Spurrier not expecting to leave any time soon
HOOVER, Ala. - South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier claims he'll be with the Gamecocks for another three or four years. This is his eighth. "It's really not a stressful job I have," Spurrier, 67, said Tuesday at SEC Media Days. "I know coaches tell you what a stressful job they have." He said a strong group of assistants makes his life easier. "Health-wise I feel a lot better than I did last year," said Spurrier, noting he had a knee replacement after four surgeries.He added: "Every time a sportswriter asks me how much longer I'm going to coach I think about asking him how much longer he's going to write," Spurrier's 2012 USC team, his eighth, won't be favored to win the SEC but could be in the hunt if a few things go right. One of those is the return to health of star running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a bad knee injury last season. "The doctors can do wonderful things now with those knee surgeries. ... Marcus is rehabbing beautifully and done everything they ask, probably a little bit more," Spurrier said. "So he's going to be ready to go." The Gamecocks could be hurt by having Arkansas on the schedule. But Spurrier noted he doesn't have any control over the opponents, saying "If I made the schedule Georgia would be playing LSU and we'd be playing Ole Miss." The Bulldogs, who won the SEC East title last year, avoid West heavyweights Alabama, Arkansas and LSU this season. PLAYOFF TALK: Spurrier still maintains that he'd like to see eight teams in a playoff, not the four that has been agreed upon, starting in 2014. He noted Stony Brook in baseball and Butler in basketball both were close to winning national championships. He doubts that can happen in football unless there are more teams in a playoff. "I don't guess we're ever going to do that but at least we've got two more teams with a shot," he said. RECRUITING HELP: Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin already sees a difference since the Aggies joined the SEC, despite having not played a game yet. "There's no doubt being in the SEC has increased our footprint nationally and particularly moving east," Sumlin said. "Our ability to really move east into Louisiana, Mississippi, I think just looking at our recruiting over the last five or six months, I would say we've probably gotten a few more visits or returned phone calls or campus visits from some guys that may or may not have looked at us before we were in the SEC." THANKS NICK: Missouri coach Gary Pinkel played college football at Kent State and one of his teammates was current Alabama coach Nick Saban. It was Saban, after coaching at Toledo for a season before leaving for the Cleveland Browns in 1991, who helped Pinkel get an interview for the job he was leaving. Pinkel got the position and stayed at Toledo for 10 years before leaving in 2001 for Missouri, where he has a 100-65-3 record. "First of all he's older than me. I want to make that perfectly clear," joked Pinkel of Saban. He added of Saban: "A lot of times you don't get opportunities. He gave me an opportunity and I'm very appreciative of him." He said Saban will go down historically "as one of the great coaches and he should."