Column: Saban changes with the times _ better than anyone
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Flexibility and a willingness to change are traits generally associated with youth.
There lies the true greatness of Nick Saban.
At 67 — an age when retirement plans are formed, a comfortable routine firmly established — the Alabama coach has undergone a remarkable transformation this season, one that has taken the Crimson Tide to the cusp of another national title.
Alliance to open Saturday night after Super Bowl
The Alliance of American Football will begin its first season the night of Feb. 9, the Saturday after the Super Bowl, when the Atlanta Legends visit the Orlando Apollos, and the San Diego Fleet are at the San Antonio Commanders.
On the next day, the eight-team, 10-week league will have the Memphis Express at the Birmingham Iron, and the Salt Lake Stallions visiting the Arizona Hotshots.
Get ready for Alliance’s Iron, Express, Apollos and Legends
Get ready for the Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos and Atlanta Legends.
Those are four of the eight franchise names for the Alliance of American Football, which begins play the weekend after the Super Bowl with a 10-game spring schedule.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Two-time national champion and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will be inducted into Florida's ring of honor, becoming the sixth player to receive the honor.
The school announced Wednesday that Tebow will be recognized during the LSU-Florida game on Oct. 6. His name will be unveiled on a wall inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — Birmingham will be the seventh city with a team in the new Alliance of American Football.
The spring league, which will begin play the weekend after the Super Bowl in February, announced the addition of the Alabama city on Monday.
Already in the Alliance are San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix.
San Diego becomes 6th Alliance league member
SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego will be the site of the sixth franchise in the Alliance of American Football league that debuts next February.
The team will play at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium, the former Qualcomm Stadium that was the home of the Chargers. It joins Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix with teams in the new league that will begin play the weekend after the Super Bowl.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Phoenix has been awarded the fifth franchise in the new Alliance of American Football, which will begin play the week after the Super Bowl next winter.
The team joins Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City and Atlanta in the league and will play in Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State campus.
The Arizona entry's coach will be announced at a news conference Friday.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Steve Spurrier plans to be back on the sideline if a proposed new professional league gets off the ground.
The Orlando Alliance announced Saturday that it has hired Spurrier as its first head coach. Spurrier will coach in the planned Alliance of American Football.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's best football season in four years is also bringing the first price increase in season tickets in four years.
The Gamecocks athletic department announced Thursday it was raising the price of football season tickets by $50 to $415 this coming season. Officials say it is first time season tickets were raised since 2013 when the Gamecocks had the last of their three-straight 11-2 seasons under former coach Steve Spurrier.
South Carolina’s Muschamp seeking more from team in spring
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp continues to rebuild the Gamecocks despite the football team's best season since Steve Spurrier's departure.
And Muschamp has made sure his players know that headed into spring drills.
"I told our team, 'We've made progress. We haven't accomplished anything,'" Muschamp said Tuesday, the day before South Carolina takes the field for spring workouts.
Washington State fills assistant football coach vacancies
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State football coach Mike Leach has filled out his staff after losing six assistant coaches in the offseason.
The Cougars announced Monday that Leach filled the final four openings on his staff with the hiring of Mason Miller, Matt Brock, Steve Spurrier Jr. and Tyson Brown.
Miller comes from Nevada and is the new offensive line coach.
Washington State completes 2018 coaching staff with announcement of four assistants
PULLMAN – After plenty of turnover in the offseason, Mike Leach’s Washington State coaching staff is complete once again.
Leach and the Cougars officially announced the addition of three assistant coaches and a new director of strength and conditioning, rounding out the staff that will be on the sideline for WSU this fall.
New Florida coach Mullen brings visor, desire for points
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Dan Mullen started paying attention to Florida football more than two decades ago, long before he first stepped foot on campus.
Mullen was the receivers coach at tiny Wagner College in New York City in the mid-1990s and kept tabs on what Steve Spurrier was doing about 900 miles away.
Mullen even emulated the Head Ball Coach's trademark headgear.
CLEMSON — There is no doubt, Dabo Swinney says, that he and South Carolina legend Steve Spurrier "had our moments," when the two were coaching in the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry.
