In his 11th season as South Carolina’s head coach, Steve Spurrier may be entering his final game at Tiger Stadium on Saturday.
Spurrier, 70, is 11-4 all-time against LSU. But entering this weekend’s showdown with the seventh-ranked Tigers, his Gamecocks are prohibitive underdogs.
Unfortunate flooding in the Columbia, S.C., area forced the LSU-South Carolina game to be moved from a South Carolina home game at Williams-Brice Stadium to a South Carolina home game in Baton Rouge, La.
No, it isn’t ideal, but it gives the LSU fans what might be their last chance to see the Head Ball Coach.
The next time South Carolina travels to Baton Rouge to play LSU is five years from now. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility to see a 75-year-old Spurrier patrolling the visitors sideline of Tiger Stadium in 2020, but then again, there are other factors in play.
Spurrier’s Gamecocks are 2-3 and winless in two SEC games this season. South Carolina’s best player is a true freshman quarterback who, in two starts, leads the team in both passing and rushing. But he won’t even be starting Saturday afternoon against No. 7 LSU.
South Carolina was certainly in the mix in the SEC over the past couple of years, thanks to the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Alshon Jeffery, Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore. But it seems as if that momentum has slowed down a bit.
Whether it’ll be the future Hall of Fame coach’s decision or the university’s, there is most definitely an end in sight for Spurrier’s era of South Carolina football.
On Saturday when Spurrier returns to Tiger Stadium, it may be the last time that Tigers fans can marvel in what has been a legendary college football career.
From the time he was a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, to a head coach with the Gators and now at South Carolina for more than a decade, Spurrier has epitomized what’s truly great about college football. From his visor to his shirtless strolls along the sidelines, Spurrier has plenty of quirks that have made him a fan favorite for a quarter-century.
Sometimes, his antics overshadowed what was an even more immaculate resume. Entering this season, Spurrier boasted a .725 win percentage. Last year, he became only the fourth coach to log 100 or more wins as an SEC coach against SEC teams.
Spurrier has also reversed the course of history for South Carolina. In 2010, he helped lift the Gamecocks to their first SEC East title and first appearance in the SEC Championship game. He also coached the team over then-ranked No. 1 Alabama, the school’s first-ever defeat of the nation’s top team.
The seven-time SEC Coach of the Year has done wonders for South Carolina football and has been equally as significant in writing the history of the conference overall. Spurrier’s success on the football field is only rivaled by his success away from it.
On Saturday when the Head Ball Coach returns to Death Valley, he’ll look to snap a three-game losing streak against the highest-ranked SEC team in the nation. A lofty task, sure, but nothing out of the realm of possibility when it comes to Spurrier.
Perhaps it could be the high note Spurrier needs to continue coaching a year, or two, or even three. But it’s unlikely the fans at Tiger Stadium will see Spurrier patrol the sidelines ever again.
After all, 2020 is a long way away.
Nobody wanted to see flooding devastate the Columbia community, but it did provide a gift to the LSU fans. They’ll see Spurrier once last time.
Win or lose, it should serve as a lasting memory for all of those in attendance.
Visors off for the Head Ball Coach.
— FanBuzz (@FanBuzz) September 24, 2015