Tigers Take Notice of Spurrier

CLEMSON – Just the mere mention of Steve Spurrier's name evokes a wide range of emotions, regardless of whether you cheer for Florida, South Carolina, Clemson or the NFL's Washington Redskins. You either love him or hate him.

There's no middle ground.

For Clemson fans, however, there's added incentive to dislike the "Old Ball Coach." South Carolina is ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 23 in the BCS Standings. The Gamecocks were also named as the national team of the week on Monday.

Moreover, Spurrier is even on the front page of the Yahoo! college sports section and constantly talked about on several national radio and television sports shows.

It seems everywhere you turn it's all Spurrier, all the time.

And that's just fine with some of the Tigers' players.

"I hope they're 10-0 going into the game," tight end Thomas Hunter said Monday. "It makes us look better. It means more on the line for the game."

They like the fact that the Gamecocks are receiving all this recognition because that will draw more light to Clemson should it pull off the win.

"It's something different because he's kicking everybody's tail," safety C.J. Gaddis said. "They're winning football games."

South Carolina enters Saturday's season finale with seven wins, the most since 2001. At the beginning of the season, most, including Clemson fans, felt the Gamecocks would be lucky to win five or six.

But the mystic of Spurrier has once again reared its ugly head.

"It does affect the players a little bit," Gaddis said. "Spurrier's a proven coach. He's beaten everybody and won a lot of games. You know they're going to be ready to play."

However, there are those at Clemson that couldn't care less as to whom the coach is.

All they care about is the game itself.

"I don't think it has anything to do with Spurrier," senior running back Kyle Browning said. "Coaches don't get on the field. Players are going to have to go out there and make something happen. We're going to go out there and look at it as we're playing South Carolina in a big rivalry."

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