Steve Spurrier and Bear Bryant: The SEC’s two Best Ever

I am a sucker for some numbers, charts and statistics. And I am not really a Math or Science guy, so I find it a bit odd that my love for numbers only applies to sports. This is a big reason why I love the Phil Steele magazine.

So, when ESPN put a chart up featuring each college football team and their record minus their winningest coach’s record, I was intrigued. If you like numbers and haven’t seen it, I suggest you take a look. Make sure and read the Ivan Maisel piece that explains the chart.

Bear Bryant is the best coach in the history of college football. I don’t think there is much debate about that; perhaps someone from up north might try and tell you Woody Hayes, but that is laughable. The Bear is the best.

A testament to Bryant’s greatness? He won at Kentucky. He is Kentucky’s all time winning coach.

The same now can be said by Spurrier. Spurrier needs just 10 more wins to be the all-time winningest coach in South Carolina history. A program whose only league championship was the 1969 ACC Championship, what he has done at South Carolina is remarkable. Just think about Florida football before we went there. Plus, Spurrier won at Duke.

Saban might have won three National Titles at two different schools. Urban Meyber might have won two National titles in 3 years while at Florida. Spurrier does have one crystal ball. But I have said time and time again, you absolutely cannot judge a coach soley on the national titles they have won. If you did that, then Gene Chizik would be an equal coach to Tom Osborne and Vince Dooley, and would be better than Bo Schembechler.

From Duke to Florida to Carolina, Spurrier has won at three programs that have had little history of success. That is pretty amazing.

As much as it pains me to say it, of all the great coaches in the history of the SEC, I’d place Spurrier behind the Bear.



1 Response to “Steve Spurrier and Bear Bryant: The SEC’s two Best Ever”

  1. 1 Hal July 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    As much as I respect what he’s done, I think there’s more to it. He took over aUF program that Bear said was a gorilla locked in a closet and dominated the league-but… He did so at a time when he was the only game in town. You can’t name another coach he faced during the 90’s who’s still even coaching. He faced a pitiful bunch of coaches and his legacy would look very different if he’d faced the group there today. Even at Carolina, he won the east. But upon further review, he did so at 9-3 (a record that puts Mark on the hit seat again) while UT, UGA and UF all suffered losing seasons which may never happen again. Great coach no doubt, changed the league forever, just skeptical about how great-upon further review.

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