGA game more than any other. Whenever he is asked about it, there is zero passion. He’ll say something along the lines of “yeah, it’s important to the fans and the players, so it’s important to me,” but he does NOT take the UGA game personally, nor does he identify himself so much as a part of GT, but as a guy paid to coach at GT, and that is very disappointing to me.

- It has long been obvious, as previously mentioned, that this offense is not built to come from behind late in a game. This is something that MUST be addressed, and SHOULD HAVE been addressed after we lost to UGA last year for this very reason. Leading the nation in rushing offense is nice and all, but this offense will need more balance if we ever expect to become a consistently great program.

- Chan never beat UGA, but that does not mean PJ’s performance vs UGA has been up to par. We should always beat them when they are poor as they have been the last two years. As far as I’m concerned, 2-1 vs these three UGA teams should be considered par for a GT coach. Paul Johnson is currently BELOW PAR in regards to his performance in the most important game on our schedule. I will take 2-1 vs the Dogs over 1 championship in a crummy ACC any day!

Sandman053

December 1st, 2010
8:00 am

As to a playoff, cut the current schedule down by one game (removing the weakest opponent or Little Sister of the Poor), then add a first round of playoffs with an 8 team schedule (decided by BCS rankings, coaches polls, pull names out of a hat, I don’t care). Then the remaining four teams do the four big bowls in rotation. In other words Sugar has NC game, then Rose and Orange have semi-finals. Fiesta can have the Little Sisters of the Poor. The next year Sugar sits out, etc. etc. As to the other 35 bowls that only fans from the schools playing watch…#1 who cares? #2 they can still be great recruiting tools #3 the teams get the extra practice and #4 again who cares?

Cam Newton

December 1st, 2010
8:01 am

You do know that I will be on the field. We cannot lose. Now, next year? Who cares I’ll be gone and au will be 7-5. What can I say it’s the Cam Newton Tigers and you know it.

Go East

December 1st, 2010
8:02 am

Vanderbilt should move to the Big East. They are to the SEC what Einstein would be at a hoedown. The SEC could replace them with Southern Miss.

OkefenokeeDawg

December 1st, 2010
8:03 am

m,

Try making one sentence without the word idiot or fool, and we will stop visualizing a lonely, pimple-faced little boy with a Tech t-shirt on.

Nevermind, it won’t work . . .

AU WDE

December 1st, 2010
8:05 am

I have heard the experts pick against AU 5 times this year; LSU, Ole Ms., UGA, AL and now SC. It’s kind of like I told a Mets fan when the Braves won 14 division titles in a row. If you keep saying the Mets are going to win the division every year sooner or later you will be right.

Believe there a good athletes on both teams; however, believe AU has the two best players Newton and Fairley. Looking for a super game that goes down to the wire. May the best team win.

Tom, Resident Georgia Fan

December 1st, 2010
8:05 am

I, for one, am happy that Boise State lost. If not imagine a 10-year-old kid fighting the great Ali for the World heavyweight Crown. That would be a farce. And St. Simons wherever you are (hiding under your mom’s skirt no doubt) this is for you (((42 – 34))) HAHAHAHAHA

CMS

December 1st, 2010
8:05 am

I agree that Randy Shannon got a raw deal from Miami. Honestly it indicates a certain hypocricy from The University of Miami and big time college football as a whole. How can you stress that you want a coach to be the moral compass, hold players accountable on and off the field, promote character, increase graduation rates, but if it is not followed by a conference championship then get out of dodge?! This suggests that it is about winning games and generating revenue and not about building young men and giving them a solid education.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
8:05 am

Sandman053,

Just wanted to make sure yall understood what I was saying-Thanks

I disagree with you on Darth Visor.I attended the Carolina/UF Game this year in the Swamp.I told all my Gator buddies all week that Spurrier wouldnt be denied a chance to play for the SEC Championship this year.He proved to me in the Swamp that he and his team are totally focused on winning this deal.I would not want to play this guy in a one game take it all for the SEC Championship.He will have a plan to beat Cam and the boy,s. Im sticking with Carolina

shane

December 1st, 2010
8:06 am

Should be a good game in the dome with a high scoring outcome. Thank goodness Boise lost and now maybe we don’t have to hear Brando say “fly in the ointment.” Gruden > Weis any day of the week. I don’t know how you can even compare the two. Vanderbilt is a class institution that values education over the big $ of athletics. I promise you that there will be no stories of players being paid coming out of Nashville any time soon. I believe Vandy just wants to be competitive, not really worried about winning championships. The SEC needs them around to bring up our conference GPA.

