Spurrier faces tough year

Steve Spurrier, who marred several potentially spectacular Tennessee football seasons during the 1990s, is back in the SEC -- this time at South Carolina. The ol' ball coach still has a sharp tongue but he doesn't have the talent-rich recruiting base he had at the University of Florida.

Off-field problems led Spurrier to dismiss a dozen potential Gamecock contributors in recent months, including star running back Demetris Summers. The head man also has struggled with a shaky situation at quarterback, since the guys he inherited were recruited to run Lou Holtz's option attack, not Spurrier's pro-style passing attack.

Given all of these obstacles, you wonder how Spurrier will do in his first season at Columbia. Well, the folks at collegefootballnews.com wondered, too. In their "Tuesday Question," they asked: How will the first season go for these high-profile coaches? The coaches they chose included five newcomers UT will face this fall -- Spurrier, Urban Meyer at Florida, Les Miles at LSU, Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss and Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

The responses, which can be viewed at collegefootballnews.com, are entertaining. For example, here's what the CFN.com experts had to say about Spurrier when pondering the question: How will the first season go for ...?

SPURRIER: Lousy. Does he have any players left or have they all gotten in trouble? He doesn't have any of the pieces in place to run his offense the way he'd like to. The SEC East isn't a very forgiving place.

SPURRIER: Not quickly enough. Beginning in September and continuing through the rest of the season, Spurrier's patience will be tried, and tried mightily, by the quarterbacks (at least three of them before it's all said and done) who will try to pitch it around the ballpark. USC will get bloodied up; the goal is finding a reliable gunslinger for next year.

SPURRIER: This year will make him wish that he were still coaching the Redskins.  Shane Matthews and Errict Rhett aren't showing up anytime soon, so the first year will be about setting a standard and a way of doing things, but getting to six wins would shock me.

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