On October 15th, Steve Spurrier was riding pretty high. South Carolina had just whipped Arkansas on the road to the tune of 52-7. Spurrier’s offense — led by quarterback Connor Shaw — was one of the SEC’s best. And speaking of Shaw, the Ol’ Ball Coach made it clear that his QB didn’t care that he wasn’t getting enough attention from the national press:
“Having a wonderful season is a lot more important to them than how much attention they get. Ten years from now, people aren’t going to ask Connor Shaw, ‘How much attention did you get?’ They’re going to ask him ‘What was your record?’ And he’s going to tell them what his record is.”
Fast forward to yesterday, October 21st, just two days after a shocking 23-21 loss at Tennessee. It’s fair to say Spurrier’s views on the media coverage afforded his offense have changed:
“Maybe we had too much press. We thought we were too good, maybe. I don’t know. I thought Tennessee played strong up front. I thought their D-line played well, and their linebackers. We did pop a few, and of course Connor had that one long run, but we didn’t have many passing yards, that’s for sure.”
For those who haven’t been keeping score at home, Spurrier is not a real big fan of the media. He plays the media like harp every season at SEC Media Days, tossing out pie-in-sky ideas that get repeated over and over by those of us in the press, but that doesn’t mean he likes the fourth estate. Check out his comment from yesterday regarding Missouri, Carolina’s opponent on Saturday:
“According to the media experts, ESPN and all those guys, nobody saw this team coming from where they are now. They weren’t picked to do much that I know of by hardly anyone, but they have got an excellent team — offense, defense, special teams, the whole bit. They haven’t been winning by any fluky means.”
One must wonder where an “expert” like Spurrier would have placed Mizzou in his preseason picks.
Spurrier’s voicebox has ruled the SEC for two decades. Whether he’s joking, needling, or complaining, the media is ever-quick to disseminate whatever Spurrier says. It’s ironic, then, that he can find ways to dig at the press regardless of whether reporters are giving his club too much press or not enough.