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September 8, 2008

Steve Spurrier and Ray Goff: Profiles in Frustration

When Steve Spurrier was the head ball coach of the Florida Gators, he took an enormous amount of pleasure in poking a stick at Georgia's Ray Goff. He was allegedly asked once if Florida would beat Georgia, and he responded, "Is Ray Goff still the coach there?"

With that in mind, I compared Steve Spurrier's record with the Gamecocks to date to that of his favorite punching bag -- Ray Goff's -- over the same period. Here's the tale of the tape after 3 seasons plus the first 2 games of Season Four.

Steve Spurrier
at SC
Ray Goff at UGA
Overall 22-17 20-17
vs. the SEC 11-14 12-13*
vs. SEC East 8-8 6-7
vs. SEC West 3-6 6-6
vs. ACC teams 3-2 2-3
vs. "Big 6" SEC Teams 3-10 4-8

Detailed Records

vs. Florida 1-2 1-2
vs. Tennessee 1-2 0-2
vs. Georgia 1-2 n/a
vs. South Carolina n/a 1-1
vs. Kentucky 3-0 2-1
vs. Vanderbilt 2-2 2-1

vs. Alabama 0-1 1-1
vs. Auburn 0-2 1-2
vs. LSU 0-1 1-1
vs. Arkansas 1-2 1-0
vs. Mississippi State 2-0 1-0
vs. Ole Miss 0-0 1-2

*Note: Ray's record includes pre-SEC expansion match-ups with South Carolina and Arkansas. However, Ray went 1-1 in those games so they hardly skew the stats.

When you see the stats side by side, you get a true appreciation for how little Spurrier has really accomplished in Columbia when stacked against a coach many labeled a punch line. Sure, he's won a big game or three, but so "Ray Goof."

The kicker...Coach Goff went 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC during Year 4 including a co-SEC East Championship. There is little chance that the Head Ball Coach will catch Goff in SEC wins when we extend the view to a full Year 4, and he'll probably lose his two game lead in overall wins.

I told a friend about these stats on Saturday, and he responded, "If you send that info to Ray Goff, you'll probably get free chicken fingers for life."

Dawgnoxious' response to these stats:
"Image how bad South Carolina would've been with Ray as coach."
Ouch. Did the stats surprise you?

See Also:
-- Steve Spurrier vs. Chan Gailey - Georgia Sports Blog
-- Georgia Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecock tickets - Stubhub

Game Week Headlines of Note::
-- UGA has SC's Attention - The State
-- Still kinks that need to be fixed - Ching
-- Spurrier Extends Apologies - ABH
-- ESPN missed the boat - AJC
-- Built to Last - Bradley
-- Dawgs focus on SC - Hale
-- No Answers from Stevie on Injuries - GSB



peacedog said...

If by "surprise" you mean "delight", then yes.

If by "surprise" you meant "catch me unawares", then no. I haven't seen such a detailed and well put together summary, but I was aware that Spurrier was trading in his Legacy for Jr's coaching career.

Laura said...

This was definitely a pleasant surprise. I have some contacts w/ the media relations department at S. Carolina I may have to forward this information to them... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I never really understood the vitriolic hatred of Goff from the first day he took the job.

Can any of you long time, in-the-know Georgia fans explain that to me?

Anonymous said...

In fairness, though, the resources, talent, facilities and tradition one has at UGA gives a coach a distinct advantage to work with.

Goff squandered his - Spurrior had two bowl wins - total - to build upon.

Smitty said...

I was somewhat surprised by the stats. Goff was in over his head as a head coach. I think Spurrior's last stint in coaching is going to leave a bad taste in his mouth.

Hunker Down said...

Anon 8:52

We don't have to be fair. This is Steve F'ng Spurrier we are talking about. A more vile human has never drawn breath.

SOS had no trouble accepting the credit for his "system" while at Florida and actually fostered that impression by jerking QBs in and out to prove that it was his offensive genius and not the players that made UF successful.

So, since it is and always has been about Spurrier and not the players, he can take this medicine without needing any qualifiers. For now, he is the coaching equivalent of Ray Goff, whom he belittled at every opportunity. And, as PWD points out, he will not even be Ray's equivalent at the end of next season - if he sticks around.


HawgDawg said...

WOW! My how the mighty have fallen. Couldn't happen to a bigger a$$hole.

Lemme see...

Legacies of Hall of Fames coaches the Lamecocks have destroyed:

Lou Holtz- check
Steve Spurrier- check

Anonymous said...

will be interesting to see if Steve O' comes home when Urban Meyer leaves for the nfl in 2 years.