OkefenokeeDawg

December 1st, 2010
8:07 am

Tony,

In the name of anti- PC, I’m proud that Gee had the nads to speak his mind. Good to see that not everybody is afraid the PC Police.

rocksteadyfreddie

December 1st, 2010
8:09 am

This would actually be 8 for Steve. Sorry ass Roy Cramer and the rest of the ol boy network jobbed Steve and UF back in ‘90.

Paul in RDU

December 1st, 2010
8:14 am

Nice column by you today Tony – some interesting topics.
SC-AU should be a good one. The OBC will have some wrinkles for Auburn.
TCU joining any BCS conference is a no brainer for them – the Big East is the only one that would offer. As far as travel is concerned, TCU has to travel to San Diego (1200 miles) and Laramie (900) now, Once you have to get on a plane does it matter whether it is a 4 hr flight to Syracuse or a 3 hr flight to San Diego?
Tony obviously doesn’t follow basketball. The Big East does not have to organize a 17 team tournament. They don’t have a 16 team tournament now – only the top 12 play at MSG.
Gruden isn’t going to the University of Miami – it is not a good position and they are not going to pay him 1/2 of what he can get in the NFL (or at a college powerhouse for that matter).

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
8:15 am

shane,

I always wanted to see Carolina be successfull and competative in the SEC because of their fan base.Always enjoy going to Columbia for a UGA game-Great fans. I sure would like to see Vandy have some of that success also.Would be cool to one day see Vandy in the spot Carolina is in right now.Sure would be alot tougher for Vandy though.

BirdDog

December 1st, 2010
8:16 am

Trade Vandy for TCU.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
8:18 am

Paul in RDU,

A close friend of mine who is a college coach told me Gruden is headed to Miami. I still think Tuberville will get the job. He say,s John Gruden-Head Coach,Jay Gruden-Offense Cord,Jim Leavitt-Defense Cord.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
8:21 am

Why does everyone insist this is only Cam’s team! U obviously haven’t watched AU play this year. Was it Cam that had an 80 yard TD to win the LSU game? No it was McCalebb! Was it Cam that sacked GMac & knocked him out of the game? No that was Bell! Don’t forget to mention an O-Line that has mauled people all year and Dyer who by the way has broken the Freshman rushing record at AU! We are a team and every1 contributes. As for if Cam does go pro next year we have a kid coming in Kiehl Frazier who may have even more talent & game that Cam does! We are on top GET USED TO IT! If u wanna knock us off beat us on the field THEN RUN YOUR MOUTH! WDE!

Dooley the Vol

December 1st, 2010
8:24 am

Vandy needs to put up or shut up, but they will never leave the SEC. I believe they are a founding member, and they bring other sports to the table. It is one thing to say we want a top flight coach, it’s another to actually get one.
I think the U is gonna have a tougher time than people expect finding a high profile coach, so how does Vandy make a splash?
Kent Austin and Mike McIntyre both have Nashville ties and would be natural tie ins to VU.

ALLIN4AU

December 1st, 2010
8:25 am

You know it and everyone else knows it,Just our year,BABY! What a CAMback last week :-)

Cam Newton

December 1st, 2010
8:25 am

JP,
Why do you have to knock me down like that. You know as well as everyone in the country that it was me that made us 12-0. Chizik, Fairley, Gus, Oline? They helped, Fairley more than anyone, but I was the key. I did it for you, not the money. Don’t hate on me.

shane

December 1st, 2010
8:28 am

Murphy,

Yeah I agree. Vandy’s athletic department isn’t set up like other SEC programs to be competitive in Major college football. USCe has always had passion, now they have a coach who has kept the good athletes in state and away from other SEC powers.

Paul in RDU

December 1st, 2010
8:28 am

Murphy
If Gruden is going to the U, he obviously he may not understand what he is in for. They have a great brand name but they don’t have the kind of money that is needed to get back to being a powerhouse. It’s a small private school, with an athletic budget similar to GTs, poor facilities and play in a half empty stadium 30 miles from campus.
Now – if by Miami you mean the Dolphins rather than the Hurricanes – that I could see.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
8:30 am

Keep hiding behind a fake screen name while we pound your team into submission! I’m guessing your either a thUGA fan or a mullet!! LMAO Anyways back to discussing some football instead of trolling and muckracking cuz your team got their a** beat this year

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Paul in RDH,

I was refering to coaching THE U. I agree with your statement. Why would Gruden want that job? I told my friend I think Tuberville will get the job.We will see

Bama Fan #2

December 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Living in Nashville and watching Vandy football I can only remember 2 good games for Vandy
beating the vols in 05 and Auburn in 08 and winning the Music City Bowl in 08. Bama has lost
both times it has been to the bowl game in Nashville and you know the reason why Shula and
Dubose. Vandy will never be a player in the SEC football conference because of two many great
programs like Bama,Florida,LSU,AU,UT,GA!!! RTR

shane

December 1st, 2010
8:32 am

The U should never have a Kickoff scheduled any earlier than 6 pm as most people on south beach don’t wake up till noon. Miami is a pro town, not a great venue for college sports.

