The SEC Media Days have officially kicked-off the 2014 football season, and the Gamecocks have represented accordingly. Head coach Steve Spurrier graced the podium and had just about everyone in the media talking, including head coach Kevin Sumlin.
South Carolina was a particular favorite amongst many at the Media Days. Going 11-2 in three seasons, the garnet and black will face the Texas A&M Aggies on August 28, 2014 at Williams-Brice to kick-off the season.
Coach Spurrier complimented Sumlin on his coaching record and skills stating,“Kevin Sumlin has an excellent record as a coach. He’s a good negotiator, we know that also, so he’s got a good deal.” Of course, Spurrier received quite the chuckle after the comment, but went on to note how much respect he had for Sumlin’s team.
The two are actually quite close and are family friends. Sumlin in return said,
“He is the standard. You look at what he’s done at South Carolina, three 11-win seasons. That’s incredible in this league.”
In the Southeastern Conference, to be labeled as “the standard” for a head coach is beyond impressive, and Spurrier has earned every single bit of that title.
During the Media Days, it was noted the Old Ball Coach was about to become the first SEC coach to ever coach 10 years or more at two different schools. Spurrier cracked a smile at the mention of the new record and noted about life’s unpredictability.
“Obviously, you never know what your path in life is going to lead to. When I left Florida after 12 years, I thought I was going to coach NFL five or six years and retire to the beach and play golf a bunch and travel around, this, that and the other.”
Spurrier has coached a national championship team, won seven SEC titles, and won over 73 percent of the his college games. Entering this tenth year of coaching with the Gamecocks, he stands as South Carolina’s 32nd head coach in the school’s history. He even joins Bama legend Bear Bryant as one of the greats to ever coach in SEC history, both hold the most victories coaching at two separate SEC schools.
At Florida, Spurrier had an incredible 122-21-1 record with the Gators. He noted he doesn’t think much has changed between now and then because the SEC has always had solid teams.
“Obviously players are bigger, stronger, faster all over the country,” noted Spurrier. “I think one thing that helps us southern schools is the game is usually played in the south. We don’t have those championship games in the snow. A lot of Big Ten teams, northern teams, play in some bad weather. Playing in the south has got to hep us a little bit, or in California.”
Whether its the weather or the talent, the SEC certainly has a reputation for it’s elite play.
South Carolina was recently picked to with the Eastern Division title, and the Head Coach stated this year could be it for the Gamecocks.
“Well, we’ve won a lot of games, but we still have only won one division, haven’t won an SEC. Those are goals that we have a shot at that could happen for the first time in school history.”
August will predict South Carolina’s future in the SEC, and time will be the deciding factor in which way this team’s season record will go.
GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on South Carolina through the 2014 season.