Steve Spurrier’s latest dig at Nick Saban

NCAA Football: South Carolina-Spring Game

Can’t coaches just save it for SEC Media Days?

In an interview with The State, Steve Spurrier talked about his ‘work smart not harder’ approach at South Carolina. The way Spurrier’s coaching has evolved from a Fun-N-Gun Florida to a grind-it-out South Carolina has been impressive to watch unfold, and he never seems to take things too seriously, often times ribbing fellow coaches.

RELATED: A look at the SEC head coaches current salaries

This time, it’s Nick Saban, again.

Spurrier explained the difference between himself and Saban and how his mentality differs from the SEC’s $7 million man.

“I told Nick Saban one time, I said, ‘Nick, you don’t have to stay there until midnight and your teams would be just as good and win just as many,’ ” Spurrier said. “He said, ‘If I could do it the way you do it, I would, but I don’t feel comfortable unless I try to cover every base, every angle, be totally prepared.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s probably why you do it.’ When I come out there, I feel comfortable we are ready to play. We have our game plan in, going to call this, call that and so forth. Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared.”

Spurrier’s Gamecocks have won the third most games the last five years with 26, trailing just Alabama (37) and LSU (31).

The Ole Ball Coach saved his best zing for last, saying he doesn’t know if Saban has maxed out as well as he could.

“If he worked longer hours “would we be 12-1 instead of 11-2? Oh, you’re kidding,” Spurrier said. “I haven’t heard anybody say that really, but if you wanted to, you can find faults with anybody if they don’t win them all. How many SECs has (Saban) won there in eight years? He’s won two. He’s won three nationals, but he’s only won two SECs in eight years. Now, if you had the No. 1 recruiting class every year and so forth, I don’t know if he has maxed out potentially as well as he could.”

Spurrier’s Gamecocks are still looking for that elusive SEC Championship that has slipped through their fingertips the last few years, often because his teams lose the one game they can’t lose.

South Carolina opens the 2014 season against Texas A&M on August 28th.

Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I don’t really see that as much of a jab. Realizing though that through this dominant stretch that Bama is in, that they’ve only won the SEC twice is incredible. That’s just a testament to how hard it is to win the SEC outright.

  • Okay this pains me a little bit. Having suffered through the UGA ,FLA games while Spurrier was at FLA. BUT…If Spurrier were at Alabama and Saban were at USC? I don’t think USC would be as good as they are now. Does that mean Spurrier is a better coach? Maybe?

    • Absolutely not. If Spurrier were better, he’d have won something by now. He’s been at Sakerlina longer than Saban has been at Bama…

      • Ya think so Nat-head? ANYBODY can recruit to Bama,

      • Saban starts with winners and keeps them winners (except Miami of course) and Spurrier starts with losers and makes them winners (except Washington of course). Saban is the most thorough college coach alive, as the article suggests. Spurrier is a college coaching genius. I would like to see Saban do just once what Spurrier has done three times. When Saban leaves, Alabama will still be great. When Spurrier leaves/retires, don’t expect the same success level at USC. That is the difference and builds quite the case for Spurrier’s legacy over Saban’s.

  • Nick has done one hell of a lot better than Spurrier!

    • I disagree. The Gamecocks were a celler dweller before Spurrier came on board and you don’t just “suddenly” become a national contender. Anybody with a heartbeat could get the best of the best to come to Bama because of their history. USC’s history book is pretty short and the HBC has done more with less.

    • I agree with Cocky Mike. I don’t think you understand the differences in the 2 programs. You must be about 22 years old or something.

  • As we say down south. “Proof is in the pudding”:. 4 championships in a decade speaks for itself and how the “Process” is effective. Until Spurrier brings one to USC he is just trolling.

  • Also said alot Down South. “Horse Hockey” Hell whats his name ? The fat guy? DuBos? Won at Bama. Spurrier met a challenge and went into a “production improvement” Bama never went away Saban inherited a gold mine that is Alabama football. USC had won maybe 2 total bowl games in the history of the school before he got there (look it up). How many had Bama won? Yeah it dipped a little under Shula but they’ve been winning for a 100 years.

    • I could argue that other coaches may be better, but in the end that is just subjective speculation. In the end Championships are all that matter.