MURPHY

December 1st, 2010
8:33 am

JPTigers,

Remember this saying: Everyone hates a winner! I dont hate AU i just want to see Spurrier and Carolina win a SEC Championship.

SOGADOG

December 1st, 2010
8:33 am

I applaud Ohio State President Gee for saying what should have been said sooner. I get sick and tired of hearing the ESPN talking heads arguing that Boise State should go to the BCS championship. If Boise can play a schedule as difficult as Auburn’s and go undefeated then they deserve the go to the BCS championship. But they dont, they play an extremely weak schedule. Boise is a good football team, we just couldnt tell how good since they dont play many competitive games. Nevada proved they dont measure up to Oregon or Auburn, or any of the other top five teams. So Gee was right and the ESPN talking heads can please hush.

Paul in RDU

December 1st, 2010
8:33 am

A comment on the posting by “Facts about Paul Johnson”
I always thought that UGA fans were just talking smack when they claimed that GT fans are obsessed by UGA in football – then I read a posting like that.

Cam Newton

December 1st, 2010
8:34 am

Gotcha JP. Congrats on a great season and I look forward to a helluva SEC championship game.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
8:37 am

Also forgot to mention Kodi Burns who has played a pivotal role on this year’s squad. When he was told he was no longer the starter a few years ago how did he respond? Instead of being selfish he dedicated himself to the team & said he would do whatever it takes to win! Stats don’t matter Cam has been boss & we love him but it makes my blood boil when haters try to deride us as “Cam’s Tigers”. We are the Auburn Tigers and we are coming to ATL this weekend with a chip on our shoulders! U don’t have to respect us just EAT OUR DUST! Believe in AU and love it! WDE!!

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
8:40 am

Maybe the SEC should have dumped Vandy and picked up TCU? Aubie could have moved to the East.

Brad

December 1st, 2010
8:40 am

Hey “Facts about PJ”- It sucks being “little brother” doesn’t it? You’re always trying to find a forum where someone will listen. Well, I hear you little buddy. Come cry on my shoulder any time.

“The U” made a mistake firing Randy Shannon in my opinion. He is the best thing that could have happened to that program. The fans are pathetic, the facilities are pathetic, the atmosphere is pathetic. At least he had the kids on a good path down there. They will regress. Best of luck to Shannon out there. He deserves a shot with a program that isn’t in shambles.

BAMA dude

December 1st, 2010
8:43 am

Never mind, if Aubie moved east then Bama couldn’t keep playing the puke orange every year. Oh, well. Wasn’t happening anyway.

Reality Sets In

December 1st, 2010
8:45 am

Stephen Garcia was seen yesterday wearing a brace with his arm in a sling. If he plays in the SECCG, he will certainly not be 100% healthy. It’s difficult to win a championship game without your starting quarterback. It is still quite an accomplishment for Coach Spurrier to get SC into the playoff game.

JPTigers

December 1st, 2010
8:47 am

I agree Murphy this is how it is on top every1 is gunning for u! That’s fine if you wanna see the visor win the SEC. You’ll just have to wait for another year that’s all! I’m not being overconfident either an upset is entirely possible but I think the fact that no1 is picking us again this week will be used as motivation! No1 with the exception of Herbie picked us for the last 5 weeks and counting! We will wear em down in the 4th like we have all year! WDE!

Kenny R. from Starkvegas

December 1st, 2010
8:47 am

Cam Newton is the best QB money can buy!!!!

Godzilla's Cuz

December 1st, 2010
8:47 am

JP Tigers, don’t get your heart set on success with some incoming inexperienced QB who you think is going to be great. Case in point: John Brantley at UF. He was going to be this great passer who would make Tebow look pitiful in comparison. Things didn’t go quite as planned down there.

DC

December 1st, 2010
8:51 am

Godzilla’s Cuz…kid is from North Gwin. and he is huge…Things don’t pan out sometimes..but if he is capable of running and throwing..with that offense he will be fine…but CGM said he will put him at Wide receiver and have him do wild cat

Reality Sets In

December 1st, 2010
8:51 am

1. Not gonna happen.

2. If the conferences aren’t going to represent geographical regions, then they should just be done away with altogether.

3. I’m not.

4. Randy Shannon was Miami’s Mike Shula. He cleaned up the program. Now that the program is clean, they need to figure out how to win ball games.

5. They will not. Any school that has no Athletic Director nor Head Coach has made it abundantly clear that they don’t take football seriously.