South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has always had a gift for getting under the skin of opposing coaches (see: Fulmer, Phil), and did he ever ruffle the feathers of Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.
You see, after South Carolina beat Clemson for the third consecutive year for the first time in over four decades, the Ol’ Ball Coach got awful cocky by saying, “I guess around here historically they pretty much owned us, but they don’t own us now, that’s for sure.”
Oh yeah, it was also alleged he had this to say: “We ain’t LSU or Alabama but we ain’t Clemson either.” (Although that has since been attributed to South Carolina play-by-play man Todd Ellis.)
That didn’t sit well with Swinney. One of the nicest coaches in the country according to many, Swinney fired back with double barrels on Thursday:
“If he said that, I am disappointed because I was taught to win or lose with class. That is kind of a childish thing to put out there, to be honest with you. I think our program here speaks for itself. I guess I would have to say I agree with him. He is right. They aren’t Clemson and they aren’t ever going to be Clemson, to be honest with you.
“No three-game winning streak is going to change that. It’s not the first three-game winning streak and it might not be the last. It might be 50 more years before it happens again. But I have gone out of my way to be complimentary to them and to coach Spurrier but I will defend my program, my players and my coaches. I am going to defend Clemson University because I believe in it. I think he is exactly right – they are not Clemson and never will be. You are looking at the best era in South Carolina football right now. They just had their second 10-win season, they won a championship in 1969 and the 2010 SEC East. And this rivalry – this is a lot more about domination rather than a rivalry and that’s a fact. My kids and grandkids probably won’t live long enough to see this become a rivalry.”
“I have respect for their program, but South Carolina is not Clemson. There are a lot of differences. This is a place that has won a national title, 17 conference championships and now two division titles. Heck, we have won more bowl games than they have even been to. We have 100 plus more wins than South Carolina. That is reality. This is the best era in 115 years and they have done a great job.
“Coach Spurrier has been there for seven years, but after five years he only had 35 wins and got a new contract and all that kind of stuff. After five years at Clemson, if I have only 35 wins they will be looking for a new coach and they should be. There is a different standard here. He is actually right – they ain’t Alabama, they ain’t LSU and they certainly are not Clemson. That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the University of South Carolina always has been and always will be in Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that.”
Don’t worry coach, we will.