Remembering 10 Best Moments from BCS-Era SEC Media Days
Love it or hate it, it's nearly that time.
The unofficial kickoff to the college football season will take place next week when the SEC holds its annual Media Days at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.
Over the years, the circus-like event has welcomed the crazy. From pimps to subpoenas to turkey insemination (yes, that was actually discussed), there's never a shortage of storylines coming from the Wynfrey during the mid-summer extravaganza.
What are the best Media Days moments from the last 16 years? Our picks are in this slideshow.
10. Gene Chizik Is Angry
The 2011 season was supposed to be a happy time for former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. Fresh off a BCS National Championship, Chizik and the rest of the Tigers could flash those title rings to the whole world and kick off what they thought could be a title defense.
And then HBO had four disgruntled Tigers on Real Sports, four players were arrested for armed robbery, and Chizik got into a heated (or, as Chizik termed it, "informative") exchange with former NCAA staffer Julie Roe Lach in Destin, Florida.
Chizik handled his highly anticipated day in Hoover well considering the circumstances, but he was clearly (and understandably) unhappy with the line of questioning that was prevalent in Hoover.
9. T.J. Moe Steals the Show
Missouri's first spin through the Wynfrey in 2012 got a little tiresome. What's a good way to hide your annoyance? Jokes.
That's how former Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe handled the situation, renaming the SEC the "Bottom Fourth Conference" and discussing the absurdity of teams from outside of the SEC hearing about how good the SEC's defenses are.
He was funny, honest and entertaining, and the people in the radio/Internet room while he held court for 10 minutes (it was more, really) appreciated his candor.
Anyone ever had a standing ovation after a media day press conference? I just did. #SECKickoff2012— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) July 17, 2012
It's true, and it was warranted.
8. Phillip Fulmer's Absence
What's the best way to calm down a tenuous situation? Avoid it completely.
That's what former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer did in 2004.
Fulmer didn't step foot in the state of Alabama, where he was in the midst of a lawsuit that claimed he conspired with the NCAA in an investigation that led to the discovery of recruiting violations at the University of Alabama.
Instead of his regularly scheduled appearance, Fulmer discussed the situation and previewed his 2004 Vols—which won the SEC East—with reporters via conference call, according to The Associated Press (via: ESPN.com).
Unfortunately for Fulmer, he couldn't avoid the situation forever (more on that in a few slides).
7. Nick Saban's Dog
Shortly after former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's teleconference in 2004, SEC Media Days went to the dogs.
Saban surmised that a maid, his wife Terry, his kids or his kids' friends had left the door open long enough for Lizzy to sneak out. Luckily for Saban, Lizzy made her way to the room in which Fulmer had just wrapped up holding court with reporters over the phone.
Lizzy had no comment on Fulmer's absence.
6. The Hunt for the Lone Voter
Who was the culprit?
That was one of the biggest storylines of 2009 Media Days, when one lone coach left then-Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow off of his All-SEC team and voted for former Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, according to Jon Solomon, then of AL.com.
As it turns out, it was a fellow member of the Heisman and Florida fraternities who left Tebow off his ballot—South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
Spurrier blamed the vote on a South Carolina staffer and quickly changed his vote to Tebow to make him a unanimous pick.
All's well that ends well.
5. Pimps, Agents...What's the Difference?
The summer of 2010 was a tumultuous time in college football. Agent-related investigations had permeated the college football landscape, including at Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban—fresh off a national title—was fed up.
Saban took advantage of his appearance in the grand ballroom at the Wynfrey, comparing agents to pimps, according to The Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
"I don't think it's anything but greed that's creating it right now on behalf of the agents," Saban said. "The agents that do this —and I hate to say this, but how are they any better than a pimp?"
It was an epic rant by the most powerful coach in the SEC.
To call Johnny Manziel's spin through the Wynfrey a "circus" would be an understatement.
It was a madhouse.
Complete with the former Texas A&M quarterback rolling into the Wynfrey alone ahead of the Aggie traveling party under the moonlit sky, to his appearance with Joe Tessitore on ESPN's set in the middle of the action, to his comparison to NBA star LeBron James, it was a hectic morning.
What made it so crazy? Manziel's offseason of partying combined with the then-recent news of his departure from the Manning Passing Academy made the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner the star of the show.
Just imagine what would have happened if news of the autograph scandal, which hit the Internet a few weeks later, was out before Media Days.
3. The Question
The radio/Internet room during Media Days is the land of crazy, and former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow found that out during his appearance at Media Days in 2009.
Clay Travis, then of AOL Fanhouse and now of FoxSports.com, asked the then-senior quarterback of the Gators if he is saving himself for marriage.
A stunned Tebow handled the question about as well as possible considering his surprise, saying that he was and then turned the tables back on the audience.
"I think y'all are stunned right now," Tebow said. "You can't even ask a question...for the first time ever. I was ready for that question, but I don't think y'all were."
Love the question or hate it, it will go down as one of the most prominent moments in SEC Media Days history.
2. Fulmer Gets His Subpoena
Remember when former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer skipped 2004 SEC Media Days due to ongoing legal issues stemming from a lawsuit filed by a former Alabama assistant coach?
Well, it came back to bite Fulmer at the 2008 edition of Media Days...sort of.
Fulmer was served with a subpoena when he arrived at the Wynfrey to appear at a deposition in a case brought against the NCAA by a former Alabama booster, according to Doug Segrest of AL.com.
The former Tennessee head coach didn't discuss it as he made the rounds in Hoover but later confirmed in a statement (via ESPN.com) that he was served and that he wasn't trying to mislead anybody at Media Days.
1. Robbie Caldwell, the One-Hit Wonder
Eminem said that "opportunity comes once in a lifetime," and former Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell lived by those exact words during his first and only trip to SEC Media Days.
Caldwell, who took over for Bobby Johnson in the summer of 2010 after Johnson's abrupt retirement, came out of left field to win Media Days—possibly forever.
When asked about his first job, Caldwell was...well...a little graphic.
"My first hourly paying job was on the turkey farm," said Caldwell (via CFN). "I don't know if I could tell you what my job was...I was on the inseminating crew. That's a fact. I worked my way to the top. Best job I ever had—got paid by the hour for the first time. That was about '68, '69. That's what we did every afternoon."
Being on that crew didn't ruin Thanksgiving for Caldwell (even though it probably should have).
It also didn't ruin Media Days.
In fact, Caldwell made Media Days history and set the bar for decades to come.
* Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.com.
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