As I sat in a sports bar during my lunch break on Tuesday, I watched and listened to Steve Spurrier's press conference where he announced his resignation as South Carolina's head coach. It was about what you'd expect, with thanks to the program, fans, students, administration, etc.
And then, Spurrier said something that made me think. He talked about the future of the program being in good hands and looking bright, due in at least some part to the caliber of the facilities.
Are we still talking about this?
There was a time when there was a real, noticeable difference between the haves and have nots when it came to facilities. Some of your blue-blood programs had locker rooms, weight rooms and football facilities that made those belonging to some NFL teams look downright terrible. It was actually that way for quite some time until recently.
In today's college football world, particularly in the Power 5, nice facilities are commonplace. Every school has everything a program needs to be successful. Sure, there might be a few more bells and whistles here and there, but for the most part, the only difference is the age of the facilities.
Standing at a podium and telling me your football program is going to be fine or even better than others moving forward and using your facilities as some sort of justification for that seems silly. It's like a guy sitting in a waiting room for a job interview in sales, telling everyone that he's a shoe-in because he's got a sweet new smartphone. Hold on there, bud. We all have smartphones. Yours may be newer and shinier, but mine does everything yours does and has the exact same apps.
When I hear a big-time college football program tout their facilities as that much better than their competitors, I imagine some lowly state school buried somewhere in Appalachia where the football players are stuck pushing wheelbarrows full of rocks and chopping down trees like Rocky training for a fight with Ivan Drago. "Boy", I think to myself. "I don't know how School X gets it done with their guys curling milk jugs full of water and studying game film that is actually on film. Must be tough."
And then I snap out of it, come back to reality and do a quick Google search. I pull up the football facilities at Rutgers, Wake Forest and Washington State. Who would have ever thought, but these Power 5 institutions have real, actual modern facilities that rival the old, traditional powers? It's almost like they've invested some of the television revenue back into the program in order to upgrade and stay competitive! My mind is blown!
Seriously, though. It's 2015. Everybody has shiny new things in college football. The days of any of your peers not having those things are long gone, and with them, the notion that bragging about your facilities should be anywhere near the part of your recruiting pitch where you move in to seal the deal.
The more I think about it, this did come from the mouth of Steve Spurrier — a man standing at a podium, bidding farewell to a game that has passed him by. I guess it makes sense.