Steve Spurrier is not a happy man. He's not happy with his current South Carolina team, and it's hard to pinpoint the times when he has been truly happy this season. Certainly his spirits were up after the Georgia win, but that already seems years ago. After that slim victory over Vandy, it feels like the team has taken a step or two back. The way Spurrier reacted, you would think it was time to blow it up and start again.
Steve Spurrier doesn't yell in these press conferences because he knows there wouldn't be any point. He knows that people care about what he actually says, as opposed to how he says it. At the same time, it's hard not to read into how soft he became when discussing his team's performance. Steve Spurrier didn't sound mad. Steve Spurrier sounded sad.
"We've all seen good football teams. We ain't one, don't say we're one right now. Damn, the way we play?"
Longtime USC fans have heard similar words before, but they've been very rare in the recent half-decade renaissance. Spurrier had been rejuvenated by the exciting teams he and his coaching staff had put together, but the baffling struggles this USC team has gone through against supposedly lesser competition is clearly wearing on the Head Ball Coach. Spurrier has saddled himself with a quarterback that has a cannon for an arm and broken binoculars for eyes, a defensive line that can't pressure the quarterback, a secondary with gum on their shoes, and a special teams unit that can't stop a kick returner if they run faster than an obese sloth.
Is it time to play the blame game? Not when the team is 13th in the nation and still has a shot at the SEC title. But it's hard to imagine a team that's 3-1, with all three victories coming over [solid] opponents, being as cloudy with doubt as this USC team is. Steve Spurrier may be as much of a coach to this team these days as a CEO is an employee at a corporation, but it's his philosophy and his playbook that's being fed to the players, and that means the buck stops with him. He said it himself Saturday night after the game: "It's embarrassing the way we play, and I'm the head coach of this embarrassing team."
Steve Spurrier doesn't like to be embarrassed, and it's on Steve Spurrier to make this team into something he can be proud of.