Winners and Losers from Day 2 of SEC Media Days
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Day 2 of SEC Media Days is in the books.
The major thunderstorm raging outside the halls of the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. was loud; but Arkansas head coach John L. Smith cranked up the volume inside with his explanation of the phrase "get your piss hot."
It wasn't all fun and games, though.
There were some swings and misses during Day 2, particularly from Florida head coach Will Muschamp and LSU head coach Les Miles.
SEC Lead Blogger Barrett Sallee Recaps Day 2
SEC lead blogger Barrett Sallee recaps Day 2
Day 2 is in the books, and SEC lead blogger Barrett Sallee was in Hoover, Ala. to take in the proceedings.
From John L. Smith to Johnthan Banks to Corey Lemonier, there was no shortage of storylines at the Wynfrey Hotel during Day 2.
Winner: Arkansas Head Coach John L. Smith
Arkansas head coach John L. Smith
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John L. Smith brought down the house on Wednesday at Media Days, displaying an unbridled sense of enthusiasm and providing the most humorous moment since former Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell talked about turkey insemination.
Smith, who's on a 10-month contract as Arkansas' head coach, seemed surprised that the phrase "get your piss hot" became the hot topic on Tuesday, despite the fact that Knile Davis—star running back of the Hogs—admitted on the way out the door that there are T-shirts with the phrase on it.
This may be Smith's only experience at SEC Media Days, but if he's not the head coach of the Razorbacks in 2013, he made his one appearance at the event count.
Winner: Florida Running Back Mike Gillislee
Florida RB Mike Gillislee
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Florida running back Mike Gillislee has a lot on his shoulders in 2012—shouldering the load for the Florida Gators.
The rising senior has had a career marred by injury, but that hasn't shaken his confidence.
"My goal is to take my team, put them on my back, get 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns," Gillislee said. "And win."
That's a high standard, and somewhat unrealistic.
But kudos to Gillislee for expecting it and saying it on the SEC's biggest summer stage.
Florida needs to find a between-the-tackles running back to take the pounding and keep opposing defenses honest, and it's clear that Gillislee knows that responsibility falls on him.
Loser: Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp
Florida head coach Will Muschamp
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Florida head coach Will Muschamp is great, but he missed the mark on a couple of questions on Wednesday.
Specifically, how to fix the Florida offense.
"We are going to be more multiple," said Muschamp. "Jordan Reed is a guy that needs to be featured. We need to create more options outside."
That's all well and good, and certainly should be part of the game plan. But Florida's problems stem from the inability to run between the tackles ever since quarterback Tim Tebow acted as the interior running threat.
Muschamp is a bright coach, and the right coach for the job at Florida. But if his focus is on fixing the offense from the outside in, his focus is in the wrong place.
Winner: Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks
Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks
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Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks is one of the best SEC players that you've never heard of.
Banks anticipates that to change this season.
Speaking with ESPN, Banks stated that not only is he one of the SEC's best cornerbacks, but he's the best.
Better than Tyrann Mathieu.
Does that seem like an overstatement?
Maybe at first, but Banks finished the season with more interceptions and pass breakups than the Honey Badger last season; but Mathieu was the one that found his way to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Banks needs to make a name for himself, and with Mathieu staying at home for Media Days, he capitalized.
Good for him.
Whether players admit it, they play college football to move on to the NFL. I'm OK with focusing attention on yourself when you're unappreciated.
Winner: Auburn DE Corey Lemonier
Auburn DE Corey Lemonier / Photo Credit: Auburn University/Todd Van Emst
Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier is one of the top defensive ends in the SEC, but it was his wardrobe that did the talking on Wednesday.
Lemonier provided some fashion advice in the Internet/radio room.
"I tied my own bow tie," Lemonier said. "I learned how to by watching YouTube videos."
Finally, a legitimate reason to watch YouTube.
Lemonier not only was savvy with his attire, but he got his bow tie at a discount price.
"I got it at Joseph A. Bank," Lemonier said. "And for 70 percent off."
No word on whether the NCAA frowns upon that endorsement.
Loser: LSU Head Coach Les Miles
LSU head coach Les Miles
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LSU head coach Les Miles is usually the star of the show.
On Wednesday, though, he was its biggest disappointment.
Miles walked into the afternoon session and laid an egg that's comparable to the 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
No intriguing quotes. No creative analogies.
It was as if he went to the Nick Saban School of Coaching Cliches.
We expected better from the Mad Hatter.
Maybe next time.