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Butch Jones jabs back at Steve Spurrier

It’s not an SEC Media Days party until Steve Spurrier holds court, which he did earlier today. In a refreshing change of pace, a fellow SEC East coach has slapped back at the Ol’ Ball Coach.

The backstory: South Carolina is coming off a 7-6 record, the Gamecocks’ worst mark since 2009. In the course of discussing last season during his time at the podium, and how the bowl win over Miami essentially rejuvenated him and his whole team after a disappointing season, Spurrier took the opportunity to take a jab at, in part, his Rocky Top punching bag.

“We were 7-6. Same as Tennessee, same as Arkansas. I think they’re sorta celebratin’ big seasons last year,” Spurrier said. This comes four months after Spurrier, in labeling his team’s 7-6 record as “decent,” stated that "[i]n Knoxville, they’re still doing cartwheels because they went 7-6 and won a bowl game.”

The Vols have long been a target of Spurrier’s jabs, going all the way back to the Head Ball Coach’s time with the Florida Gators.

Considering the jabs of the past, this was a mild one. Considering the “cartwheels” shot of just a few months ago, though, it was something UT head coach Butch Jones felt the need to address right off the bat during his turn at the podium.

With an abundance of returning talent, and as they are entering the second season in Jones’ system, the Vols are the trendy pick to possibly claim the East this season. The fact that Spurrier decided to take a little shot at them could to some validate those projections.

The Gamecocks and Vols will square off Nov. 7 in Knoxville, with the former seeking revenge on the latter for last season’s overtime loss in Columbia. If the preseason pundits are accurate, that game could go a long way in deciding just who will represent the East in the SEC championship game.