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Monday, August 4, 2014
Steve Spurrier takes shot at Big Ten

By Alex Scarborough

Steve Spurrier didn’t let “talking season” end without one final jab.

At South Carolina’s media day on Sunday, the Head Ball Coach was asked about the upcoming vote on autonomy among the Power 5 conferences: the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

And rather than get into cost of attendance, full-term scholarships and other hot-button topics, Spurrier went in another direction first: scheduling.

Where some coaches, most notably Alabama’s Nick Saban, want to see the SEC play only Power 5 conferences, Spurrier disagrees.

“The Big 5 conferences all playing each other, I don’t think that makes a lot of sense, really,” he told reporters in Columbia. “Out of conference, playing East Carolina is a lot tougher game than maybe picking up one of those bottom Big Ten teams.”

Shots fired.

Duck, Jim Delany.

Well, sort of. If you haven’t gotten used to Spurrier’s antics by now, there’s no helping you. Put a microphone in front of him and he’s going to say something worthy of a headline.

But it was a compelling argument for Spurrier to make nonetheless, putting a mid-major like East Carolina up against the likes of the Big Ten. South Carolina hosts the Pirates of the American Athletic Conference in Week 2 of the season. And before you go dogging the matchup, remember this: East Carolina beat North Carolina and NC State last season, scoring a combined 97 points in the two games.

For comparison’s sake, East Carolina’s 10 wins in 2013 was more than all but Michigan State and Ohio State from the Big Ten.

Lest someone call Spurrier biased, he did say, “I like other conferences, too,” when asked about the Power 5 autonomy. He even gave Bob Stoops’ bottom-half-of-the-SEC argument a nod.

“The SEC, we have some down-the-line teams just like every conference,” he said.

Gasp.

But, hey, what did we tell you? Spurrier isn’t afraid to speak his mind, whether it rubs his SEC brethren the wrong way or not.