First competitors, then friends, when Spurrier is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame next month, Swinney will be among his guests, there for support, then celebration.
Unsightly Swamp: Florida’s next coach inherits daunting task
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's next coach will have quite a mess to clean up — on both sides of the ball.
The Gators don't have a capable quarterback on the roster and now have the program's worst scoring defense in more than 70 years.
Welcome to Gainesville, coach!
Whether the Gators end up with Central Florida's Scott Frost, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Memphis' Mike Norvell or someone else, the new guy will face a more daunting task than any Florida coach since Steve Spurrier in 1990.
South Carolina wants to avoid hype playing vs No. 2 Georgia
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina linebacker T.J. Brunson believes the Gamecocks have their minds right in prepping for their most important Southeastern Conference game in four years.
CLEMSON — Danny Ford, who will be inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame later this year, will be honored Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Texas A&M football team, coming off back-to-back inspiring performances fueled by the 12th Man, will try to build on that momentum this week in one of the nation’s toughest venues, a place typically known for swallowing up opponents.
Florida benches QB Franks, names Del Rio starter vs Vandy
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 21 Florida is turning to a familiar face to fix an all-too-familiar problem.
Luke Del Rio will get another chance as the team's starting quarterback when the Gators (2-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) host Vanderbilt (3-1, 0-1) on Saturday.
Coach Jim McElwain made the switch Monday, giving Del Rio the nod after he benched redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks for the second time in three games.
Skip Holtz returns to South Carolina with Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech's Skip Holtz finally gets to coach a game at South Carolina. Some thought the opportunity for the one-time Gamecocks offensive coordinator might come much earlier than this.
Skip Holtz and the Bulldogs (2-1) face South Carolina (2-1) on Saturday.
Gamecocks seeking to end losing streak against Kentucky
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams is ready for this winless streak against Kentucky to end.
Allen-Williams, a senior, has sat through three losses to the Wildcats and hopes to put an end to that run when South Carolina (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference ) squares off against Kentucky (2-0) on Saturday night.
On the Beat: Steve Spurrier invites Dabo Swinney to Hall of Fame event
CLEMSON — Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is set to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December as a coach, and when he is, he wants Dabo Swinney there.
Spurrier asked Swinney and his wife Kathleen earlier this summer to join him and his wife, Jerri, for the occasion as they celebrate Spurrier becoming just the fourth person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.
Broyles Award adds writers group, Spurrier and Stoops
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Broyles Award has added the Football Writers Association of America to its selection process, and named hall of fame coach and player Steve Spurrier and former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops to its selection committee.
People with the award that honors college football's assistant coach of the year made the announcement Monday.
The writers association will announce the members of the award advisory panel later.
South Carolina looking to toughen up in and against run
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp boiled his team's problems last year down to two things: Running the ball successfully and stopping the run.
North Carolina transfer tailback Ty'Son Williams wants to help with the first thing. Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams vows the defense will shore up the other part.
Former Florida, NFL QB John Reaves found dead at age 67
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida and NFL quarterback John Reaves, who finished his college career as the NCAA's all-time leading passer and later struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, has died. He was 67.
Reaves was found dead at his home Tuesday, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office. The cause of death is being investigated, the office said.
Video: Caraviello, Sapakoff wrap up first day of SEC football media days
The Post and Courier reporters David Caraviello and Gene Sapakoff are looking ahead to the second day of SEC Media Days but in case you missed it, here is a recap from day one.
Former Gamecocks running back David Williams fills 'extreme need' for Arkansas
HOOVER, Ala. — Needing to bolster his running back corps after losing two players to career-ending injuries, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema reached out to a familiar face: former South Carolina tailback David Williams.
Big Game Bob leaves behind quite a legacy at Oklahoma.
COLUMBIA — Former South Carolina starting quarterback Brandon McIlwain will transfer to California.
The rising sophomore announced his decision Saturday via social media. McIlwain started three games last season for the Gamecocks before fellow freshman Jake Bentley took control of the quarterback position and led USC to a bowl appearance.
