Mizzou and Spurrier Have History
The last game was when Spurrier was a Gator and at a time when the Tigers were the winningest team in college football.
Exactly 40 years ago, the Missouri Tigers met up with Steve Spurrier in a bowl game. Not as a coach, but as a quarterback. For one Columbian and former Tiger, it's a day he'll never forget.
Legendary Steve Spurrier led the Gators setting six Sugar Bowl offensive records in 1966.
"Coach Clay Clay Cooper said it well when he was quotes he said, actually In the fourth quarter, Steve Spurrier just got a hot hand," explained former Tiger football player Skip Grossnickle.
But the game belonged to the Tigers. They held Florida scoreless in the first 3 quarters. For one Tiger, there was a play he'll never forget: Intercepting the future Heisman trophy winner.
"It's vivid in that I can still see that ball coming through the air at a perfect spiral and concentrating so hard on it to make sure that you tried to catch it," Grossnickle said. "But every plays a blur, but the memory is just like it was yesterday sometimes."
Mizzou won 20-18. The 1966 game was the last time the Tigers played in the Sugar Bowl.
Grossnickle continues his relationship with Spurrier. Their favorite topic is the game in New Orleans.
"We talk about several things. First of all, the Sugar Bowl watch, and he says it's still one of his favorite watches he has recieved. "The same watch Grossnickle made into a locket for his wife Daisey. It is the last bowl game Grossnickle played. Coach Devine declined to play in a bowl the next season. But the memories of the Sugar Bowl are still sweet."
Bowl games create their own atmosphere, their own memories that other other football games just do not create. Grossnickle is now looking forward to getting more bragging rights against his buddy in South Carolina.
"I wish the players on that team all the luck in the world and I want them to have so much fun at this bowl coming up, and I look forward to seeing Steve again because when I see him I'm going to be able to talk to him about not only Missouri beating him as a player, but also as a coach," Grossnickle said. Spurrier is the only person to win the Sugar Bowl's most outstanding player award while playing on the losing team and for Grossnickle, he earned honorary citizenship in New Orleans for his performance.We will see if Skip gets his wish when the Tigers take on Spurrier and the Gamecocks on December 30th.