Spurrier learned quickly about two
fast-food restaurants within walking distance of Williams-Brice Stadium where
players were eating fried chicken before practices and games.
``From what I understand, this team
doesn't eat correctly or hasn't been eating correctly,'' Spurrier said. ``We're
going to try to improve the nutrition, also. We're not going to try to load up
on fried chicken.''
Said defensive end Moe Thompson:
``No more riding a golf cart down to Bojangles.''
Spurrier said his staff would keep
a close eye on his players' diets.
``We want to be a strong, fast
team,'' he said. ``We're going to try our best to get players to eat correctly.
Sometimes it's a struggle, but we'll try to improve nutrition. It's OK maybe
once a week to go to the fried chicken places, but a steady diet of it is proven
not to be the best.''
Spurrier is hopeful junior receiver
Troy Williamson, who led the SEC with 75.9 receiving yards per game, will
return. He is considering leaving early for the NFL.
While at Florida, Spurrier said he
had two receivers he told to leave early -- Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard.
``They had achieved about the most
you could but Troy hasn't done that,'' Spurrier said.
had as big a year as he's capable. He's capable of some big things. I'd love the
chance to coach him. But if he does decide (to leave), we're going to coach
* Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer took a jab at new
coach Steve Spurrier while at a recent Knoxville Quarterback Club
Former Tennessee offensive lineman Reggie Coleman was a guest as
a former player and told the audience that he enjoyed his time at Tennessee. When he said
he was drafted by Washington and Steve Spurrier, Coleman looked at Fulmer and
said: ``Sorry coach, but you gotta do what you gotta do.''
Responded Fulmer: ``He lasted about
as long as you did (in the NFL).''
Meanwhile, Spurrier was low-key
during his hiring press conference, disappointing some Gamecock fans who wanted
to hear the arrogance and one-liners typical of Spurrier.
Former Gator center Jeff Mitchell,
who plays for Carolina, isn't sold on the new
``That's a load of do-do,''
Mitchell said. ``They've got some entertainment on the way, especially after
they start winning. I'm glad I'm close enough to read the
Mitchell said everyone would know
what Spurrier is thinking because he speaks his mind.
``If he's feeling cocky, he's going
to come across that way,'' Mitchell said. ``He knows he's
* After South
Carolina's Lou Holtz announced his retirement, he seemed disgusted
in pointing out the irony of his last game compared to the man he worked for at
State many years
``How about this: Both me and Woody
Hayes are both going to be remembered for a fight against Clemson,'' Holtz
* Entering the SEC Championship
game, Auburn had been a remarkably healthy team
while Tennessee had been hit with a plethora of
Auburn players have missed just
five starts all season because of injury or suspension -- two at center, two at
linebacker and one at cornerback.
Because of injuries or suspensions,
had 15 players miss 60 starts. If you count defensive tackle J.T. Mapu, who is
on a Mormon Mission, that's 16 players who have missed 71
Auburn has been hit by fewer injuries than any
SEC team in recent memory.
* When Auburn met Tennessee in
the SEC Championship, it marked the 13th consecutive game in this series that
Auburn or Tennessee entered ranked in the top
The higher ranked team is 7-3-2. As
the higher ranked team, Auburn is 3-2-2. Tennessee is 4-1.
* David Cutcliffe's loyalty cost
him his job at Ole Miss.
Despite being the only Rebel coach
to win at least seven games in his first five seasons, Cutcliffe was fired hen
he wouldn't make changes on his staff. That wouldn't have been a problem for a
lot of coaches. It was for Cutcliffe.
The firing outraged the famous
Rebel of all, Archie Manning: ``We have a lost a good man who did incredible
things for the Ole Miss program. How you can post five straight winning seasons
at Ole Miss and then get fired in your sixth is beyond me. This is a sad day for
all of us. The guys is a good football coach and a very good man. He did not
deserve to be treated like this.''
Ole Miss athletic director Pete
Boone said Cutcliffe refused to submit a written plan to fix problems within the
program. The main concern was a defense that has often been among the SEC's
Still, Cutcliffe gave Ole Miss its
first 10-win season since 1971 and its first piece of an SEC title in 40 years
when the Rebels tied LSU for the West Division last year.
``He preferred status quo, keeping
things how they are,'' Boone said. ``We had peaks and valleys of emotional
levels by the players. Sometimes they've motivated, sometimes they're
Ole Miss was 4-7 and lost four
games by 19 combined points.