I think it's a longshot.

Anonymous said...

Question I've been thinking about - Had Spurrier returned to UF in 2005 instead of South Carolina, do you think the results would be the same?

In other words, is this a Spurrier problem or a Gamecock problem?

Toon Dawg said...

Bravo. Eat it, Spurrier. And then choke on it.

UgaMatt said...

I would pay to hand deliver this article to Shiny Pants.

skidawg1985 said...

Interesting to see the stats. As someone else pointed out, UGA even in the days of Goff and Donnan had talent; I cannot say the same for SCar across Spurrier's tenure. So Goff had talent and could not get much out of it. Spurrier is getting just about what the talent should be giving him.

I doubt Meyer will go to the pros. His offensive scheme is not one the NFL will adopt. QBs are expensive in the NFL (well, in college too I guess). Also if you go with that kind of offense in the NFL then you will need multiple QBs of the same style. Look no further than the Falcons to see what happens when you build a team around a mobile QB is runs a lot and that player is gone. Unless your backup is a twin, you are screwed.

I also think that the NFL will go a few years before hiring a college coach (Spurrier, Petrino, Saban anyone?) unless that college coach has a strong NFL background like Pete Carroll or maybe Rick Neuheisel (although I think both would be morons for leaving their respective schools).

carolinadawg said...

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what is the connection between Goff and Zaxby's? Does he own a franchise(s)? Thanks.

C said...

You really have to know the long storied history of South Crackilack to know how it is a coach killer.

They stole Paul Dietzel from LSU after he'd won a national title there. They stole Frank McGuire from the real Carolina. They stole Fogler from Vandy after building a solid program in Nashville. And they stole Odom from Wake Forest after winning an ACC title there with Duncan. Every one of them fizzled out in Columbia because that's what they do up there.

Spurrier is a great coach, but he was simply given too much credit at Florida. It's always a give and take, as players in coaches are always intertwined. He can still get guys open, but he hasn't been able to find a guy to throw it to him. That was a little bit of a problem at Florida, too.

As good as he was there. While he had a Heisman Trophy winning QB on campus (Wuerffel), he won 4 of his 6 SEC titles, made his 2 National Title game appearances, and won his national championship (thanks to James Brown and the Longhorns). Without #7, he had 2 SEC titles in 8 years, and zero national title game appearances.

The lesson? Really good coaches look great when they get the perfect storm of the right player at the right time.

Insert Knowshon Moreno & Matthew Stafford comment here.

SWGADAWG said...

Nothing like a good bashing of a DAWG on Monday morning. It is inexcusable to compare any DAWG to Spurrier. Disgusting......

Anonymous said...

Meyer won't leave for the NFL but he will leave for Notre Dame once they get tired of Charlie after another embarassing season. That should happen either this year or next. Carolina has some very nice facilities, maybe not as nice as UGA, UF or UT, but definately in the top 1/2 of the SEC. Lack of facilities does not give SC the disadvantage that some noted. Also, the state of SC produces a huge number of recruits every year. The problem is SOS can't get them because they don't want to stay in state. Thats not an impairment to his success, its an example of his shortcomings. Ray Goff was not a good coach and he was not prepared. His numbers should have been expected. SOS is showing that he is not the coach everyone thought he was and I bet UF does not try to get him back once Urban leaves.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I'm willing to start a pool to help SCU hire none other than Jim "What, me cheat?" Tressel come 2010.

Anyone else in?

skidawg1985 said...

I disagree that Meyer will jump to Notre Dame. I think he knows that he has one of the best possible situations in college football at Florida.

Winning at Florida might be tough, but not as tough as keeping the ND faithful happy.

Anonymous said...

For the record Ray Goff WAS a coach at SoCar. He was an assistant in 1980.

skidawg1985 said...

Not that the SCar AD is reading this blog, but I like to play fantasy AD.

While SC as a state produces some good football players, I am not sure that it produces enough of them. Clemson is also a powerful force in the recruiting battles in state (I think far more of an issue than Tech is for UGA--of course Auburn, FSU, FL and TN along with so many other more than make up for that).

The top players may well want to leave the state, but that is true regardless of the state where you have kids that want to go somewhere else even if it just to Tallahassee or Knoxville.

Spurrier was a good hire. I mean he energize SC and put it on the map. Recruiters were able to get into homes that I doubt they would have been able to get into otherwise.

Hiring a head coach has to be just about the hardest thing for an AD or president to do. When does the math department chair ever get national attention?

