Questions We Would Love to Ask at SEC Media Days
It is part circus and part mob. Oh, and there is also intermittent college football talk sprinkled among the crowds, the three-letter chants, the pristine golf tans and glorious coaching hair, which appears, for the most part, in unnerving shades of deck stain.
SEC Media Days have become the media days, and the spectacle is upon us yet again.
The event now stretches four days, a sign of just how big it’s gotten. Could you squeeze it all into three days, or even two days? Of course you could. But the Southeastern Conference would gladly soak up the offseason spotlight for as long as it possibly can—stretching expense reports just a wee bit more—and you can’t blame it one bit for doing so.
The basic foundation of SEC Media Days remains the same: Players and coaches flock to a destination—this year, Hoover, Alabama, from July 14 to 17—to discuss the upcoming season and answer every question the media can cough up.
Some of these questions are intelligent and legitimate; others will prompt Nick Saban to stare through a media member’s soul until he melts into a puddle before his peers.
The list of SEC attendees is out, which means the questions can begin to take shape. To help kick-start this process, here are some questions we’d recommend asking next week.
The festivities will commence with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, per usual. Slive will deliver his annual “look how much money we’re making” address, and we have questions for him, too.
To SEC Commissioner Mike Slive:
“How much of an impact do you feel the SEC Network will have on the growth and financial security of the conference?”
“If the NCAA does not approve autonomy for the power-five conferences, is Division IV still a realistic alternative?”
“Seriously, how awesome is money?”
“What are your favorite things to do with money?”
“Can I have five bucks, man?”
To head coach Nick Saban:
“How difficult has it been to replace your two veteran leaders on each side of the ball in one offseason?”
"How do you plan to incorporate tight end O.J. Howard into the offense more this season?"
“Do you envision Marlon Humphrey or Tony Brown (or both) starting at cornerback as true freshmen this season?”
“Who do you expect to be your starting quarterback? If it’s going to be Jacob Coker, deny that it will be Jacob Coker. If it’s going to be Jacob Coker, please confirm that it will be Jacob Coker. It’s Jacob Coker, isn’t it?”
“How were the real-estate options in Austin, Texas?”
[Melts following a firm scolding and death stare.]
[Is escorted out of SEC Media Days in garbage can.]
To head coach Bret Bielema:
“Quarterback was obviously a position of concern in your first season at Arkansas. What are your expectations of the position in 2014? Has there been any separation?”
“After going over 1,000 yards as a freshman, what can we expect from running back Alex Collins in his sophomore season?”
“How early can we expect to see freshman Bijhon Jackson playing on the defensive line?”
"Do you think you have the most difficult schedule in the country? Because I'm looking at this and, well, good luck, buddy."
“What are your thoughts on time machines? I know a guy; let’s talk after this session.”
To quarterback Nick Marshall:
“How much different do you expect the offense to look this year? Do you anticipate your total throws to increase a considerable amount?”
“Is wideout Sammie Coates faster than a cheetah? How about a robot cheetah?”
To head coach Gus Malzahn:
“Are there any updates on defensive end Carl Lawson? Do you expect him to play at any point this season?”
“Offensively, how did the unit look in spring without running back Tre Mason or tackle Greg Robinson?”
“Can this group, despite Bret Bielema's best wishes, go even faster?”
“With Alabama the following week, how do you not look past Samford late in the season? Are you worried about the Bulldogs? They’re the Bulldogs, by the way. In case you didn’t know."
To head coach Will Muschamp:
“How has the addition of Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator changed the overall look and feel of your offense?”
“What are your expectations from Jeff Driskel this season, and how do you expect him to rebound from his injury?”
“Even with some key losses, how good can your front seven be in 2014?”
“Remember this? Man, that was the best. Can you do that again?”
To cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III:
“What are your expectations for your soph-“ [remaining part of the question is intercepted and returned for a touchdown.]
To head coach Mark Richt:
“How much will Hutson Mason's experience at the end of last season help him at quarterback in 2014?”
"Is this one of the deepest group of linebackers you've ever coached?"
“Is your recent run of offseason player legal issues a concern? Can anything be done, in your mind, to decrease the likeliness of these situations?”
“Why do people—like this emotional gent—still want you fired? That seems pretty dumb.”
To running back Todd Gurley:
“What are your individual goals for the upcoming season? Do you believe you can make a run at the Heisman?"
“I really would hate to tackle you. That’s not a question, but rather a very honest observation. It just looks awful.”
