10 Things I Overreact To After SEC Media Days

Talking season never disappoints.

From Mike Leach’s 7-word introduction to Jimbo Fisher’s 7-word-per-second acting, SEC coaches and players have given us insight into their personality, style, and universal ability to disrupt.

Here are 10 things I totally overreact to after a week of media days in and around SEC.

10. Clark Leah: The eternal optimist

He said it, but there’s no way he’d actually believe it, right?

Vanderbilt’s coach, without guidance and in some direct way, said the following during his grammatically correct, 2,340-word opening notes:

“We know, in time, that football at Vanderbilt will be the best in the country.”

I had to backtrack quickly to make sure he didn’t say “interrupt”.

Until then, I had to double check to make sure East Tennessee was safely outside of Davidson County. It is, thank God.

We all got it. If you don’t preach to Leah, no one will buy it. And a lot of what Leah said is absolutely true. Vanderbilt is a world-class university. Nashville is the best home school city in the conference. Chances are, but like 98% of those words that ring in every corner of Broadway, they aren’t always happy tunes.

9. ACC Commissioner, Jim Phillips, asks Leah to carry his beer…

School pride is one thing. ACC commissioner Jim Phillips took another step forward on Wednesday.

“I still think there is no better conference in the country.”

I still think some things are better left unrequited.

8. Mike Leach, the legend

After Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Greg Sankey spent 258 words praising and introducing Mike Leach, this was the 7-word Mississippi State coach’s response.

“Well, I appreciate it. Any questions?”

And they just set off as Mike Leach does.

The funniest exchange?

s. With all the conferences growing, 16 teams, maybe even bigger, are you hopeful your 64 team will ever make it here?

This might be a conference championship you’re referring to (Laughter).

“I don’t know. At some point, I mean, I started to lose track of what is a league and what is a conference, what is a division, you know?”

7. Billy Napier’s friendship with Kirby Smart was… Weird

The first-year Florida coach emerged as the most realistic, most realistic, and most like us coach on SEC Media Days. Watching him speak emotionally about his father’s impact on his life and career. You just don’t see coaches revealing these kinds of raw emotions in public.

But his excessive praise for now rival Kirby Smart certainly raised some eyebrows in Gainesville.

Napier has a long relationship with Smart. They worked with Nick Saban’s employees in Alabama.

Read more

Online sports betting has come or is coming to many southern states. Residents of states with legitimate sports betting can bet on things like the Heisman race, SEC football games every week, and more… all from their mobile device.

“Nothing but respect for Kirby. I mean, the guy is an incredible football coach, captain. He’s an amazing person,” Napier said when asked a simple question about their background together.

“I’ll tell you, the first time I saw him was at our first meeting with the SEC. So I said to him, ‘Congratulations. I mean, I know what goes into that, right?'”

“I’m proud of the guy, to be totally honest. He did it, and he did it the right way. It would be great to compete against him.”

Can you imagine Steve Spurrier saying that about Bobby Bowden or Phil Vollmer?

6. Nick Saban…the scary

This was the first opportunity for reporters to ask Nick Saban about his famous desire with Jimbo Fisher.

Oh, the drama. I can’t wait, right?

So of course the reporters asked 9 softball questions more appropriate to Jocelyn Allo – and they didn’t dare utter a single question about the Fischer skirmish.

I literally laughed out of my lack of courage.

Journalists showed no fear, however, when Fisher took the stage two days later.

This was the first question Fischer faced:

Q: When you look at the press conference in May, do you have any regrets about how you handled that? Do you feel like you owe Nick an apology? How do things stand between you and him?

So, to sum up… No one on the main stage dared ask Nick Saban about Jimbo Fisher, but that’s the first thing they asked Fisher. He was asked if Fisher should apologise, too.

Thank goodness Laura Routledge (Part 37, 397). I finally asked Saban about the situation with Fisher, and that led to a funny exchange with Saban, who basically said you should have seen our arguments when you were training and playing basketball together.

5. Brian Harsin…bring it on, baby

Say what you will about whether Harsin will win enough games to return to SEC Media Days in 2023, but show once again why there’s no one else you want by your side when everything falls apart.

Many coaches choose to avoid and evade confrontational questions during media days. It is actually art.

Not Harsin. He opened by letting Auburn supporters know exactly who’s running the show.

He didn’t wait for a question either. He attacked the issue during his opening speech.

“Going back to what happened in February, what I’m going to do now is address it. Moving forward, this will be the last time I’m going to talk about it.

There was an inquiry. It was uncomfortable. It was baseless. It gave people the opportunity to attack me personally, my family, and our programme. And it didn’t work. ”

No wonder Auburn players love this guy.

4. Josh Hubble with Line of the Week…

Lynn Kevin joked earlier in the week that he signed a lot of mustard bottles and golf balls—both of which Tennessee fans threw at him at the end of his comeback visit last fall.

Kevin could laugh, of course, in part because the fans got it wrong and the Rebels won.

On Thursday, Tennessee coach Josh Hubble threw his dagger when asked which items he would love to sign.

“I didn’t drop any mustard bottles or golf balls,” said Heubel. “I probably wish I had a golf ball that night, you know what I mean? I’m just kidding.”

3. Does Sharp Peter Burns Own a Twitter Handle?

It’s his face and his choice and we love him here at SDS, but…

2. Kirby Smart Contract…

I loved the timing.

After many SEC and ACC coaches used their platform to voice their opinion about NIL, the evils of money-hunting conferences, changing landscapes, transportation gate problems, amateur value, etc., etc., news broke on Thursday that Kirby Smart had just signed up. 10 – 1 year deal worth $112,500,000.

How much did Joe Paterno make in his last season? I go on…

How about accepting every part of this for what it is, okay?

Everyone is trying to get their own. All the time.

1. I will meet with each of these SEC QBs…

We’ve been enjoying some “Year of QBs” lately. This SEC crop won’t hit the rare air of 2019 Joe Burrow-Tua Tagovailoa, but it’s deep and talented.

Bryce Young needs no more praise. But how not to be swayed by Mike Wright’s confidence from Vanderbilt? Or question National Champion Stetson Bennett’s smile and brag. Or Hendon Hooker of Tennessee, the definition of a leader? Or Anthony Richardson of Florida, who made the smart decision to change his brand. Or KJ Jefferson from Arkansas, who keeps a list of every skeptic and challenges it twice?

Much of the media days experience is rehearsed and repeated.

It was refreshing that these guys – and others – were anything but.

Amid all the hype and cash registers, thanks in large part to this middling crop, we’re in another entertaining and exceptional year for SEC football.

Can’t wait to watch it all unfold – as long as someone gives Burns a razor. This is not how we want to start on Saturday morning.

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