“I'm going back to the Bay!” McIlwain wrote in a Twitter post. “I'm excited to attend the University of California Berkeley this fall.”
COLUMBIA — Two former four-star recruits are leaving the South Carolina football program.
Defensive tackles Dexter Wideman and Stephon Taylor will transfer, Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp told a Gamecock Club stop Tuesday night in Lancaster, according to Gamecock Central and other reports. Wideman is a redshirt sophomore from Saluda, Taylor a redshirt freshman from New Orleans.
COLUMBIA — One year ago, Brandon McIlwain was in the process of establishing himself as the player to beat in the race to be South Carolina’s starting quarterback. Wednesday, the two-sport star announced that he will transfer to another school at the end of this semester.
From the offense to the kicking game, five questions facing USC as it opens spring practice
COLUMBIA — South Carolina opens its second spring football practice under Will Muschamp on Saturday, and spirits are high after a run to a bowl game in the head coach’s first season and the signing of a consensus top-20 class in his first full recruiting cycle.
Sherrod Pittman among two linebackers leaving Gamecocks football program
COLUMBIA — Two more players have left the South Carolina football program, including a linebacker who was once a four-star prospect out of high school.
Sherrod Pittman, a redshirt freshman linebacker who was one of the highest-ranked players in the Gamecocks’ 2015 signing class, is no longer at USC. Also departing is sophomore linebacker Jalen Dread, who did not see any action this past season.
COLUMBIA — The final Spurrier has left South Carolina.
Scott Spurrier, most recently an offensive analyst on head coach Will Muschamp’s staff, has left USC to become an offensive quality control assistant at South Florida, USF has confirmed. The move was first reported by 24/7 Sports.
Spurrier football era over at South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Spurrier era at South Carolina football is over.
Youngest son Scott Spurrier is leaving the Gamecocks to become an offensive quality control assistant at South Florida. He worked with both his father Steve and older brother Steve Jr. on South Carolina's staff in 2014 and 2015. He was also a walk-on receiver and a graduate assistant for the Gamecocks under his dad and was kept on staff by new coach Will Muschamp last winter.
Manning, Spurrier enter College Football Hall of Fame
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Peyton Manning and his Southeastern Conference nemesis, former Florida coach Steve Spurrier, will go into the College Football Hall of Fame together.
The rest of the new Hall of Fame class of 13 players and coaches announced Monday includes Southern California Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk and Danny Ford, who coached Clemson to its only national championship.
Danny Ford, Steve Spurrier among 13 new members elected to College Football Hall of Fame
COLUMBIA — The coach who first brought a national championship to Clemson and the coach who carried South Carolina to its greatest heights were among the 13 new members elected Monday to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Former Clemson head coach Danny Ford and former South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier are among those who will be inducted at the National Football Foundation dinner Dec. 5 in New York, and immortalized at the Hall of Fame’s facility in downtown Atlanta.
Reports link former Gamecocks offensive line coach Eric Wolford to current opening at USC
COLUMBIA — Eric Wolford, who coached South Carolina’s offensive line for one season under former head coach Steve Spurrier, appears to be returning to Columbia to reprise that role under Will Muschamp.
Steve Spurrier, Stump Mitchell, Charlie Brown finalists for S.C. Hall of Fame
Fifteen finalists have punched their ticket into the final round of voting for the S.C. Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2017, the organization announced Thursday.
Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier heads the list, along with Citadel great Stump Mitchell and Lowcountry NFL products Charlie Brown of St. John's High School and Robert Porcher of the former Cainhoy High School.
Georgia State picks South Carolina’s Elliott as head coach
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia State has turned to South Carolina assistant Shawn Elliott to energize a program that hasn't had a winning season since moving up to college football's top division.
Elliott was introduced Friday at a news conference on Georgia State's downtown campus.
He coached the offensive line and served as co-offensive coordinator for the Gamecocks, where he worked the last seven years under Steve Spurrier and current head coach Will Muschamp.