      You know how Saban recruits? He shows them his rings and the Fat checks that all the first round drafts he help create receive. Recruiting is easy when you win rings.

  • I think they’re both amazing coaches but I have to give the nod to Spurrier on this one simply because he came to USC where football was really non-existent. We always had a great fan base but we weren’t that good consistently. I remember 1999!!!! Bama has always been Bama in a football rich state with a tradition that spoke volumes. Saban didn’t have to create all that, he just had to re-invigorate it. Spurrier, let’s be honest here, created the football culture we see today at USC. AND he wins with 2 and 3 star players while Bama has, virtually, the number 1 recruiting class every year. That’s why I give the HBC the nod over Saban. And Spurrier did it without working 15 hour days!

  • COME ON!! This is not a dig.

  • Alabama’s had the #1 recruiting class six of the last seven years… and it’s not really even been close. Saban’s the best recruiter in college football. But, if I had to choose a coach to game plan & call plays on Saturday afternoons, I’d pick the Ol’ Ball Coach every time.

    Also, Spurrier hasn’t had the luxury of coaching at LSU & Alabama… or even Michigan State, for that matter. All three of which had some great history before he got there. Those programs were already built & well-established. Spurrier coached at Duke (awful), Florida (a classic underacheiver) & South Carolina (horrible!). Mediocrity was the calling card of these three schools before he got there.

    And, head-to-head, the HBC is 3-1 against Saban (with lesser talent, too). Now, if Saban could go to some place like Mississippi State & win…

  • A couple of years ago, Spurrier said. “If Nick wants to be considered one of the best coaches of all time, he needs to win somewhere other than Alabama.” …and I agree with him. Name a reasonably respectable coach that COULDN’T win with the talent that lines up to go to Alabama? Saban in a good coach, there’s no doubt there, but could he bring a team like the Gamecocks to win 33 games in 3 years at USC like SOS has?

  • Winning in the ACC is like being the tallest midget.

  • @Troy MT How is that subjection? Those are facts. USC had only won 2 total bowl games prior to Spurrier getting there. They have won now 11 games per season for 3 years now , and have won several bowl games. Didn’t they also go to a SECCG? AL had won MANY bowl games and Championships prior to Saban. There recruiting classes haven’t wavered much even under Shula. He didn’t “coachum up’ maybe? But they have always gotten great players. I think it’s obvious. And, I no Spurrier fan. Just been watching this league about 45 years now.

    • Spurrier is a great coach and love to watch him go at it and enjoy his comments even more. I take nothing away from his accomplishments.

      Deciding who is best or great is subjective depending on how you personally filter the data. I can see both sides of the coins but in the end Spurrier mentioning another coaches “process” and how he doesnt need to work that hard… i just say ok prove it. I would love to see something more fro the SEC East in the last 10 years (3-7) than getting beat in the championship game to the West…. PS none of which was a Spurrier coached team..

  • Nick Saban’s all time win pct. is 74.8% and Spurrier’s is 73.3%. Spurrier has 7 more years added into that and has coached at two MUCH worse schools….

      • Another fact. I agree. Don’t like Spurrier much. But, you would be an idiot to not notice his accomplisments. Florida hadn’t won an SEC championship prior to him coming from Duke. I think they won 6 in 12 years. He took over a floundering USC program and put their ass’ on the map. Watch out! If they played AL today on a nuetral field? I wouldn’t put alot of money on it put it that way.

  • Spurrier has done so much more with less. Taking USC to there first SECCG and three 11 win seasons back to back. Then doing this this 2,3,4 star recruits i’d say he’s done a damn good job. Nick Saban on the other hand would have to go to Vanderbilt Kentucky or Mississippi st and win a national then id consider him the greatest coach ever.

  • Spurrier has the “it” factor. While Saban is a “grit” master. Spurrier gets the nod. Let’s be honest, the ole ball coach is maestro on game days. Saban, similar to Pinkel sets a gameplan and sticks to it-almost to a fault. He trusts his coordinators to call the right plays… he’s a conductor. When u play the Gamecocks, it’s basically Spurrier vs your D.C.. That’s a mismatch and Spurrier usually wins that competition. Credit Lorenzo Ward for all he does too.

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