Friday, November 05, 2004

Spurrier Says No To Gators

The Ol' Ball Coach withdrew his name from consideration for the head coach job at his alma mater, University of Florida Gators.

"When I departed three years ago, there were several reasons why I believed it was time to move on," Spurrier said. "Other than simply wanting to coach in the NFL someday, I also believed that 12 years at Florida was probably long enough. Many people in football believe that around 10-12 years in the same job is about the maximum time a coach should stay."

Spurrier during the glory days

This is not what Gator fans wanted to hear, but there it is.

Will Spurrier coach elsewhere? Ultimately, I believe he will. The question, of course, is where?

Some sports analysts believe Spurrier would like another shot coaching in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins job is often cited even though Dave Wannstedt still has that job. It's no secret that Spurrier would prefer to live in Florida, but I think the pundits might be misreading Spurrier.

Spurrier is the kind of guy that likes to surprise people. I could think of no better surprise (shock, actually) than for the Ol' Ball Coach to end up at the University of Tennessee -- Florida's most hated rivalry. That job is presently held down (barely) by Phil Fulmer.

I'm not trying to stir up the pot here .. ok, maybe I am .. but can SEC fans imagine the earthquake that would cause. I know, I know. Steve Spurrier at Tennessee?? The same Steve Spurrier who caused the Volunteers faithful so much pain? The same Spurrier who once quipped "You can't spell Citrus without U-T" on Tennessee's failure to win the big game against Florida, causing the Vols to play in the second-tiered Citrus Bowl almost every year.

But don't count Tennessee out. Afterall, Spurrier was born in Tennessee. I bet he can sing Rocky Top with the best of them .. if the price is right.

Auburn University was often mentioned as a possibility during the off-season. It is definitely not in the cards now. Tommy Tubberville, whose job was on the line last year, is leading Auburn to an undefeated regular season and probably the national championship.

Not that Spurrier would ever be welcome on the plains. He once had this to say about Auburn:

"A fire at the Auburn football dorm destroyed 20 books."

"But the real tragedy was that 15 of them had not been colored in yet."

Damn, I miss that guy.

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