This one is big for Meyer but bigger for Spurrier


Published: Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 12, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.

Only this season.

Only at Florida.

Only in this wild and crazy 2010 season could we see one of the biggest games ever played in one of the best-known venues in college football between a couple of schizophrenic teams who are barely bowl-eligible.

Only here. Only this season where the two most popular players on the Florida football team are the backup center and third-team quarterback.

Only at Florida.

But here it is — the season wrapped up in 60 minutes of football.

Winner to Atlanta. Loser to, well, Jacksonville?

It's big in a small kind of way. The game has received little play nationally because of the scandal involving a former Gator.

Only this season.

Only in a season where Florida could lose three in a row, two of them at home, could it come down to one game at The Swamp. Only in a season where South Carolina could beat Alabama and lose to Kentucky (say what?) could it come down to one game for the coach who gave the stadium its well-known nickname.

Maybe that's why it's such a big deal, because it's so quirky.

Naw.

It's for a championship. That's all that matters. The records mean nothing. The wins and losses have been merely opening acts.

This is the headliner. Two of the best coaches this game has ever seen staring at each other across the field with a trophy on the line. One team that has made a habit of playing for SEC titles against a team that only knows Atlanta as a layover.

It's big for a lot of people on Saturday night.

It's big for Urban Meyer because a win would add to the legacy. It would mean his fourth trip to the SEC Championship Game in six seasons as Florida's coach, and it would mean he got there with the worst team he has had at UF.

It's big for the seniors on this team who have a chance to make a season on the brink become something special.

It's big for a program that is among the elite and doesn't want to be thrown into the pile of burning tires that is the riff-raff of college football.

But it's bigger for South Carolina.

Biggest game ever.

It's not the biggest game for Steve Spurrier. You may have heard of him. Won a bunch of SEC titles and a national championship at Florida. Name is on the wall.

But it is a huge game for the head ball coach.

This is what he envisioned when he came to South Carolina. It just took him longer than expected to get to this point.

As much as he has poo-poohed the magnitude of this game, it is bigger for him than for anyone. If he can do this, get South Carolina to the championship game, he will have a chance to win conference titles with three different teams. And all of them at places where the fans wondered if it was even possible.

"I'm not getting into all that 'ifs' and 'buts,' " Spurrier said on the SEC conference call this week when asked how big this game is for him. "You certainly don't think I'm going to answer that one, do you? A guy asked me the other day, I said, 'Why don't you ask me if we win the national championship next year, what are you going to say?' I hope I'm never stupid enough to answer a question like that, OK. We'll just go play the game, see what happens."

See what happens.

It could be epic.

And no matter how much we have tried to analyze this one, we always come to the same conclusion — no idea. We have no idea what will happen because you don't know which teams are going to show up. The South Carolina team that was flawless in beating Alabama or the South Carolina team that has stumbled through its last four games. The Florida team that scored seven points against Mississippi State or the Florida team that won the Thrilla in Jacksonvilla.

Just enjoy it. Let it come to you.

Because games this big don't come around that often.

Two teams with three conference losses each usually means a battle for the Music City Bowl.

Not this season.

Not here.

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