Just get lost Steve

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2002

Sports Editor

Okay, so Steve Spurrier’s leaving Florida.

So what.

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I’m not going to join my colleagues in wishing the "Evil Genius" well in the ranks of the NFL and here’s hoping Florida experiences a significant drop across the board when the 2002 football season arrives.

Admit it. You hope so to.

It probably won’t happen. After all, there’s probably enough talent in the Sunshine State to field 24 SEC caliber football teams. But if we all click our collective ruby, red slippers together long enough and hard enough it might.

How big was Spurrier to Florida?

Well, his name alone automatically attracts wide receivers and quarterbacks, players drawn to Gainesville with visions of toasted defensive backs and quick-slant touchdowns dancing in their heads. But since Spurrier announced his departure, even quarterback Rex Grossman, a contender for last season’s Heisman as a sophomore, is thinking about jumping ship also. Lito Shepherd and Jabar Gafney has already stated their fare-the-well’s and are headed to the NFL to join their former coach.

Where Florida had once been the NCAA’s team-most-likely-to-be-given-the-death penalty in the 80s, Spurrier came in and built tradition where there was none. Prior to his arrival (from Duke of all places), the Gators had won absolutely zero SEC championships. Spurrier leaves Florida having won six SEC crowns and one national championship to boot.

Those are three words you never thought you’d here – "Spurrier leaves Florida." For Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and the rest of the SEC, that alone has to be cause for celebration. Philip Fulmer probably hasn’t been this happy, concerning Spurrier, since watching Nebraska ravage the Gators in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.

Speaking of which they replay that game like Sienfeld reruns on televisions up in Linclon.


But then again, that’s about the only thing the Husker nation can celebrate these days. Miami absolutely manhandled Nebraska in the national title game. I saw both teams play, up close and personal, this season and honestly thought Nebraska had a shot. Shows you how much I know. I should have realized my mistake when Oregon bombed Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day, but by then it was too late.


I lobbied as hard as I could to get the Pike Liberal Arts School Lady Patriots ranked in this week’s ASWA top ten. At 10-4, PLAS has been a pleasant surprise this season heading into all-important region play. Of course, rankings don’t mean much this time of the year, but still, it’s nice to be recognized every once in awhile.