What happened to you on Saturday? This is the must read for every SEC football fan on Monday morning right here at Saturday Down South. Pulling no punches as we recap a weekend of SEC football action…
Spurrier destroys Georgia’s hopes and dreams, again
Watching Steve Spurrier crush another season for Georgia is like watching a five year old child get a puppy for Christmas. It’s what complete joy looks like. Here is a man humiliating the team he hates more than anything in life (not an exaggeration) in the most important game he’s coached in over a decade (Florida’s Loss to Tennessee in 2001 being the last). South Carolina knocked out Georgia half way through the first quarter leaving the rest of us three and half quarters to reflect on the career of Steve Spurrier.
In 2005, Spurrier came back to the SEC and found that while he was hustling lawyers at the country club the rest of the league was watching tape and doing the workouts from the movie 300. The SEC had grown into a monster; one that he helped create. Schools apparently got tired of giving up 50 every year to Florida and decided they needed to make massive investments into facilities, hire the best coaches in the game and bring in the absolute best talent in the country. Within two seasons, Spurrier looked around and saw Florida was back and better than they ever were under him, LSU was absolutely slammed with NFL talent, and Nick Saban was turning Alabama back into Alabama.
Spurrier realized that he wasn’t the smartest guy in the room anymore. He also realized the he needed to recruit, something he rarely put in much effort doing. Gone were the days where he could mentally abuse Parade All-American quarterbacks because he was bored, and in were the days where he would have to deal with Stephen Garcia’s mental instability because it was still better than the alternatives. Gone were the days of Fun N’ Gun, and in were the days of ball control and defense.
It sounds easy, but how many extremely successful guys in their 60’s are capable of that level of self-awareness? This is the same guy who went to the NFL a few years earlier and thought he could win by taking his old players from Florida and running the exact same system that worked so well against Kentucky. Steve Spurrier 2012 just beat Georgia 35-7 by running the ball 51 times and throwing only ten times. That’s evolution, and if this team keeps evolving they could really be something special.
Last week I felt that Alabama didn’t have a rival in college football this season. This week I’m not even sure they’re the best team in their own conference.
Florida Was Tougher Than LSU
Will Muschamp has toughened up the Gators. He said he would do it, and he’s done it. It’s nice to be tougher than Texas A&M and Tennessee on the road, but when you are tougher than LSU, you’re doing a whole lot of things right.
Florida isn’t a perfect team and their lack of a passing attack will probably cost them a few games, but they are as tough as anybody in the country and could beat everybody remaining on their schedule (including Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida State).
Muschamp set out to change the culture in Gainesville, and in the second half of games this season, they are physically dominating everyone they play. The Gators are dangerous and getting more confident each week.
The kind of loss that gets you fired
That can be applied to the following…
Mark Richt and Gene Chizik
How long will Georgia continue to underachieve? Georgia has a reputation under Mark Richt for being fool’s gold. Every time you think they are for real and have matured or turned a corner they fall on their face. The Bulldogs were nowhere close to being prepared to play South Carolina. They have an easy SEC slate and could still win the SEC East, but that was the kind of loss that can crush a team’s will.
Gene Chizik sure was a lot better at coaching when Cam Newton was his quarterback and Gus Malzahn was calling his plays. I didn’t think it was possible for Auburn to fire Chizik two years removed from winning a national championship but after losing to John L. $40 Billion in Debt Smith I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. 2010 is looking like an anomaly.
Plays That Mattered
Ace Sanders is emerging as the Honey Badger of 2012. The “He can’t do this again, can he?” Guy. Here he is breaking ankles and shattering souls.
Matt Elam actually got smoked on this play, but totally redeems himself! On a field full of first round talent, Elam stood out. This play locked up the game for the Gators.
John Manziel was playing quarterback for much of Texas A&M’s game against an improved Ole Miss team, but when he was needed most Johnny Football flew in out of nowhere and saved the day.
What They Meant To Say
“I think I finally did it. After doing it to Ray Goff and Jim Donnan, now it looks like I’ve managed to kill off Mark Richt. Who’s next? Kirby Smart? Come on down, baby. I’m not going anywhere. I’m gonna live forever!” – Steve Spurrier, Head Coach, South Carolina
“Remember Nick Fairley? Remember Cam? Remember the Iron Bowl? Remember the good old days? Anybody? How do you not remember???” – Gene Chizik, Head Coach, Auburn
“It was a cute little win for the Gamecocks. (Yawns for 30 seconds) If they make it to the SEC Championship, we’ll double team Clowney, take out Lattimore’s knee, and give that 75 pound quarterback a concussion. I’m thinking we’ll win 31-7. By the way, did you see Homeland? Homeland’s good.” – Nick Saban, Head Coach, Alabama