SEC Media Days: The best of Steve Spurrier in front of a microphone

Steve Spurrier at the 2012 SEC Media Days. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Spurrier at the 2012 SEC Media Days. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports /
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Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier at the 2012 SEC Media Days. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports /

The best of Steve Spurrier taunting his rivals

Spurrier’s favorite targets were his rivals. As the head coach at Duke, Florida, and South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, and Clemson were obvious targets for the HBC’s most vicious barbs.

Because he was from Tennessee and was not offered a scholarship out of high school, and because Tennessee was a rival to both Florida and South Carolina, he had an extra passion for trolling the Vols.

Here are some of his best quips about his rivals:

At SEC Media Days in 1992 after beating Georgia 45-13 in 1991:
“Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, everyone says we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”

Bringing up an impermissible benefits scandal at Florida State in which players were gifted free clothing, including thousands of dollars worth of Nikes:
“You know what FSU stands for, don’t ya? Free Shoes University.”

When asked at the 2005 SEC Media Days if he thought his South Carolina program could beat Georgia like his Florida teams did:
“Is Ray Goff still coaching over there?”

When asked about Peyton Manning’s return to Tennessee as a senior:
“I know why Peyton came back for his senior year: he wanted to be the first three-time MVP of the Citrus Bowl.”

and when asked about expectations for Manning and Tennessee under coach Phil Fulmer that season:
“You can’t spell ‘Citrus’ without the UT.”

After Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said that Spurrier is from Mars and that he is from Pluto:
“Dabo probably thinks there’s nine planets out there. I read that Pluto may not be considered important now.”

When asked at the 2012 SEC Media Days about not playing Georgia early in the season as South Carolina’s first big test:
“I don’t know. I sorta always like playing them that second game of the year because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

Speaking at the 2015 SEC Media Days about disappointing fans after a 7-6 finish in 2014:
“There are people in Knoxville and Fayetteville still doing cartwheels over going 7-6.”

When asked about star player Jadeveon Clowney getting a speeding ticket after a 5th-straight victory over Clemson in 2013:
“I didn’t know Jadeveon’s car could go that fast. He doesn’t have a pretty car like those FSU guys used to drive.”

At SEC Media Days in 2005 when his Florida team’s beating of Georgia in Athens in 1995 was brought up:
“They didn’t seem to be too mad about it. They only had about 5000 left in the stadium.”

During a long, media-fueled spat with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney over things like “The real USC,” “The real Death Valley,” etc.:
“Most of our guys have never been to Death Valley. LSU’s stadium is Death Valley, isn’t it? Is there another one? Oh, there’s two of them? That’s right. There must be two Death Valleys, huh? I forgot about that other one.”

and after one particular rant from Dabo Swinney in which Swinney incorrectly attributed a quote to Spurrier that was said by Gamecock radio play-by-play man (and former quarterback) Todd Ellis:
“Smart people don’t believe everything they read, and they don’t believe hearsay…I guess Dabo believes it.”

When asked by reporters about a quote from then-coach at North Carolina Mack Brown accusing Spurrier’s Duke program of disrespecting Keenan Memorial Stadium by beating the Tar Heels 41-0 in 1989:
“Why? I’ve got a better record on that field than he does.” He also added: “I’m not one to say ‘no comment’ whether I am right or wrong, but especially if I am right.”

When asked at SEC Media Days about what he expected when South Carolina made the trip up to Neyland Stadium:
“This will be the 14th time I’ve coached in Neyland Stadium. I’ve coached there more than some of their head coaches.”

After his South Carolina team beat the rival Georgia Bulldogs in Athens in 2007:
“It wasn’t like they were some big, powerful team. They’ve actually lost five in a row to Eastern Division opponents. Kentucky and Vandy beat ’em last year, too.”