Another factor: Cutcliffe was not
well-liked by some of the money boosters, according to media that cover the
* Kentucky coach Rich Brooks' job was saved
after offensive coordinator Ron Hudson resigned before the last game of the
The Wildcats went 2-9 and were
ranked 115 in the nation in total offense and 114 in
The change of coordinators paid
immediate dividends as Kentucky had 270
first-half yards against Tennessee, scored on drives of 83, 77 and 88
yards and passed on first down 15 times before losing
Brooks pounded a table and spilled
a diet coke as he tried to explain the upset that got
``We were this close,'' Brook said,
holding fingers an inch apart. ``We were this close to doing something no
Kentucky team has done to Tennessee in 20 years. We
played a heck of a game and the wrong team won.''
Kentucky hadn't scored more than 17 points in a game since
beating Indiana 51-32 on Sept.
One of Kentucky's best talents is 6-6 freshman Lonnell Dewalt,
who blocked an extra point and a field-goal attempt against Tennessee. Dewalt has
seven blocked kicks (six field-goal attempts) this season -- believed to be an
Meanwhile, Kentucky finished the
season ranked last in the SEC in scoring offense, scoring defense, run offense,
run defense, total offense and total defense.
* Bobby Gaston, coordinator of SEC
officials, said he will recommend instant replay be used in the SEC next
Gaston and Dr. Rogers Redding, one
of the SEC's technical advisors, went to the Big Ten to get a first-hand look at
its use of instant replay and came away impressed.
``I saw what they are doing and I
live it,'' Gaston said. ``There are some things we'd tweak, and do a little
differently. But what they do has a lot of merit.
``Primarily, they are interested in
overturning the obvious, big-time play that can affect the outcome of the game
-- whether it's a reception or incomplete pass, a fumble before or after the
player hit the ground, things of that nature.
``Obviously, we're not going to get
them all right. I wish we could. But I do think this (instant replay) has a
chance to improve our `hit' record.''
The Big Ten used the replay 43
times in 53 games and overturned 21 calls.
* Not long after Arkansas endured its
first losing season under Houston Nutt, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack was
Arkansas yielded 397.2 yards per game, the
highest total since 1990. The Hogs gave up at least 35 points to Florida, Auburn, South
Carolina and LSU. They ranked 10th in the SEC in total
defense, 11th in pass defense and eighth in scoring
``I'll be the first to tell you we
played poor defense for the most part,'' said Wommack, who returned just three
starters from the previous season. ``I knew that and understood that. I'm more
disappointed than anybody from that standpoint. You do the best with what you
Wommack said he had two job offers
during the offseason, one in college, one in the pros. Still, he said he is not
bitter because that's part of the business.
``If you can't live with it,'' he
said, ``you shouldn't be in this business.''
The firing came a day after Nutt
met with athletic director Frank Broyles.
``I told Houston he's the best man
in the country for this job,'' Broyles said.
quarterback David Greene fractured his left (throwing hand) thumb on the first
series against Georgia Tech, but stayed in the game to throw a 28-yard touchdown
pass to Fred Gibson.
Greene played one more series than
went to the bench. But when Georgia Tech rallied, Greene went in to lead a
momentum-changing field goal drive that consumed almost 5 minutes. He couldn't
make any deep throws and he worked from the shotgun to lesson the pain of taking
Greene, who was just 6 of 12 for 80
yards against Tech, has surpassed Peyton Manning in two major categories -- most
wins in Division 1-A (41) and most passing yards in the SEC
Coach Mark Richt: ``Greene wasn't
at his best physically but he was at his best in the leadership role and leading
us to that last field goal.
``I was sitting there thinking,
`This is the last game he's going to play in this stadium. Who am I to keep him
out? So I let him go back in.''
That Greene had to return is a
negative for Georgia's future. D.J. Shockley,
projected to start for Georgia next year, was 5 of 16 for
112 yards and was sacked four times for minus-45 yards.
``I threw some bad balls,''
Shockley said. ``There also were some times when I held on to the ball too long.
I've got to do a better job of that.''
EXTRA POINTS: The 43-14 loss to LSU
by Arkansas was its first in 18 games at
under Houston Nutt …. After allowing Kentucky
337 yards in three quarters, Tennessee's defense stiffened to hold the
Wildcats to minus-14 yards in the fourth quarter. … Tennessee senior defensive end Karlton Neal was asked if
he thought about losing to Kentucky: ``You never go into a game thinking
you're going to lose. But it crossed my mind if we do lose, I might have to kill
somebody.'' … Vanderbilt lost five games by a combined 15 points and had a
fourth straight two-win season. … After three recent firings, Sylvester Croom of
Mississippi State is one of just two black head coaches in Division 1-A. …
margin in regular-season SEC games was 18.9 points and its nine wins of at least
18 points was the most in the nation. … Florida
backup quarterback Justin Midgett has decided to transfer and has contacted
South Carolina, South Florida and Eastern Illinois.