Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why Thursday night Coach? Well...

Before I get too far, let me first formally welcome you to College Football Round Table!
It is my hope that this blog and the commentary within will prompt others to add their opinions about the subjects I write about, or ask questions about topics they'd like me to write about.
At the very least, it will give us all just one more reason to yack about the sport we love.
Today, we are now just 28 days before Southern Mississippi takes on the Old Ball Coach (OBC) Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks, marking the official kick off of the 2010 College Football season.
You may be wondering to yourself, it seems like South Carolina always plays every year on that first ESPN Thursday night of the season.
And, you would be 80-percent correct.
Ever since Spurrier has taken over at the “other” USC, the Gamecocks have played in the Thursday night opener 4 out of the last 5 years – 2007 being the only year in that span they missed being the debut of college football.
Furthermore, if recent history holds true, South Carolina should have little trouble with the Golden Eagles.
The Gamecocks have won each of their ESPN Thursday night openers (once against UCF and Mississippi State and twice against NC State) by a combined score of 80-18.
But why play on Thursdays?
In most cases, it’s the teams that are desperate for exposure that usually take the weekday night games.
So, why Spurrier?
Exposure?
Nope.
I suspect this is merely an indication that the OBC is OCD?
Take, for instance, his tenure at Florida.
When he came back to Gainesville in 1990, one of the biggest commitments he made to the fans, to his team and to himself was that he was going to exercise the ghosts that had haunted the Gators in the past – namely, the arch-rival Georgia Bulldogs.
Prior to 1990, the Bulldogs (and Vince Dooley) owned Florida, winning 15 out of 20 meetings between the two programs during the 70’s and the 80’s.
However, from 1990-2001 (the year Spurrier bolted for the NFL), the Gators took back the series, dominating Georgia 11 out of 12 meetings.
Spurrier openly accentuated the annual World's Largest Cocktail Party rather than lament the fact that Jacksonville was the scene of so many UF heartbreaks.
Once he did that, all of the sudden Florida started winning SEC titles and eventually became a national power after so many “wait ‘til next years.”
Perhaps this Thursday night thing is yet another specter the OBC is trying to rid his team of in an effort for South Carolina to reach the next level.
You know, relish it rather than run from it.
If you’ll remember, Spurrier coached one – and only one – Thursday night game while he was at Florida, and afterward vowed that the Gators would never play on Thursday night ever again.
That night, in 1992, Florida was thrashed in front of a national television audience (and about 40,000 cowbells), 30-6, by Mississippi State in Starkville.
To my knowledge, the Gators have not played a regular-season game on a Thursday since.
So, why would a coach who once vowed never to play on Thursday night ever again be the same guy who has played the FIRST Thursday night of the season 4 out of the last 5 seasons?
Exposure?
Nahhh...exorcism.

7 comments:

  1. Well, I knew MD would eventually take on his own form of media, and I am excited he has. I look forward to your post and reading other readers responses. Awesome!

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  2. Mike what do you do as a sports writer when you are trying to get an interview after a game and the only response you get is No Comment!! Lol

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  3. That was me Mike. Joe Szymanski III

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  4. Well, you know how those prima-donna QB's can be Joey!

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  5. Looks good!! Just one step closer to writing again!

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  6. I'm looking forward to seeing how this blog develops....should be a good time!

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  7. I think the OBC just can't say no to anything trying to get his team relevant. I wish he had waited before jumping into Columbus-Coach with your bank, it don't matter how close you are to Augusta National. I feel bad everytime we beat him now. Just wish he had one out west and when we played, it was for all the SEC marbles!

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