You’ve got to hand it to Steve Spurrier, he’s never afraid to speak his mind and boy did he speak his mind on Sunday.
The Ol’ Ball Coach took a shot at the Big Ten during a press conference as he said “playing East Carolina is a lot tougher game than maybe picking up one of those bottom Big Ten teams”.
The best part is that he was not asked about scheduling, the Big Ten or his team’s matchup with ECU, he instead was asked what he thought about the possible increase in autonomy of the power five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC).
His comments seemed innocent at first. He even seemed downright magnanimous as he defended the smaller conferences.
“Heck, those guys deserve a chance to go play just like the big conferences,” he said.
Had he stopped there, the story would have been ‘look at Steve Spurrier, an SEC coach standing up for the little guy.'
But he didn’t stop there. That’s when things got...interesting.
“The Big Five conferences all playing each other, I don’t think that makes a lot of sense, really," he continued. "Playing East Carolina is a lot tougher game than maybe picking up one of those bottom Big Ten teams, and a lot of fans around here would rather see a team that’s close by.” You can watch the press conference for yourself here. The question on the power five conferences comes at the 21:10 mark.
Spurrier did not go on to name any teams specifically, but you can look at the teams in the Big Ten and draw your own conclusions as to who he meant.
Strength of schedule has been a hot topic this summer as it is expected to be a major point of emphasis for the College Football Playoff. Teams have already begun defending their schedule and this is just the latest example, though why Spurrier decided to drag the Big Ten into the discussion is anyone’s guess.
South Carolina will play East Carolina on Sept. 6. They unfortunately do not have any Big Ten teams on the schedule, but did defeat Wisconsin last season in the Capital One Bowl.