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Why I think Spurrier will stay

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By Tuesday evening or so, this blog will be all-Clemson, all the time.--cocknfire, Sunday

So sue me.

I've actually been meaning to do this for a while, but there's finally been an MSM reference to the Spurrier job rumors. None of the stories in the big three seem to take the story seriously, but they mention it.

From the Post and Courier story:

The coming college coaching rumor mill might churn his name up, perhaps quite a bit, but South Carolina's Steve Spurrier sure didn't sound Monday like a man with one foot anywhere near the door, much less out of it.

"Oh, no, no, that's very easy for me not to think about," Spurrier said. ...

"When you lose four in a row, you're not in demand too much I wouldn't think."

Last week, on his call-in show, Spurrier said he told this year's recruiting class that he'd be here for their four years.

"I certainly hope so," he said, again pointing out his team hasn't won for a month. "If we keep going like this, I may get fired before their tenure is over. So, you've got to remember that, too."

And from the Greenville News:

Told some people may simply not believe he'd like to stay at USC, Spurrier replied: "Well, they don't know we had a real good recruiting class, and times are going to get better here."

Some will, of course, call this coachspeak and dismiss it as what you "should" say when you're covertly planning to take a $3 million contract in a major coaching move that no one except rivals.com and scout.com knows about.

But I don't find it hard at all to take Spurrier at his word. Mostly because when Spurrier's mouth gets him in trouble, it's because he has no problem with telling the truth. This is why I don't think he finds it necessary to explicitly say, I'm not going to be the coach at x University. He doesn't see any reason why people would doubt him.

I also think he knows that even if he were to say that, everyone else would shrug that off as well. "Didn't Nick Saban say the same thing?"

But I've always been extremely suspicious about the Texas A&M rumors, for a few reasons:

Spurrier is an SEC guy. He's only had one college football head coaching job outside of the SEC, and that was his first one -- Duke.

The wrong argument. Many of the arguments for Spurrier leaving South Carolina center around the time he lashed out at the administration over the rejection of a few recruits. Spurrier did threaten to leave, but the administration announced a solution that Spurrier said was enough to satisfy him. This doesn't even touch the fact that they massively underestimate the size of HBC's buyout.

The rough period. Spurrier, I think, knew that turning South Carolina around was going to be difficult. Did he know it would be this difficult? I don't know. But I don't think he's floored that the program hasn't won the SEC since he's been here, if that's what you're asking. And why would he leave one rebuilding job to undertake another when his internal retirement clock has to be starting to tick?

"He can't recruit at South Carolina." Since he had a consensus Top 10 recruiting class last year, I think this is just ludicrous.

Alabama. I still believe Alabama came after him, and I still believe he turned them down. Why would Spurrier reject Alabama and accept a job at Texas A&M, a school that he has no apparent ties to in a part of the country where he has no recruiting base? Beats me.

For many of the same reasons, I think it's unlikely that Spurrier will go to LSU. But if you asked me which rumor I'm more concerned about ...

Well, worry more if there are planes going to the Bayou than if there are planes headed for College Station. But don't lose much sleep over either.

Coachspeak backs me up on this, as does an A&M blog. Sure, those sources are largely nameless and faceless. But why are they any more suspicious than someone trying to hawk subscriptions by claiming that they have THE EXCLUSIVE INSIDE STORY from mysterious people deep inside the A&M athletics department?

So what's going on here?

Spurrier's agent, Jimmy Sexton, has a reputation (deserved or not, I don't know) for using one client as a smokescreen to slip another client into a coveted job. It's really a win-win for Sexton. One client gets a raise or extracts concessions from his university or employer; another gets the job he wants while keeping the speculation to a minimum. Many on the Interwebnets saw Sexton's handiwork in the Spurrier-to-Alabama rumors.

So who else is on Sexton's client list? Well, to name a couple whose names have popped up in media accounts, we have Houston Nutt, whom Coachspeak tagged as a willing candidate for A&M.

And Tommy Tuberville.

Make sense now?

I don't think Spurrier will be the next coach of A&M.

But I'm beginning to think there might be some fire being the smoke of Tuberville rumors.