SEC Media Days 2013: Winners and Losers from Day 1

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJuly 16, 2013

SEC Media Days 2013: Winners and Losers from Day 1

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    Day 1 of SEC media days is in the books, and there were quite a few fireworks at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.

    Florida, Missouri, South Carolina and Ole Miss held court to the 1,200-plus credentialed members of the media in attendance.

    What did Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier say? Did Jadeveon Clowney really run a 4.46? Which fanbase has the rudest fans in the SEC? 

    Our winners and losers from Day 1 of SEC media days are in this slide show.

Winner: South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

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    When it comes to media days, nobody is better than South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.

    The Head Ball Coach provided a seemingly never-ending stream of quotes at every stop, as he made the rounds in Hoover, providing the best performance this event has seen in quite some time

    What were the best?

    He again made a stand for player stipends, making the case for some extra pocket money for his players.

    "We're only talking about $300 a game; basketball would be a little less. But where the players in the course of the year would get $3,600, $3,900, depending on how many games you play."

    He called out Notre Dame for not being in a conference and asked whether or not it deserved a full share of BCS money. Per Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, that vote among SEC coaches, according to Spurrier, was unanimous.

    "We just started trying to figure out why the athletic director at Notre Dame is equal to all of the conference commissioners. Nobody has a good answer except that's the way it's always been done. For whatever reason, all of 14 of our head coaches thought that Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like the rest of us. They're in a conference. I know the Notre Damers will get mad at me and us coaches maybe for saying that."

    He also jabbed at Georgia, something he has done quite a bit ever since his days as the Florida head coach.

    "We're going to try to beat them, and they're going to try to beat us," he said. "Last year, Georgia didn't play very well at all."

    Per Macon.com, Spurrier also has quite the affinity for Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, thanks to his choice of headgear.

    "Well last year when I was here Ole Miss was 2-10," Spurrier said. "Hugh and I have a lot in common. We both play golf, we both wear visors. We both call plays. How can you not like a guy like Hugh Freeze."

    But his affinity for other coaches and players expands beyond the realm of college football.

    When asked if Spurrier wanted to make a stand now that he's here, including for world peace, Spurrier responded as only he could.

    "World Peace? World Peace got waived by the Lakers and still got $7.7 million."

    Never change, Head Ball Coach. Never change.

Winner: Florida DL Dominique Easley

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    Dominique Easley stole the show on Day 1 of SEC media days.

    The affable defensive lineman for the Florida Gators provided a never-ending stream of quotes for the assembled members of the media.

    Sure, he contradicted himself at times, including when he discussed taking a game off against Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. But don't let that get in the way of a good time.

    Easley was asked about legendary Alabama head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, but was unfamiliar with him.

    "I'm sorry, Alabama fans. I'm from New York and didn't watch football growing up," Easley said.

    Damage control, but it was all in good fun.

    He didn't hold back when it came to his division rivals either. When asked what was the most annoying fight song in the SEC, Easley concedes that it's no contest.

    “Rocky Top. Not because it’s Tennessee but just because it’s Rocky Top."

    Not only did Easley entertain on the mic, but he also found time to dance with a reporter in the radio/Internet room, per Jon Cooper of Saturday Down South.

    Easley was forthcoming, honest, fun and entertaining. Job well done.

Loser: Missouri QB James Franklin

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    Missouri quarterback James Franklin is head coach Gary Pinkel's No. 1 quarterback heading into fall camp, but that spot isn't set in stone just yet.

    Corbin Berkstresser and Maty Mauk are still battling with the rising senior dual-threat quarterback for the top spot on the depth chart.

    It probably wouldn't be a good idea for Pinkel to poll the fans on who they want as their guy, because they're the rudest in the SEC.

    At least, according to Franklin.

    It's probably not the best idea in the world to anger your own fans, and Franklin did just that on Tuesday.

    That's a bad look.

Winner: Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp

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    He isn't know as "Coach Boom" for a reserved demeanor. 

    Florida head coach Will Muschamp opened media days with a shot at Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, after Meyer and Ohio State turned Florida in for an alleged bump rule violation, according to Clay Travis of FoxSports.com.

    "We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we're complying with NCAA rules," Muschamp said, according to USA Today. "They certainly know a lot about NCAA rules."

    Zing.

    The shot back at the Buckeyes will surely make the Florida fans happy. Ohio State is currently on probation and sat out a bowl game last season. That bowl could have been the BCS National Championship Game after the Buckeyes went 12-0 and finished third in The Associated Press poll.

    Muschamp was also complimentary of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who his Gators played in Texas A&M's first game of Manziel's 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning season.

    "He's something else," he said. "Where he gives you trouble is with off-rhythm plays. He's very frustrating to game-plan for."

    Muschamp doesn't speak in coachspeak. Even if he did, he'd make you want to run through a wall when he's done.

Winner: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Cloweny

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    The biggest player to hit the floor on Tuesday was South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

    How did he handle it?

    With a bodyguard in tow, Clowney was outgoing, honest, fun and entertaining during his time with the media.

    Aside from being confident that he can track down Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in space, Clowney commented on his hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl everywhere he went.

    Was it the biggest hit of his life?

    "There was this guy in high school on a punt block that I about 'kilt,'" he said. 

    Poor kid.

    When asked about the Heisman Trophy, Clowney admitted that it's in his mind but not his ultimate goal.

    "The Heisman's not a big deal to me," he told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman. "Winning the SEC championship's a big deal to me. Getting drafted high's a big deal."

    Clowney, who confirmed that he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, welcomed the attention with open arms. It was a strong performance from the Rock Hill, S.C. native, and a jumping-off point to his Heisman campaign...whether it's a big deal or not.

Loser: South Carolina's Opposing Quarterbacks

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    Jadeveon Clowney's coming, and opposing quarterbacks are scared. 

    Very scared.

    According to ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff, several of the quarterbacks Clowney will line up against this season are scared of him, including Georgia's Aaron Murray and Clemson's Tajh Boyd.

    Clowney has never lost to either, so he has room to talk.

    Last season against Georgia, he only had four tackles and one sack but thoroughly controlled the line of scrimmage from the opening kick to the final gun. 

    Boyd wasn't as lucky.

    He had seven tackles, 4.5 sacks and one quarterback hurry against the Tigers last season.

    With another year under his belt, there should be more stress on Clowney's biggest rivals in 2013.

Loser: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

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    Despite not making the rounds until Wednesday, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel was the talk of the building on Tuesday.

    He has himself to blame.

    The much-publicized dismissal from the Manning Passing Academy had everybody buzzing, and the sophomore Heisman Trophy winner had no chance to defend himself.

    He even drew the ire of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who thinks the matchup would be no contest in the open field.

    "Can get him?" Clowney said. "Yeah, of course I can get him. I would go right at him and hit him in the mouth. He's tough, but you got to come at him full speed and play straight ahead. That's how you have to approach a dual-threat quarterback like him."

    South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier was asked about Manziel so much that B/R's own Adam Kramer suggested that it could drive the Head Ball Coach to the golf course.

    Manziel will have his shot to answer his critics Wednesday morning, when he and the rest of the Texas A&M contingent make the rounds.

    What will he have in store for his critics? We'll see.

     

    *Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC football writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.