Can Spurrier Win The SEC At South Carolina?
By Dan Harralson
How big was the Georgia loss to Missouri on Saturday?
It was big in the SEC East race and could mean bigger things for Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks. It's almost like 2012 in reverse. Georgia lost to South Carolina last year, but still won the SEC East because South Carolina lost to LSU and Florida.
Now it seems the roles are reversed. Georgia beat South Carolina this year, but then lost to Missouri between the hedges. And that loss changes everything. It's set up for Spurrier to run through the rest of the SEC schedule to claim the right to play in Atlanta.
South Carolina travels to Tennessee and then Missouri. Mississippi State follows for homecoming, then an open date and the Florida game at home. It's set up in Carolina's favor to win out and potentially finish the regular season with a victory against Clemson. Spurrier owns Clemson and he has a winning record against Nick Saban (3-1), whom he likely would face in Atlanta.
Spurrier would take his best South Carolina team to the Georgia Dome. The only problem: Nick Saban's going for a three-peat. But maybe it's meant to be: Spurrier wins the SEC at South Carolina.
The Ol' Ball Coach likes his current team, enough where he gave a classic Spurrier quote talking about quarterback Connor Shaw.
"The Houston Texans have thrown a pick-six the last five weeks. Has Connor Shaw ever thrown one?'" Spurrier said.
Shaw means more to his team than preseason Heisman hopeful and teammate Jadeveon Clowney.
"When you look at his statistics on the year, they're pretty much fantastic with no interceptions, a whole bunch of touchdown passes, and yards per attempt, and all that kinda stuff," Spurrier said. "He's got to be amongst the best in the country in pass efficiency. We are where we are because he's played well."
It seems like the Ol' Ball Coach will bring home the conference championship to Columbia eventually, and it may happen Dec. 6. But first thing's first: The Gamecocks must leave Knoxville victorious.
Spurrier vs. Saban
2010: South Carolina 35, Alabama 21
2009: Alabama 20, South Carolina 6
2001: Florida 44, LSU 15
2000: Florida 41, LSU 9