HOOVER, Ala. – What if, instead of nine-minute filibusters about the minutiae of their preseason depth charts to avoid saying anything remotely controversial, football coaches at SEC Media Days would answer any question that was asked with unvarnished honesty?
What if we could give them a truth serum before they stepped to the podium at The Wynfrey Hotel? What would we ask? How might they respond? Let’s crank up the dream machine and travel to an alternate Hoover, where coaches actually say what they mean.
Like actual SEC Media Days, some of these will be fun and light-hearted, while others will be necessarily serious.
Nick Saban, Alabama: If the other 13 SEC coaches agreed to give you a year of their own salary to stop terrorizing them, would you retire and give someone else a chance?
“Robots don’t need money, but they do become self-aware and try to kill everybody. That includes you, Harbaugh.”
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: If it was your wife, Megan, or someday your daughter, Breelyn, on the ground being struck in the face repeatedly by 6-foot-3, 277-pound Jeffery Simmons, would the 5-star recruit get more than a one-game suspension?
“Can’t I just take a shot at Saban? No, but seriously, have you seen how much they pay me and how hard it is to win in this league? Sorry, girls.”
Will Muschamp, South Carolina: What’s scarier, starting a true freshman at quarterback, starting a former walk-on at quarterback or doing one of those things with the same coordinator whose offense ranked 96th nationally in your last season at Florida?
“What’s scares me most is Steve Spurrier getting bored of golf.”
Mark Stoops, Kentucky: What analogy would you use to describe trying to turn around a program in the SEC with the roster you inherited?
“It’s like my athletic director trying to fire me and then taking a peek at my buyout. Hey-yo! I’d like to take a moment to thank my agent.”
Gus Malzahn, Auburn: Do you not see a correlation between 10 years of running hurry-up offenses in college football and just one top-50 defense in all that time? Aren’t you wearing them out?
*Sticks fingers in his ears and hums.
Bret Bielema, Arkansas: How do you really feel about Gus’ hurry-up offenses?
*Belches loudly into the microphone.
Jim McElwain, Florida: How do you really feel about quarterback Will Grier?
“Who? Don’t know anybody by that name. Kid’s dead to me. So let me get this straight: You use PEDs, getting yourself suspended for the end of last season – thanks for killing the offense! – and half of next season, and you want me to promise you the job when you get back? Have fun in Morgantown, bud.”
Kirby Smart, Georgia: What’s it like to follow a guy who averaged nearly 10 wins per season at a place where that wasn’t enough?
“You’ve met my old boss, right? I’ve looked happier passing a kidney stone than Nick looked when we won national championships. This is cake.”
Butch Jones, Tennessee: We all know that “traitor” Drae Bowles allegedly helped a woman who said she was raped by two of your other players. Hypothetically, if you had ordered teammates to assault him for that violation of The Code, what would’ve been your suggested method?
“Brick by brick.”
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: If you could go back in time, what would you do differently with Johnny Manziel?
“I see what you’re getting at here, and I couldn’t agree more that it was a huge mistake to redshirt that kid.”
Barry Odom, Missouri: Please explain: Who are you?
“The guy before the guy who’ll get Missouri football rolling again. But the money is good.”
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: How much do you hate Laremy Tunsil’s stepfather?
“Probably not as much as Laremy. But remember that time I said if you have any proof I’m cheating to get players, bring it on? Oops.”
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: Having worked for the guy at Stanford, is Jim Harbaugh actually crazy or is that act just for effect?
“The man is nuttier than a peanut butter and cashew sandwich, but if I could recruit that well, you could call me Almond Joy.”
Les Miles, LSU: What were you really feeling as your bosses left you twisting in the wind at the end of last season?
“To be deceptively honest, I had a want to stay at LSU. I had a stiff dew in my eyes. I’m not the hammer, but I’m not the friggin’ nail, OK? I’m just letting you know I resent that. I resent the fact that suddenly, I was nailed. But when they decided at halftime to keep me, I wanted to find them, throw my arms around them and give them a big kiss on the mouth.”
* Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTucker_AJC. Reach him at Kyle.Tucker@ajc.com.