In looking at the current top 10 in the polls, there is no discernible pattern that one can say "hire a person who has done this or that".

Pete Carroll--flop as an NFL coach. Super coach in college. Helps to be at a place with one of the great traditions in college football and in the middle of talent. One thing he also did was get Norm Chow to help revive USC. Brilliant hire.

Mark Richt--no head coaching experience. Popular pick and I thought a good choice at the time. In fact, did anyone come out against this pick? He played at a football power (played is generous I know), was a coordinator at one of the top programs during his tenure.

Tressel---great resume. National championships at 1-AA. In state guy. Again, I am not sure there was any negative talk about him at the time of the hire. Well-respected. Of course Jim Donnan had similar accomplishments. The difference: Tressel knew he needed to beat Michigan, Donnan could never beat the big teams on the schedule.

Stoops---Richt all over again.

Meyer---winner as a head coach everywhere he had been. So far has to rank as one of the best hires in recent years.

Pinkel---honestly I know nothing about him. A few years thought for sure he should have been fired. Mizzou deserves credit for sticking with him and he deserves credit for solving whatever problems were there.

Miles--some success at Oklahoma State, but nothing to me that said he would coach a NC.

Brown--successful at UNC, first few years at Texas were very good, but not great--could not be OU.

Tuberville--mild success at Ole Miss. I was dubious of his selection at Auburn. Obviously that has worked out well. I bet Auburn fans are glad that moron booster was not able to pull off the coup and bring in Petrino.

Bielema---sort of Richt model except that he came from within the program. Still waiting for his team to live up to expectations. (Thought last year was going to be the year). Very young.

Perhaps SC needs to look for a top coordinator from a perennial powerhouse along the Stoops, Richt, Bielema model. Or take a coach who was successful at a non-BCS school (Meyer). I would not go with an NFL coach unless he was not far removed from the college game.

I would definitely not go with the old, fading legend "name" coach as they have not been successful there in the past. It may breed excitement, but actually winning games and winning bowl games will breed excitement as well that is longer lasting and more deeply felt and rewarded.

I think if SC finishes under .500 Spurrier may decide he has had enough and walk away to play golf. The man has a wonderful record and plenty of money so it is not like he needs to frustration.

So who would I try to get:

Skip Holtz has to be the first call; of course if ECU keeps winning like they have been SC will be competing with a dozen other schools. The key there might be his past at SC and in knowing the area--he would be recruiting in areas he already knows.

Will Muschamp--I will begin tossing his name around. Heck he will have been at Texas for a year, time for him to move on anyway! Name got kick around in some circles last year. I think Will could hold out and do better; maybe not a big school but an opportunity at a place like ECU where he could be a little below the radar and learn his way around being a head coach with much less pressure.

Dan Mullen--gotta admit that he has been a good coordinator for several years. At some point he has to start getting consideration. Coming from Florida and being a spread proponent is a plus.

Jerry Moore--this would be a tough one as I think Moore might want to end his days in Boone. SC has gotten an ASU coach before (Sparky Woods, a guy I got to know some).

Bud Foster--VPI has one of the best defenses every year (the current year is tough, but I think 9 of the players from last year's defense were on NFL rosters this year--that is impressive). Why does he not get more calls or do I just not see his name bandied about.

Then there are a bevy of assistants that you wonder about like Charlie Strong and Jon Tenuta who have been excellent coordinators but have never gotten a chance. I always wonder why. I know there is more to being a HC than just X and O's. Maybe they fall short in those other areas. (That is a knock on Tenuta from my brother who has met him several times and heard him speak as well Tenuta reminds me of Donnan in that neither tolerates ignorance or questioning).

skidawg1985 said...

Interesting that Spurrier is only #46 on the rankings. I think that has to go up.

I do not think Randy Shannon is on that much of a hot seat (He is higher than Spurrier).

Maybe I am not in touch with the USC faithful or administration enough to get a feel for his situation.

I also do not think Charlie Weis is on a hot seat with the administration at ND; fans maybe.

skidawg1985 said...

PS to my post on hot seats.

Notice how 5 of the top 10 have a lot of orange in the school colors. Interesting.

worm said...

Spurrierism about Goff: I'll take my players and beat his players in the first half. In the second half I'll take his players and beat my players.

Anonymous said...

I'm for the hometeam as much as anybody, but STOP with the comparisons of Spurrier and Goff! Good 'ol Ray can't even tie his own shoe laces compared to Visor Boy. Let well enough alone and let's beat the Chickens on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

They were legend:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't feel right throwin' alumni under the bus. He lives in Athens and continues to try and help out in the community.

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