To head coach Mark Stoops:
“Is making a bowl game a fair and realistic goal for the upcoming season?”
“What needs do you feel this team still needs to address for this season and beyond?”
“Where do you see this program one year from now? How about three years from now?”
"Who's a better recruiter, you or John Calipari?"
“You know what, better yet, let’s see you recruit me.”
[Coach Stoops walks over.]
[Shares 90-second pep talk.]
[I sign letter of intent moments later using his back as a table.]
To head coach Les Miles:
“When do you expect to name a starting quarterback? Does Brandon Harris have a chance to win this job as a freshman?”
“How much of a role do you see freshmen Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre playing on offense this year?”
“As you look ahead to Wisconsin in Week 1, what makes this team so dangerous? How do you plan to stop Melvin Gordon?”
“What is your favorite cartoon? Please say Doug, because the correct answer is totally Doug.”
“Can you be my dad?”
To head coach Hugh Freeze:
“On paper, Ole Miss seems poised to take that next step. If you had to highlight one area of concern with your team, however, what would it be?”
"Have you begun the breakdown of Boise State in Week 1? What makes this team, even without Chris Petersen, dangerous?"
“Just how good is wideout Laquon Treadwell now, and how good do you think he can become?”
“Any plans to use Robert Nkemdiche at running back again? Please don’t say no. Better yet, say yes.”
To quarterback Bo Wallace:
“How does it feel to be the most experienced quarterback in your conference? Because it still sounds really weird to us.”
“Do you like the nickname Dr. Bo Wallace? Please don’t say no. Better yet, say yes.”
To head coach Dan Mullen:
“Is this the best Mississippi State team you’ve coached?”
“What would you say the ceiling is on quarterback Dak Prescott? Where can he still improve?”
“Would you buy tickets to watch your team play Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama or UT Martin? No reason in particular, just curious.”
To quarterback Dak Prescott:
“What part of your game have you worked on most this offseason?”
What does it feel like to be the best quarterback in the country named Dak? No offense to the other Daks out there.”
To head coach Gary Pinkel:
“How do you replace so many talented skill position players on offense in one offseason? Did anyone at wide receiver or running back jump out at you in the spring?”
“In limited snaps, quarterback Maty Mauk flashed moments of brilliance last season. What do you expect from him as the starter?”
“Remember when we all thought you were going to get fired at this time last year and then you showed what a fine coach you were? I know, right? Sorry about that.”
To quarterback Maty Mauk:
“What did you learn from your experience a season ago? How can that help you this season?”
“Do you think of Jonathan "Mox" Moxon from Varsity Blues every time you hear your name called? Because I do."
To quarterback Dylan Thompson:
“The starting job is finally yours. What has the wait been like?”
“What would you say the over/under is on your head coach’s first visor throw for an ill-advised throw or media day answer?”
To head coach Steve Spurrier:
“How will the South Carolina defense change without Jadeveon Clowney?”
“How many touches do you envision running back Mike Davis getting each game?”
“How’s the handicap, and what time are you teeing off later?”
“Can I come?”
To head coach Butch Jones:
“How do you turn program and recruiting momentum into on-field success?”
“How beneficial was it to have a number of true freshmen on campus for spring practice?”
“Having to rebuild both lines in one offseason can’t be easy, but who has stood out to you thus far on either side?”
“In two years, do you believe Tennessee will have the best wideouts in the country?"
“What’s it like to play real opponents in out-of-conference games unlike the majority of the teams in your conference?”
"What are your thoughts on this bro and having your own song?"
To head coach Kevin Sumlin:
“When do you plan on naming a starting quarterback? Do you have a lean toward Kyle Allen or Kenny Hill at this point?”
“What has life without Johnny Manziel been like thus far?”
“What improvements did you see with your defense this spring?”
“Did you see any improvements?”
“Sure, I can play defensive tackle. Why do you ask?”
To punter Drew Kaser:
“You’re a punter at SEC Media Days. Your thoughts?”
To head coach Derek Mason:
“Thus far, what has been the biggest change to your routine in your first offseason as a head coach?”
“Defensively, what similarities can we expect at Vanderbilt with what you ran at Stanford? Do you have any significant changes in mind?”
“Have you set any goals for your first season? Is there pressure, perhaps internally, to keep up with the recent run of program success?”
“How bad has the hazing been from SEC coaches, and who has been the worst? If it rhymes with "Leave Courier," nod once."