A 6-6 season on the heels of 33 wins in three years raises questions.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier was not in the mood to address those questions following Saturday’s 35-17 loss to Clemson. Asked if he anticipated any changes to his coaching staff, Spurrier replied, “This is not the time for all that. OK? Alright.”
The fan base is calling for the head of third-year defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, whose group is going to finish the season either last or next-to-last in the SEC in points and yards allowed. But if Spurrier is on the verge of making a change at the top of his defense, he’s not saying.
On Saturday, he rightly laid this most recent loss at the feet of the offense he coaches, and he has defended Ward and the progress (that being a relative term admittedly) his defense has made in the last month of the season.
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Could there be changes further down the defensive coaching staff? Absolutely.
The last time South Carolina suffered a loss at Clemson, Spurrier fired offensive line coach John Hunt the next day, and everyone who follows the Gamecocks football team closely will have one ear to the ground Sunday.
However, I don’t expect news Sunday for a very important reason. I don’t believe Spurrier has decided for certain whether he will be South Carolina’s head coach next season. Since telling us on Nov. 4 that “the plan is” to return in 2015, Spurrier has sidestepped several opportunities to make a more firm commitment to the future.
He’s right that Saturday was not the time to talk about that.
After a decorated 25-year college coaching career and what he has done for the Gamecocks, Spurrier has the right to make his decisions on his timetable and should take his time to be certain of his wishes.
But “the time for all that” should come sooner rather than later so that South Carolina can begin to look ahead and shake off this .500 season.