Friday, September 05, 2008

South Carolina – Where Legendary Coaches Go to Die

It’s pretty evident by now that the South Carolina gig isn’t working out how Spurrier intended.

When Spurrier took the job at Florida, an immediate impact in offensive effectiveness was evident, as seen here –

Average Florida points per game per Spurrier (1988-1989)22.33

Average Florida points per game by year with Spurrier (1990-1993)

1990 – 35.18
1991 – 32.42
1992 – 24.23
1993 – 42.75

1990 saw an immediate increase of 57.5% in points per game scored. While the 9-4 season of 1992 was a set back , by 1993 the Spurrier offense was in full bloom with the Gators scoring nearly double that they had in 1988-1989.

While the Florida offense under Spurrier would peak at 47 ppg in 1996, it was never less than 30 points per game again (lowest after 1993 was 31.6 ppg in 1998).

In the two years before Spurrier came to South Carolina, the Gamecocks averaged almost exactly the same offensively that Florida did pre-Spurrier at 22.21 ppg. However, South Carolina didn’t have nearly the same offensive explosion experienced at Florida –

2005 – 23.66
2006 – 26.62
2007 – 26.08

A meager 6.5% increase in points year one, and a high of 19.9% by year two. And while Florida under Spurrier saw the big breakout in his 4th year, the Gamecocks don’t look to be on the verge on anything similar. So far (admittedly early) they are averaging 25.53 in 2008.

Soon to be a full-time hobby?
Just how average is South Carolina’s offense under Spurrier? Well in 2007 they were 77th nationally in total offense at 371.83 ypg, and 70th in scoring offense at 26.08 ppg. This puts them firmly with the same offensive prowess of teams like Colorado State (71st in total offense) and Minnesota (67th in scoring offense) last season.

I don’t pretend to have any reasons why. Lack of talent, or defenses that have adapted to Spurrier offenses, are all possible explanations, but it simply isn’t working at South Carolina like it did at Florida.

That’s not to say they won’t mark an upset against some SEC power this year – its just becoming clear they are not nor likely to become an SEC power themselves. I can’t imagine the spoiler role was what Spurrier had in mind when he took the job.


Anonymous said...

The heart and the spark just aren't there for him.. you can see it in his face. Even as the last few seconds ticked off the clock last night, the usual teeth clinching and lip curling that are often displayed immediately after a loss were replaced by a more stoic bland stare.

Alas, I'm afraid the ol' Ball Coach is done.

cp said...

It is about athletes. Spurrior could win at South Carolina if he hired a real recruiting whiz and paid him a fortune to get him enough premiun players. He needs a Ron Zook as special teams co-ordinator and as recruiter extrordinaire.

Had he been able to convince John Brantley to go to USC or Stephen Garcia was not such a thug/head case, who knows. His offense is so Quarterback driven.

Or is it that his offense has been figured out by DC's and, like the single wing, is destined for the scrap heap?

He surely is not getting the talent he was getting at Florida and there is no reason to believe he will in the future. He is dead in the water as I see it.