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I must have lost my mind

I have determined that I've taken complete leave of my senses.

This is a conclusion I come to reluctantly, and only because I find myself agreeing with Ron Morris' latest column.

Of all the blows Spurrier and USC are taking, there is one that is below the belt. Some are wondering if Spurrier's program has not advanced as far in three seasons as his predecessor’s program did after three years.

The previous head coach concluded his third season at USC by winning nine games and a second consecutive Outback Bowl victory against Ohio State. But his house-of-cards program collapsed over the next three seasons -- including a 63-17 loss to Clemson, NCAA probation and an ugly brawl in his final game as coach. ...

Spurrier is not interested in a quick fix to USC's age-old problems, and while Outback Bowl titles are nice, they are not what drives him. He is more interested in constructing a program that cracks the big three of the SEC East Division and annually challenges for the league championship. ...

Spurrier's first recruiting class was a bust, which was no surprise. His second class was solid and his third class was considered among the 10 best in the country. It will take a couple more outstanding recruiting classes for Spurrier to have USC among the SEC elite.

The last part is a less-examined aspect of Spurrier's time at South Carolina. He came in trying to recruit players to a program that hadn't gone to a bowl game since the 2002 Outback Bowl and was coming off the footbrawl at Clemson. Few of the players Holtz's staff had cultivated would fit a Spurrier offense.

It's never easy for a coach to recruit players his first year, particularly when he's coming out of retirement; to ask him to do so with all the circumstances Spurrier faced is expecting too much.

I don't know that Morris' seeming request for giving Spurrier a few more years is reasonable or necessary. Some progress has to be visible next season if fans are going to remain optimistic.

Tyrone Nix speaks on defensive trouble. It's the coaches' fault ... because it's the players' fault.

"Some of the guys we've had out there haven't played very tough and they haven't played with outstanding effort. I'm the idiot because I keep putting them out there and allowing it," Nix said. "I've got to do a better job of evaluating what we're doing, and who's performing (and) who's not."

Nix, in his second full season running the USC defense, pointed to three problem areas: an inability to shed blockers, poor tackling and shoddy effort. The 35-year-old Nix said there likely would be several new starters for the Clemson game, with preference given to those exhibiting maximum work ethic. ...

Ultimately, players will determine whether the defense reverts to its midseason form.

"Football hasn't changed. And the team that blocks the best, or the team that gets off blocks and tackles the best is going to win," Nix said. "And we haven't done that very well."

I want to make something clear, mostly because the article in The State references these Interwebnets as one of the sources of discontent over Nix's performance, though I doubt they were talking about me: I have never explicitly said "Tyrone Nix should be fired," at least that I know of, and there's a reason for that. I don't know that Nix is the problem. But there do need to be changes on the defensive staff somewhere. And, if necessary, Nix's job needs to be on the line if he tries to dodge that.

Losing the Captain. It looks like Munnerlyn is done for the year. So now the Gamecocks are down the one player who could play defense. Great.