Yawwwwnnn… Excuse me, I was just waking up from SEC Media Days.
An event that Steve Spurrier dominated for years underwhelmed from an entertainment value this season, even as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey tried to add a little flavor into his introductions of each head coach.
Les Miles was “The Dean” of SEC coaches. Dan Mullen was introduced as the conference’s only coach to have completed the Boston Marathon. Bret Bielema was a coach that won three conference championships somewhere else.
Sankey tried to add some personality into the event that produces notable sound bites every season, but most of the conference’s coaches did not. The exceptions, of course, were Bret Bielema and Miles — two coaches that never pass up a chance to entertain behind the mic.
The majority of SEC coaches and players said a whole lot without saying anything. But in their defense, the representatives were not in Hoover, Ala., to entertain or make headlines. They were there to represent their university and most every coach did a good job at it (looking at you, Mullen).
Regardless of where the 2016 SEC Media Days ranked in terms of entertainment value, there were good quotes nonetheless. Let’s take a look back at some of the best:
7. Chad Kelly: “15-0, SEC Championship, national championship”
Kelly is feeling himself and the Ole Miss Rebels ahead of the 2016 season. The SEC’s leading returning passer took to Hoover on Thursday and upped the ante a little bit for Ole Miss and himself. Kelly claimed he was the best quarterback in the nation, took a shot at Clemson (his former school) while talking about “the real Death Valley” and said it would be a successful season if the Rebels went 15-0, won an SEC Championship and a national champion. All the power to him, but a couple players may have something to say about some of his remarks (i.e. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and the Crimson Tide).
6. Butch Jones: “He took the bus with air conditioning…We sweated the whole way, 100 degrees”
Jones took a break from his “one play at a time,” “the next game is the most important” routine and added a moment of humor into SEC Media Days. Apparently Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies hijacked Tennessee’s bus to the Wynfrey Hotel. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin responded by saying he was “trying to set the tone” for the team’s Oct. 8 matchup. Tennessee was picked to win the East by SEC media and Jones proved he’s not a walking cliche. It could have been worse, Butch. Just ask Lane Kiffin.
— John Hayes (@johnP_hayes) January 12, 2016
5. Will Muschamp: “I black out sometimes”
Will Muschamp took in his first SEC Media Days as South Carolina’s head coach and was asked about a rousing story that involved a broken finger during one of Muschamp’s halftime tirade’s at Auburn. He didn’t deny the story and simply said, “It’s just a finger,” as any Georgia boy would. The Gamecocks should probably prepare for a few of these this year.
“Hey Will, another question: Did you black out during this too?”
JET FUEL…CAN'T MELT…STEEL BEAMS https://t.co/AdOcK9UKeP
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) November 28, 2015
4. Florida LB Jarrad Davis: ‘It’s always one of the funnest games of the year because we win”
Nothing like some good ole fashioned trash talk months away from the season. It’s actually been going via Twitter for the past few months thanks to Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor, but Gators linebacker Jarrad Davis brought it to Alabama this week. He said the Florida-Tennessee game was one of his favorite of the year because the Gators always win. He’s not run because he nor any Florida player from the last 11 seasons has lost to the Vols. Tennessee players chose to take the smarter route and not provide any bulletin board material.
But Jarrad Davis…we owe you a thank you for your thoughts.
3. Dan Mullen: “I wasn’t involved as much”
Dan Mullen was faced with countless questions regarding a 5-star prospect, caught on video, striking a woman on the ground and a one-game suspension. And he really dropped the ball.
He muttered the words: “I wasn’t involved as much”. We’re of course talking about Dan Mullen’s media session in Hoover in which he faced a countless number of questions about the one-game suspension, against South Alabama, for 5-star recruit Jeffery Simmons.
He could have taken responsibility for the program’s decision like his rival Hugh Freeze across the way, but instead chose to say he wasn’t very much involved.
This does not make this list because it was a good quote, but a ridiculous statement, and one of the biggest stories of the week.
2. Nick Saban: “I really don’t care about that”
Nick Saban doesn’t care what Paul Finebaum or anyone has to say about the disciplinary actions for Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones following their May arrests in Louisiana. Things got testy between “The Process” master and the ESPN host when discussing the topic, can the video of the two makes it all that much more entertaining. Saban knows a thing or two about rants–usually about coke bottle or tin horns.
1. Bret Bielema and “sexy”
The man of the hours…Bret Bielema!
Now that the round of applause is over let me explain why Bielema gets the No. 1 spot: He was simply the best speaker at SEC Media Days this year. Bielema used the word sexy three times in the first five minutes of his time at the podiun, while also adding in a jab at a few SEC West teams for their legal problems this offseason and sharing a entertaining anecdote about Sankey.
Could he take over the reigns of the retired Spurrier? It certainly looked that way this week.