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Is time running out for Steve Spurrier?

September 12, 2008

A loss to Vanderbilt (a program that hasn’t been to a bowl in 26 years) and the involvement of five players in an on-campus fight – the hits just keep on coming for Steve Spurrier.

Since becoming the Gamecocks’ head coach in 2005, the Ole Ball Coach has been a mediocre 22-17, including a dismal 11-14 mark in SEC play. And perhaps most importantly, the man once dubbed as the savior of South Carolina football is a measly 1-2 against archrival Clemson.

Needless to say, the honeymoon is over in Columbia.

As the Gamecocks head into what is almost certainly going to be a massacre at the hands of the 2nd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, many in the Palmetto State have wondered what happened to the man they believe would take their program from medicority to SEC respectability and inevitably superiority.

Though strong on defense in recent years, it is Spurrier’s forte – his offense – that has been much maligned and ultimately blamed for the Gamecocks’ relative lack of success against the SEC’s elite during his tenure at USC. The offense, complete with a quarterback carousel that may soon featured troubled quarterback – and police blotter all-star – Stephen Garcia, has been dismal in the early goings of 2008, as Spurrier relinquished playcalling duties to his son, the aptly-named Steve Spurrier Jr.

It’s undeniable that Spurrier has had some high-profile wins (including last year’s win over then-undefeated Kentucky last year), but the heartwrenching collapse of last year’s team down the stretch, coupled with a disappointed start to the ’08 campaign have many wondering if Spurrier is capable of turning the program around as was once hoped.

Should this year finish with the Gamecocks at home again in December and January, what will Spurrier’s future hold? Will he resign or will USC give the Head Ball Coach his walking papers?

One thing’s for sure, Spurrier appears to be a shadow of the coach – and the recruiter – that made him so successful at Florida. Many assumed that when Spurrier was fired as head coach of the Redskins after a disasterous tenure in Washington that it meant that he just wasn’t cut out to be a professional head coach, but his problems at South Carolina have revealed – or at the very least, suggested – that the magic that Spurrier showed during an impressive run at Florida is gone.

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