In my SEC Power Poll ballot, I made this comment about South Carolina;
Do you really think Steve Spurrier wants to be the coach who ended the Gators' undefeated season?
This was half joking, half serious. As big of an egomaniac Spurrier and every college coach is, the love of Alma mater is the one thing that can top that. Spurrier says he is not over come with emotion when Florida plays South Carolina, and you'd have to believe him. But, it seemed like Spurrier was especially upset that it was his ballot that prevented Tim Tebow from being an unanimous All-SEC selection.
With Saturday comes Urban Meyer trying to lead his team to an undefeated season and a third National Championship in four seasons. Spurrier will always have a place at Florida, but it is increasingly covered by Meyer (as best coach), Tebow (as best player), Billy Donovan's success (more titles than Spurrier), and Jeremy Foley's Steinbrenner-like "breathing first, winning next" policy in all sports. It is natural for someone's influence to drop as time advances, but it's a totally different thing when the guys following you are bigger and better.
Victory on Saturday for South Carolina would be the worst regular season loss in Florida history. With five undefeated teams behind them, a loss Saturday for UF would sink them. For Spurrier, it would be a chance to reassert himself after losses this season to Georgia and Tennessee. Those Old Gators would talk about how they want the days of Fun n' Gun and Meyer only wishes he had Danny Wuerffel, Chris Doering and Fred Taylor. Those Young Gators would need to be talked off the ledge.
South Carolina's offense is 67th in yards per game and is only scoring an average of 19 points in SEC games (UF has scored 28). The Gamecocks have scored more than 30 points against D-1A teams only once this season (37 against Georgia). I don't subscribe to the theory that Spurrier is going to light it up since he will call more plays. As a Gator, I do worry that he is thinking about spoiling Meyer and Tebow's last chance at 14-0, and how that will give the Ol' Ball Coach a stronger hold on Florida's history.