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Steve Spurrier Retiring From South Carolina

The Head Ball Coach is out.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I've never felt the deep personal connection many SEC fans feel toward Steve Spurrier. That's probably because Arkansas only faced his Florida teams three times, and two of those came in immensely forgettable seasons (Arkansas was a 30-point home underdog to the Gators in 1996, a fact that may be worse than the actual score).

His only real memorable comment toward Arkansas in those days came after they beat the Hogs 42-7 in that 1996 game (yep, they covered):

Plenty of Arkansas fans didn't like seeing the Gators throwing passes and attempting field goals with a five-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter.

First they booed, then they showered coach Steve Spurrier with insults as the team left the field. "You got no class, Spurrier!" "How's it feel to run it up?'' Spurrier looked at one of the hecklers, raised a No. 1 finger and said, "We love it when y'all say that."

"These Arkansas people get mad when you keep throwing the ball," Spurrier said later. "It must be against the rules here in Arkansas."

But I certainly respected and enjoyed him. If nothing else, I loved to hate Tennessee and his jabs toward the Vols gave me great joy. "You can't spell Citrus without UT" was my favorite.

Of course, when he returned to the SEC taking over South Carolina for the 2005 season, Arkansas played him every year between then and 2013. That series of games is more memorable to me than the losses.

I remember Darren McFadden running wild in 2006 and especially 2007 against the Gamecocks, and then Spurrier leaving McFadden off his Heisman ballot, a fact that caused many Hog fans to sour on him ever since.

I also remember him being so respected back then that beating South Carolina in 2006 was trumpeted by some as "we finally beat a Spurrier team!" I remember Arkansas blowing out two of his best Gamecocks teams in 2010 and 2011, but Spurrier got the last laugh, orchestrating one of the worst losses in Razorback Stadium history with that 52-7 thrashing of Bret Bielema's first Hog team in 2013.

Arkansas fans can take pride in the fact that, while Spurrier always dismantled the worst Razorback teams, the best Hog teams had their way with the best South Carolina teams.

So long, Head Ball Coach. When the Hogs and Gamecocks meet again in 2017, it won't be quite the same.