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April 30, 2010

SEC coaches weigh in on expansion

Steve Spurrier knows that potential SEC expansion is out of the coaches' hands, so he's not worrying about it. When it came to the Big Ten, though, he did have a thought.

Steve Spurrier knows that potential SEC expansion is out of the coaches' hands, so he's not worrying about it. When it came to the Big Ten, though, he did have a thought.

"I've said all along that Notre Dame should be in the Big Ten. They should play the same schedule as everyone up there," Spurrier, the South Carolina football coach, said Thursday. "But I don't think Notre Dame wants to do that. They like being an independent."

Expansion was a hot topic on Thursday's SEC football coaches spring teleconference. The coaches seemed to be open to the idea and held faith that SEC commissioner Mike Slive would make the right decisions.

"Commissioner Slive, he's been on the forefront of pretty much everything as it came down the pike," Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson said. "He knows what's going on, and I trust he'll let us know at (the SEC) spring meetings what he's thinking and what's going on. I certainly think it's a conference that could attract some schools if they're interested in the competition."

The exception was LSU's Les Miles, a Michigan graduate. He passed on a chance to advise which schools the Big Ten should add, and he sounded a cautious note about the SEC expanding.

"I don't know that the SEC needs expansion ... I think the teams that we have are certainly competitive," Miles said. "When you go to expanding a 12-team conference, what team that you bring in will bring with it a strength in a financial package and strength in following that will strengthen the conference?"

Meyer up in the air

Florida coach Urban Meyer was replaced on Thursday's call by offensive coordinator Steve Adazio, who was tabbed as Meyer's interim successor during Meyer's short-lived sabbatical.

Adazio was vague when asked whether Meyer would be taking time off and what role the head coach would be taking during the coming months.

"Coach is doing great. Everything's going along as business as usual," Adazio said. "I've got my eyes focused on the development of the offensive line and the offense."

Not a good decision

Former Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he was not selected in last week's NFL draft. That was a far cry from the preseason expectations for Snead, who elected to give up his final year of college eligibility.

Rebels coach Houston Nutt said he asked Snead to look hard at his draft projection; Snead was expected to be about a fifth-round selection.

"If you look at his first year, (ESPN analyst) Mel Kiper had him as the first quarterback taken. And then you're going in the wrong direction," Nutt said. "I was surprised and wanted him to stay, wanted him to come back."

Shirtless wonder

Spurrier is the oldest coach in the SEC, thanks to the retirement of Rich Brooks from Kentucky. That got some attention from one reporter, who asked a number of coaches about the 65-year-old Spurrier inviting reporters for one of his workouts and being photographed with his shirt off.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino good-naturedly asked a reporter how Spurrier looked without his shirt on. Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, at 38 the league's youngest coach, joked that you wouldn't want to compete with Spurrier on the golf course.

"I'm not sure I can match that, coaching at 65," Petrino said. "I guess I'll have to live that long first."

Spurrier on Garcia

Spurrier didn't change his tune when asked about Stephen Garcia, repeating that there are things the quarterback needs to do better.

"We'll have another guy ready," Spurrier said of freshman Connor Shaw. "We had no one ready last year, and whatever Stephen did, we lived with."

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