Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Spurrier takes over at South Carolina

November 24, 2004


— Steve Spurrier took over at South Carolina on Tuesday, signing a seven-year deal worth $1.25 million a season that could grow to more than $2 million with incentives. He pledged to turn the Gamecocks into the kind of consistent champion he built for 12 seasons at Florida.

South Carolina has one conference title in 111 years and an overall record of 500-507-44.

The coach comes back following a dose of humility, after going 12-20 in two pitiful seasons as the Washington Redskins coach in 2002 and 2003.

"Maybe I was a little arrogant. Maybe I ran my mouth more than I should," Spurrier said. "Human nature comes down and causes you maybe to feel you've got more answers than you really do when you've got a real good team. So, hopefully, I've learned some humility and great respect for all coaches."

The 59-year-old Spurrier, who replaces Lou Holtz, led the Gators to six Southeastern Conference titles and the 1996 national championship. He seemingly could have stayed in Gainesville, Fla., forever, but abruptly resigned in 2001 and began a disastrous stint with the Redskins.

Spurrier left the NFL after last season and then waited for the right college job to open. There was a strong push from some Florida followers for Spurrier to return to his old position at The Swamp after coach Ron Zook was fired. But Spurrier pulled out of the running and said again Tuesday that 12 years at the same university was enough.

Spurrier said he was not looking forward to his first matchup with Florida, his alma mater, Nov. 12 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Bowl assignments set

for four Big Ten teams

Four Big Ten teams got their bowl assignments Tuesday, with co-champion Iowa leading the way to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Wisconsin is headed to the Outback Bowl, while Purdue goes to the Sun Bowl and Ohio State plays in the Alamo Bowl.

Also Tuesday, North Carolina accepted a bid to the Continental Tire Bowl, and the Mid-American Conference agreed to send a team to the Silicon Valley Football Classic.

The No. 12 Hawkeyes (9-2, 7-1 Big Ten) earned their invitation to a third straight New Year's Day bowl after beating Wisconsin on Saturday, claiming a share of the conference title. Coach Kirk Ferentz was rewarded for his success with a contract extension that will pay him a base salary of $1.2 million.

The Hawkeyes will play the second-place finisher in the SEC.

Wisconsin made it to the Jan. 1 bowl in Tampa, Fla., after losing its final two conference games. The No. 20 Badgers (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) return to the Outback Bowl for the third time. Wisconsin will face an SEC team.

Purdue goes to the Sun Bowl for the third time in four years. The Boilermakers (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten) likely will face either No. 18 Arizona State (8-2) or Oregon State (6-5) Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas.

Ohio State was selected to play in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio. The Buckeyes (7-4, 4-4) will play a team from the Big 12.

North Carolina (6-5) heads to Charlotte, N.C., for a Dec. 30 game against a Big East team.

The MAC will send a team to the Silicon Valley Football Classic on Dec. 30 in San Jose, Calif., to face a team from the Western Athletic Conference, taking the spot contractually reserved for the seventh-place Pac-10 team. The Pac-10 won't have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill its spot.

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