The annual circus known as SEC Media Days rolled into Hoover, Ala., on July 16 and will continue until July 18. So far, it has been a long, drawn out dud.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp did lob the first shot when he said, "We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we follow NCAA rules. They certainly know something about NCAA rules.”
Other than that one gem, it has been a fairly mundane routine of coaches being asked the same questions. Some media members have not figured out that head coaches do not look past the first game of the season. Yet they are continually asked about a particular game later in the season.
The SEC credentialed over 1,200 media members for this event. That's impressive but it is also telling. Instead of gleaning pertinent information about the upcoming season from coaches and players, some reporters are asking about the history of a visor or a coach's high school reunion. One media member was seen waving like a fan boy behind ESPN broadcaster Tom Luginbill who was talking live on air.
SEC Media Days have jumped the shark.
Coaches and players prepare for this event. They want to answer questions about football. But this has become a free-for-all. Ask any question. About anything. As long as there is no dead air on ESPN.
Steve Spurrier and Les Miles are the consensus headliners at SEC Media Days. They are colorful, funny and do not hold back when answering a question. They give honest answers. They are a reporter's dream.
But not every coach has that out-of-the-box personality. The same can be said for football players. Allowing what seems like an hour per team to answer questions from the media spawns innocuous questions. And it opens the door to embarrass players.
Florida defensive end Dominique Easley did not know who Bear Bryant was. He is from Staten Island, New York. Why a native New Yorker who plays for the Gators was asked a question about a former Alabama coach is puzzling. This is what happens when there is too much time to prod.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said that he felt like Justin Bieber. The media mob and flashing cameras can make someone feel that way.
The SEC should cut this circus to a two-day event. With seven teams per day, this is doable. Allow 30 minutes for the coach and 15 for the players. This is supposed to be about college football.
Instead, SEC Media Days are becoming a forum for gotcha questions, thinly-veiled cheap shots and waving fan boys. And endless discussions about what was just discussed by a head coach or player.
As the premier conference in the country, the SEC needs to tighten up credentialing, keep the focus on football and keep the flow moving. Sometimes, bigger is not necessarily better.
There are only forty-three days left until the college football season kicks off. It cannot get here soon enough.