For South Florida assistant coach David Reaves, South Carolina still feels like home
COLUMBIA — David Reaves flipped on the video and the memories came flooding back. Scouting East Carolina for an upcoming game, South Florida’s associate head coach reviewed the Pirates’ Sept. 17 loss at South Carolina — and in the process, revisited a place that still feels like home.
“That brought up some memories of Williams-Brice Stadium and watching the garnet and black,” Reaves said. “Seeing the renovations and the great things that have happened in Columbia, it’s been fun to watch.”
USC assistant Shawn Elliott reportedly “gaining traction” in Georgia State search
COLUMBIA — South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott has emerged as a candidate for the vacant head-coaching position at Georgia State, according to a report by ESPN.
National college football writer Adam Rittenburg reported that Elliott is “gaining traction” with the Panthers, who are seeking a successor to Trent Miles, fired Nov. 12 with a 9-38 record in nearly four seasons. The Atlanta school has fielded a program since 2010, and played at the FBS level since 2013.
Alabama-Florida for SEC title looks like massive mismatch
ATLANTA (AP) — Talk about a mismatch. Alabama's defense is the best in the nation. Florida's offense looks like one of the worst.
They'll face off Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championships game, with the top-ranked Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) heavily favored to lock up its third straight trip to the College Football Playoff with a victory over the No. 15 Gators (8-3, 6-2).
For starter turned mentor Perry Orth, a bittersweet Senior Day awaits at USC
COLUMBIA — He won the first game after Steve Spurrier, the first game under Will Muschamp, and helped South Carolina ride out the storm in between. He owns the longest rush by a Gamecocks quarterback in 56 seasons, and three touchdown passes against the nation’s No. 1 team.
Now, with two regular-season games remaining in his career, Perry Orth grudgingly finds himself playing a very different role — as mentor to the freshman who replaced him.
South Carolina seeks bowl eligibility with win vs Catamounts
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina hit a low point the last time the Gamecocks faced a Southern Conference team. Now they're for a different outcome against a SoCon opponent with much more on the line.
For Gamecocks, bowl eligibility would be a big step back toward respectability
COLUMBIA — In his three previous seasons at South Carolina, Jonathan Walton has made a pair of bowl trips. The linebacker went to Tampa, Fla., as a freshman, to Shreveport, La., as a sophomore — and he wants one more postseason foray before his career with the Gamecocks comes to a close.
“We know what it’s like to go on these bowl trips,” Walton said. “For the older guys, we’d love to experience that again. The seniors, we’d love to experience that before we leave.”
Marcus Lattimore, the former star running back at South Carolina during Steve Spurrier's record-breaking run as head coach, has been named head football coach at Heathwood Hall High School in Columiba, the school announced Monday.
Lattimore, 25, also will serve as Heathwood’s School Advancement Associate, a role in which he will work with the athletic administration, admissions office, school development office and Head of School Chris Hinchey.
Sapakoff: Gamecocks, unable to match Florida speed and depth, find 2016 ceiling
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jake Bentley on South Carolina’s first snap Saturday calmly changed a play call that resulted in an 8-yard Rico Dowdle run. The freshman appearing in his fourth college football game also led a valiant fourth-quarter rally attempt.
Great. The Gamecocks have a capable quarterback, the key ingredient to SEC success. A maligned program will clinch bowl-eligibility next week with a home win over Western Carolina.
Pigskin Picks: Muschamp won’t catch Spurrier, but already closing in on Holtz
Assuming a South Carolina win next week against Western Carolina – safe to assume because the Catamounts are 2-7 and the game is not in Cullowhee – Will Muschamp has already won the 2016 season. A bowl game and at least six wins will exceed most expectations (and fit right in with my 7-6 projection).
Hello again, HBC: Gamecocks, Steve Spurrier set for reunion in the Swamp
COLUMBIA — When Chris Moody was thinking about transferring from South Carolina after last season, the defensive back received several phone calls urging him to stay. Many came from his current teammates. One came from his former head coach.
“When I was making the decision (whether or not) to leave, he actually called me,” he said of Steve Spurrier. “So he’s a really good guy. He’s always been good to the players.”