HOOVER, Ala. - Steve Spurrier, set to begin his 10th season at South Carolina, made his appearance in the main room on Tuesday morning. He got to the microphone and said he was "ready for talking season. That's what we're all doing right now, is talking."
As usual, the main room was full, anxious to hear Spurrier talk.
The Head/Old Ball Coach didn't take any digs at anybody, but he was good for a few quips and riffs. The best was his riff on Davy Crockett and the Alamo, prompted by a question about the new "James Bonham" trophy to be given for the winner of the now-annual Texas A&M-South Carolina game. Bonham was a South Carolina graduate who was killed at the Alamo.
"I'm sure Bonham did some good things. I always thought Davy Crockett was the hero of the Alamo, he and those 33 Tennessee guys that came in there and got killed and so forth," Spurrier said, in a way only he can. "So the trophy was a little surprising to me. I'm sure this guy Bonham was a hero and did a lot of good, after I read the story."
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The other highlights:
- Spurrier called Alabama the favorite in the SEC, and as he has often mentioned Nick Saban's recruiting, so often ranked No. 1 in the nation.
"That's got to make him the best recruiter in the history of college football," he said.
- And just to keep everyone in this state happy, Spurrier called Gus Malzahn "one of the best coaches in the country, not just the SEC. I think everybody knows that." Spurrier added that Auburn wouldn't have won the 2010 national championship without Malzahn as offensive coordinator.
- Spurrier on Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin's six-year, $30 million contract signed after last year: "He's a good coach ... He's a good negotiator too, we know that. He's got a good deal."
- On his former quarterback Stephen Garcia, who's here working for the web site "Saturday Down South": "Stephen has his long hair back. It looks like he joined Duck Dynasty instead of the media."
Spurrier and Garcia ran into each other in the hallway after the session. They shook hands, and later in the internet room Garcia asked Spurrier a question.
- What about South Carolina? Spurrier pointed out that they've beaten the division winner the past three years. But the Gamecocks haven't won the division since 2010.
"All you do is give Georgia credit for going 7-1 in two years, and you give Missouri credit also," Spurrier said.
South Carolina fans would rather beat Clemson than win the division, opined Spurrier. But he disagrees with them.
"We've won a lot of games but we've still only won one division, and we haven't won an SEC," Spurrier said. "So there's still a lot out there."