Steve Spurrier has a way of cutting every issue to its core. He doesn’t – or just flat out refuses to – mince words. So in light of the SEC’s recent announcement that it would remain with a 6-1-1 scheduling model, college football’s Ultimate Troll Master was at it again.
“There’s nothing fair about college football,” Spurrier said earlier this week.
He continued, in a way that only he can: “If it was fair, Alabama would have to sit out a year of recruiting. They’ve had the No. 1 class five out of six years. That’s like giving an NFL team the first five picks in the first and second round every year — almost. And some teams play eight home games.”
The most controversial aspect of keeping the status quo in place is the preservation of permanent crossover opponents. Essentially, LSU has to play Florida every year while Alabama gets to tee off on Tennessee annually. At least, that’s how it’s been framed in Baton Rouge.
“To me, Florida’s got the toughest schedule of any of us,” he said. “That’s a tough deal for Coach [Will] Muschamp. He can’t complain about it and can’t say anything about it, but I’ll say something: He’s got the toughest schedule in the conference with only six home games. They’ve got Alabama and LSU next year. Did you know that? That’s brutal.”
South Carolina won’t escape from 2014 without bruises, either. The Gamecocks have exchanged Arkansas for Texas A&M as a permanent crossover opponent, and pick up Auburn as a rotating SEC West opponent. And that’s on top of facing Clemson in the regular season finale.
Spurrier has also been on the wrong end of the SEC scheduling matrix in the past. In 2011, South Carolina went 6-2 in conference play, with losses to Auburn and then-No. 7 Arkansas, but lost the SEC East title to Georgia, despite defeating the Bulldogs in Athens that September, in large part because Georgia faced Ole Miss and Mississippi State from the SEC West. A year later, Georgia again won the SEC East despite a 35-7 drubbing at the hands of Spurrier’s team. Georgia ran the table outside of its loss to South Carolina, while the Gamecocks lost to Florida and LSU.
That’s life in big boy college football, Spurrier says.
“It’s not exactly fair by any means,” Spurrier said. “But that’s the way we’ve always done it. We can still fill the ballparks and the interest is at an all-time high. We’ll worry about that fairness later on.”