The best thing about South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier is that you never need to know what he’s thinking, and when he speaks his mind, it’s almost always entertaining. The subject of The ‘Ol Ball Coach’s latest soundbite: Alabama head coach Nick Saban. In an interview with The State, Spurrier explained how his mentality when it comes to approaching games differs from Saban’s, recalling a conversation the two had about how they prep for Saturdays.
“I told Nick Saban one time, I said, ‘Nick, you don’t have to stay there until midnight and your teams would be just as good and win just as many,’ ” Spurrier said. “He said, ‘If I could do it the way you do it, I would, but I don’t feel comfortable unless I try to cover every base, every angle, be totally prepared.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s probably why you do it.’ When I come out there, I feel comfortable we are ready to play. We have our game plan in, going to call this, call that and so forth. Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared.”
Of course, Saban’s meticulous preparation has worked out for him during his time as a head coach, as he has a career record of 165-57-1, with a 74-15 record at Alabama. Spurrier’s outlook on preparation has also been successful, as he has a 219-79-2 record in his career with a mark of 77-39 with the Gamecocks.
Spurrier also took a shot at Saban’s ability to cultivate the talent that he recruits, pointing out that his success in the SEC hasn’t necessarily matched the success that he’s had in recruiting.
“How many SECs has (Saban) won there in eight years? He’s won two. He’s won three nationals, but he’s only won two SECs in eight years. Now, if you had the No. 1 recruiting class every year and so forth, I don’t know if he has maxed out potentially as well as he could.”
Unfortunately, Saban’s Crimson Tide and Spurrier’s Gamecocks won’t play during the regular season, so we won’t find out whose way of preparing for Saturdays is better unless they meet in the postseason.