Steve Spurrier has two types of genius: one as a football coach, where he's one of the great offensive minds, but just as interestingly, as a provocateur, which is not something you typically see in coaches, although some guys have it (think of Red Auerbach or Gino Auriemma, . two guys who completely mastered the art of driving their opponents into deeply uncomfortable psychological territory). But Spurrier has a real genius for this.
Consider the evidence: as we pointed out a while back, a Virginia player said that he really hated Duke. When asked why, he said he didn't know. But we're pretty sure Spurrier is at the root of Cavalier disdain for Duke.
Then consider what he did to Tennessee, where the fans still lay in joyous anticipation of punishing Florida, even though Spurrier is long gone.
And then there's UNC, where Spurrier humiliated them in his last visit as Duke coach, winning 41-0, and then having his team pose under the scoreboard, which UNC conveniently left on.
With South Carolina set to return to Chapel Hill for the first time in a long while, don't think UNC fans have forgotten. And don't think for a minute that Spurrier won't revel in every second of that antagonism. Like Christian Laettner, he's at his best when he's being hated.
Incidentally, this game just underscores, again, what a foolish mistake South Carolina made in leaving the conference. It's a natural rivalry which was left behind. On Saturday, we'll get some hint of what should have been.