Best and Worst Dressed from 2014 SEC Media Days
Now that SEC media days are over and the college football season has unofficially "begun," we can all take a step back and acknowledge the event for what it is: a more macho, sport-themed version of Comic Con.
And as is the case at Comic Con—another event where famous people hold panels, and thousands of fans and media types listen—the outfits are a unique part of the spectacle and end up being just as fun to talk about as any sort of news that might get broken.
So embracing that tradition (while also bearing in mind that I am a sports blogger—i.e., I do not know the first thing about fashion), let's take a look at some of the best- and worst-dressed parties from the week spent in Hoover, Alabama.
Fortunately, there were more of the former than the latter.
Best: Head Coach Derek Mason, Vanderbilt
It didn't take long for new Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason to get the memo: People in the Southeast dress preppy.
Having spent two years of college in Maryland and two years in Los Angeles, I can sympathize with the difficulty of changing coasts. There's a learning curve before one figures out the dress code.
Unless you are Mason, that is. The first-time head coach came out firing with a black-and-white-checkered jacket and a spotted black bow tie. And he made it work effortlessly.
Solid introduction to the conference.
Best: OL Brey Cook, Arkansas
Brey Cook looks like a chemistry nerd who got teased for being a chemistry nerd and bulked up to 330 pounds so he could beat the stuffing out of anyone who calls him a chemistry nerd.
I swear, that's intended as a compliment.
This is the perfect look for an SEC offensive lineman. Team color incorporated on a Bill Nye-style bow tie, non-ostentatious brown jacket—heck, even the hands-clasped pose helps tie the look together.
He looks good without trying too hard, which is a difficult look to pull off. It takes a unique sort of confidence, and Cook has it.
Worst: Head Coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Gus Malzahn wore a power suit that said "I'm ready for your worst Nick Marshall questions." But he tied that suit together, for some reason, with an orange tie that was embroidered with…um…a sample of amoeba under a microscope?
Even the Twitter account of College And Magnolia—the Auburn blog at SB Nation—questioned who gave Malzahn the clearance for his tie.
The rest of Malzahn's outfit was sharp. But it doesn't matter how good the routine is if you can't stick the landing.
Best: QB Maty Mauk, Missouri
Maty Mauk came straight from The Darkest Timeline to SEC media days, and he has the evil facial hair to prove it.
The man who's been championed as the next Johnny Football—both on and (mostly) off the field—did not have to wear a conservative, about-to-be-grilled-like-I'm-on-trial suit the way Manziel did last season, instead going with a sportive, Mizzou-colored bow tie.
Extra points for the baggy, swollen, haven't-slept-in-48-hours look in Mauk's eyes. It goes well with the beard-in-a-suit thing.
Best: DE Curt Maggitt, Tennessee
This is how one should incorporate UT orange.
Subtle, prim, well-groomed, rested beneath a tightly draped set of dreadlocks. The bow tie and the pin look neat, and the charcoal jacket and the white shirt complement the orange. He looks at ease.
Well done, Mr. Maggitt.
Worst: LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
This is how one should not incorporate UT orange.
Strenuous, overshadowed by blackness, draped beneath a Donnie Thornberry-esque haircut. The UT orange barely registers.
Not at as well done, Mr. Johnson.
Best: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
Although, I suppose the deck was stacked against them. Gurley is more or less the baddest dude in college football, and seeing him in what amounts to a kiddie-themed bow tie was too good to not credit.
He could honestly be wearing a tutu and still look terrifying.
Best: DB Deshazor Everett/P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
This is a nice combination effort from a pair of Texas A&M Aggies: cornerback Deshazor Everett and punter Drew Kaser.
Kaser's attire is natty without being showy, and Everett's blue-on-blue outfit is a darker callback to what his former secondary mate, Tony Hurd, wore at SEC media days last season. The patterns work on both jackets, and the ties pull it all together.
Maybe this is why you bring a punter to media days.
Worst: Head Coach Will Muschamp, Florida
Look…I get it.
Not everyone can be Kliff Kingsbury, designing his own clothes and wearing them like a mannequin. Some coaches can't pull it off.
But they have to at least sorta try. They have to at least not face a group of assembled media dressed like a teller at Chase Bank.
Because this is the Chase Bank uniform verbatim.
Best: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
Not much to analyze with this one. Amari Cooper simply looks fresh.
His jacket was by far the best of the group in Hoover this week, and his color scheme beyond it worked on every level.
Best: DE Za'Darius Smith, Kentucky
Huge honorable mention to his teammate and line partner, Bud Dupree, but Za'Darius Smith carried the flag for Kentucky's sartorial choices. The suit he wore was the best in show of the week.
Let me amend that: The shirt he wore was the best in show of the week. The jacket-tie-vest combo might have been up there as well, but the groovy 1970s styling beneath them was the highlight.
Bonus points for one of the week's best watches.
Best (Hair): QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
Bo Wallace is a Fraternity president the starting quarterback at Ole Miss and the owner of one of the best heads of hair in college football.
At times last season, he let the southern swoop run out of control, at which point he looked more punk rock than preppy—which is ostensibly not what he's going for.
But with an offseason trip to the barber, he is back to looking like the guy you want your daughter to marry.
Who doesn't want to have a doctor in the family?
Worst (Hair): S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss
Cody Prewitt is one of the best safeties in college football. He and Clemson's Vic Beasley are the only two players to return from last year's Associated Press All-America first team defense. As a player, it makes sense for him to emulate Troy Polamalu.
But he should leave that emulation on the field.
Because a head of hair like Polamalu's comes around but once in a generation—if even that. And there's nothing more embarrassing than trying to pull off his style but coming up short and looking like the lead singer of MAGIC!