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Writer: Spurrier Is Still The Top Gator Over Meyer… And He’s Right

Steve Spurrier won a Heisman Trophy as a player at Florida.  He then returned to his alma mater and made the Gator program one of the top five jobs in America.

But when Urban Meyer hoisted his second BCS crystal football in 2008, there were some who said the Gators newest coach had surpassed the older coach.

George Diaz of The Orlando Sentinel says a bit more time has proven that that was just not the case:

“Even now, as head coach at South Carolina, Spurrier channels the profile of the Perfect Gator: A blend of cockiness and charisma.  A man who embraces all the darts and arrows.  A man who loves to pile on, just because.  What’s not to love?

This is why Spurrier — years after leaving — will forever be king of Florida football, while Urban Meyer is a bit like the emperor with no clothes.

Sure the two national titles are fancy ornaments on his resume, but Meyer’s legacy will forever be tarnished by the rest of his “accomplishments.”  In simpler terms, he was nothing more than a hired mercenary who did his job, got sloppy, bored and disinterested, and helped dismantle a program he helped rebuild into a national power.”

Too strong?  Not in my view.  Spurrier tapped into the recruiting base of the Sunshine State like no other coach in Gator history.  His personality — as well as his play-calling — gained the UF program national recognition.

All that has come since — whether it was won by Meyer or will be won by Muschamp — can be traced back to the moment Spurrier took a good Florida program often bathed in scandal and made it a great football program with a clean record.

While Meyer won, he didn’t leave things in as good of order as he found it.  Tim Tebow — as we’ve written many times — was a once in a generation type of player who happened to pass through on his watch.  And scandals and arrests and drama and turmoil returned to Gainesville on Meyer’s watch as well.

Meyer has one more national title than Spurrier, but without Spurrier first laying the foundation, it’s doubtful Meyer would have accomplished nearly as much as he did in the roughneck SEC.



I think aside from winning two national titles, one of the biggest accomplishments by Meyer was proving that Florida was a brand, independent of any one coach. Florida badly needed for a coach not named Spurrier to win  conference and national titles.


Spurrier ceraitnly made those accomplishments possible by proving they could be done, but had Meyer (or some other coach) not come in and do the same thing, Florida fans would be forever hearing "Hey, Florida could only be successful under one coach."



Maybe, but Spurrier made that brand. Just like Bowden made Fla st and Saban made LSU a brand, Spurrier made the gators a brand with his decade of winning. He created a generation of highschool players who had never seen the gators as anything but a power.

mb6783 1 Like

Spurrier is one of the top 5 coaches of all time. You can love him or hate him, but you have to respect what he has done. When he came back to CFB, he could have had any job in the country, he chose to go somewhere they had never won. He won at Duke, turned the gators into a national power, and has now turned SC into a good, competitive program. He is easily one of the top 5 coaches of ALL TIME.


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