College football has been without Steve Spurrier on the sidelines for over a year now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t hear from the Head Ball Coach every now and then. Most recently, he was seen winking at Clemson fans after receiving boos during the CFP National Championship Game. On Wednesday, Spurrier gave his opinion on Nick Saban winning the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award, despite Saban’s Alabama team losing 35-31 to Clemson in that title game.
Steve Spurrier on Nick Saban winning Coach of the Year from Maxwell Football Club:— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) March 8, 2017
"Obviously they must have voted before the final game."
Yes, his statement is factually accurate — the award was announced with Saban as the winner the Thursday before the championship game, but this kind of stuff Spurrier says always has to be taken with some sarcasm. This time, Spurrier is slyly referencing the loss the Tide suffered to the Tigers in Tampa after Saban won the award.
Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the HBC make remarks regarding Saban, with most of them coming while Spurrier was still in the coaching game. Two years ago, the HBC said Saban should relax more when it comes to putting in hours.
I told Nick Saban one time, I said, ‘Nick, you don't have to stay there until midnight and your teams would be just as good and win just as many.' He said, ‘If I could do it the way you do it, I would, but I don't feel comfortable unless I try to cover every base, every angle, be totally prepared.' I said, ‘Well, that's probably why you do it.' When I come out there, I feel comfortable we are ready to play. We have our game plan in, going to call this, call that and so forth. Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared.
Hatin'-Ass Spurrier continued:
If he worked longer hours "would we be 12-1 instead of 11-2? Oh, you're kidding," Spurrier said. "I haven't heard anybody say that really, but if you wanted to, you can find faults with anybody if they don't win them all. How many SECs has (Saban) won there in eight years? He's won two. He's won three nationals, but he's only won two SECs in eight years. Now, if you had the No. 1 recruiting class every year and so forth, I don't know if he has maxed out potentially as well as he could."
And in 2012, Spurrier, when asked about Saban’s accomplishments in Tuscaloosa, essentially said it’s not a very hard task to win at Alabama.
“He’s got a nice little gig going,” Spurrier said via ESPN. “A little bit like (John) Calipari. He tells guys, ‘Hey, three years from now, you’re going to be a first-round pick and go.’ If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”
Finally, when speaking about the 2014 proposed 10-second rule that, if it had passed, would have penalized offenses for snapping the ball within the first 10 seconds of the play clock, Spurrier called it “the Saban rule.”
We’ll see if there’s anything more that comes out of this latest Spurrier-to-Saban exchange. And I hope there is, because I’ll take all the “retirement Spurrier throwing shade” I can get.