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The Calm Before the Storm: SEC Media Days
- Updated: July 15, 2013
We are still over 40 days away from stadiums being filled by tens-of-thousands fanatics that may or may not take their teams a little too seriously, the sounds of marching bands echoing through the air, and playing fields hosting battles of athletes on a quest for gridiron-greatness, but football is in the air. The official beginning will be signified by the circus that is hitting Birmingham, Alabama.
I know, I know. Anything in Alabama could be considered a circus of some sort, but the bizarreness will be magnified under a national microscope as the Southeastern Conference Media Days kick off on Tuesday, July 15th.
As the unofficial (but basically official) training ground for the National Football League, the Southeastern Conference is never lacking of story lines. Here are a few of the ones that are the most intriguing (in order as they are scheduled to appear):
Will Muschamp: “Champ, I just have to know: how is the comb-over so perfect?”
As a balding young male, I fully support and even go as far as applauding his technique he has adapted with his hair style. Strong.
Also: please do not yell at me.
Steve Spurrier: “Man, (insert team here) sure does have an easy schedule.”
It’s probably pretty safe to assume that Georgia and Mark Richt will receive the heat. It probably does not help the ornery Spurrier that his Gamecocks have to travel to Athens the second week of the season, but that is usually when Georgia’s players are suspended from offseason troubles.
Jadaveon Clowney: ” Uhh…. so. How are you doing today? Ready for the Draft?”
Is the guy a monster or an alien?
Seriously, did you see the claims that he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash?
Coordinator of Football Officials Steve Shaw: “Steve, how do you plan on kind of improving safety while definitely taking a lot of fun away from the sport?”
I hate concussions as much as the next guy. I mean, come on, did you see what it did to Billy Bob in Varsity Blues? With that being said, a little celebratin’ never hurt.
Kevin Sumlin: “How do you like me now?!?!?!?!”
In his inaugural media session inside the conference last year, Sumlin was constantly berated with questions centered around his first year in a “real” conference. I think it ended up working out pretty well. When he takes the mic Wednesday morning, I imagine the tone of the questions will be a lot different after his Aggies ended the season as arguably the best (unquestionably the hottest) team in the country. Coach Sumlin will have to hold back a smile.
That’s IF his entire time is spent answering questions about the following guy…
Johnny Manziel: “So, I guess that whole Johnny Football thing has worn off, huh?”
Last year, Manziel came out of nowhere in his first season as a starting quarterback and won the Heisman trophy, yet was still rather a mystery as Texas A&M limited his availability to the press. And then…. Social Media happened.
You know the rest of the story. Partying, claims of photoshop, threats of leaving the school, pleads to “walk a mile in his shoes,” all led up to maybe his biggest blunder of this past weekend when he was essentially sent home from Peyton Manning’s camp for “dehydration” aka being hung-over.
Something tells me that the media will be chomping at the bit to get their shot at Manziel.
Mark Stoops: “OK, be honest. How are you really getting these guys to come to Kentucky?”
Stoops has learned quickly from John Calipari. I will leave it at that.
Dan Mullen: “Coach, you two formed a relationship while you coached at Florida; talk about the Aaron Hernandez situation.”
No comment? Are you sure? OK, I guess let’s move on because there’s not much we need to know about Tyler Russell.
Butch Jones: “How hard is it going to be replace Jon Gruden next year on Rocky Top?”
The other Southeastern Conference coaches cannot be too thrilled that Derek Dooley is gone after all of the wins he gave them. In his short time in Knoxville, Jones has seemed to have gone a long way in changing the culture, and a look ahead to the 2014 recruiting rankings back up that sentiment.
But still, can you imagine how awesome Gruden would have been at Media Day? That guy would have been spectacular.
Gus Malzahn: “Gus, first of all, we’re glad to have your wife back in the conference. Second of all, how hard is it going to be to replace your mentor Gene Chizik?”
What’s that? Chizik was terrible, you did not like him stealing all of your credit for the success, and Cam Newton is not walking through the door anytime soon?
“Gus is like shut.up!”
Bret Bielema: “__________”
There is nothing to put here. Any and everything is on the table.
But, Bret, we’re happy to have your wife in the conference.
Coach Miles: “Les, what are your thoughts on the international affairs that have been created overseas and how does that affect how you will prepare for Nick Saban and the battles that you will have with Johnny Manziel and are you excited? *CLAP CLAP CLAP*”
Sorry. I tried to step inside the mind of Les Miles and predict a question that he will be asked, and I completely blacked out. Let’s move on before I start getting the urge to eat grass.
Mark Richt: “Coach, talk to us about how it felt to be so close to winning an SEC Championship before losing control of the moment?”
Yeah. It IS another “Mark Richt loses control” joke.
I’m no better than the rest of the world.
Nick Saban: “ Nick, the jokes about being Satan have to be getting old by now, but you have to understand that changing a ‘t’ into a ‘b’ is just too easy of an alteration… anyways, talk about what ‘The Process’ has been like watching video of Johnny Manziel ruin your perfect season.”
OK, you’re right. Next question.
A.J. McCarron: “On a scale of 1-10, how mad are you at Brent Musburger for making your girlfriend a national celebrating thus elevating her career and essentially putting her out of your league?”
Before you start Alabama fans, no winning two national championships at Bama does not make him a god. Three however?….. maybe.
James Franklin: “So, the whole ‘4 years for the next 40′ thing…..awkward.”
All joking aside, this situation will be the most interesting storyline of the week. Franklin has been vocal on touting the Vanderbilt program as being on a different level than his counterpoints. However, the coach has been strangely quiet regarding the news of four of his players being dismissed from the team after allegations of a sexual abuse case.
Blood is in the water, and the sharks will be swarming in Birmingham.
It should be a fun week. SEC Media Days means that we are that much closer to Southeastern Conference football.
Follow Jon Reed on Twitter here for live updates from SEC Media Day throughout the week.
(And no I did not forget about Ole Miss and Missouri)