Thursday Thoughts: The Excitement, Passion, and Subtle Insults of SEC Media Days

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IJuly 24, 2009

I guess this season when the Alabama-Mississippi State game is over I won't leave the press box for the Bulldog locker room.  According to Dan Mullen speaking at SEC Media Days this week it's all about "Excitement and Passion" at Starkville.

According to people who were there, he used those two words at least 20 times each explaining to the media what the bulldogs are all about.

It was hard to tell if this was a speech on football or a book review of a Harlequin Romance novel.

Let's see how excited they are after another 4-10 season and how much passion they display after finishing in the cellar again this year.

Old Miss has a new catch phrase too. According to Jevan Snead, the rebels phenom quarterback, the Rebels new motto is, "Unsatisfied."

I'm glad they have gone ahead and established that as their motto now, because it will be a perfect fit for them again this year as either Snead suffers the 'sophomore slump,' or Nutt will once will once again fall on his face once expectations are so high.

As long as Mississippi stays "unsatisfied" the happier the rest of the SEC West will be.

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Speaking of someone pounding on the subject on the subject of lowered expectations, Houston Nutt said many times in his speech "I wouldn't say that," when asked about high expectations like a trip to Atlanta.

Yep that "Unsatisfied" motto seems to be working out just fine.

Speaking of satisfaction, I am hoping to be just that following words from Steve Spurrier.  His teams may not leave a lasting impression lately, but he always has a great comment or two that is to be remembered from Media Days.

Let's face it, nobody does it better. Can't you see Steve Spurrier as the head Roast Master at an SEC coach of the year banquet?

Maybe he'll leave the podium with Kiffin coming up to speak to next and say something like, "Well that's all I've got folks, y'all stick around for Lane Kiffin's talk. I'm leaving a pacifier and a crying towel up here for him."

Saban was his jolly self today. Whether you like him or not, the man's a rock star. The lines for his autograph started at 6 a.m. and some waited for six hours to get a chance to meet the big guy.

His handlers only allowed him about 15 minutes to be in the mayhem, however, and I guess like a true rock star, he left them wanting more.

He did leave however with one woman's vow of love and a bag of BamaNation Hot Sauce. 

And for all you people that think Nick don't know what to do with hot sauce, you don't know Nick. It seems he developed a spicier pallet while in Baton Rouge.

So he gratefully took the hot sauce and jumped into the car after shaking the man's hand who brought it.

Rolando McClain however had to almost be forcibly removed from the crowds and seemed content to stay the rest of the day and sign things.

The senior star linebacker kept saying, "Just one more!" time and time again.

Urban Meyer, the reigning National Championship coach got much less fanfare and crowds, so to tap into that magic that makes Saban a rock star, Meyer told about how awed he was the first time he came into Bryant Denny Stadium and look up and see Bear Bryant next to him at the goal post.

Apparently kissing up to the Bama fans didn't help so he just went on with his monotone speech that you could play back to have cranky infants fall asleep to.

Saban's gotten a lot of recent fans, Meyer's got a lot of recent crystal balls. He doesn't need to try and win over any new fans with that scenario playing out.

Gene Chizik was busy re-writing his speech. He was all set to brag how the Tigers had stolen Corey Grant from the clutches of Nick Saban and Bob Stoops.

This kid from Auburn's own backyard was going to signal the shift of top recruits now coming to Auburn.

That would have made a good speech but Grant decided to announce today that he was boarding the train to T-Town to play for Nick.

Darn! What is Auburn going to do? Will this be the third year in a row they lose every recruit that Alabama also wanted?

Maybe if they just spent a little more money, oh wait, they already do.

According to records that came out this week Auburn's spent $737,380 in 2008 to Alabama's $360,32. That's more than twice as much for much less than half the results.

It's said Auburn's spending even more money this year.

I guess all those limousine rentals and matching bowling shirts are pretty expensive.

Moving right along, we don't know if a Dick will lead the Arkansas Razorbacks this year yet, but we do know Cox will be leading the Georgia Bulldogs.

Mark Richt in his speech said that in his exit interviews with the team after spring practice, 106 out of 110 players named Cox as the leader of the team.

Cox is a senior quarterback with only one start in college football. 

He is going to lead Georgia in what may be the toughest schedule in the SEC.  Besides playing Florida and most of the SEC, two of their out of conference games are Georgia Tech who beat them last year, and Oklahoma State, both considered to be top 20 teams.

The other out of conference games are with the always tough Arizona State team and finally a patsy Tennessee Tech.

Said Richt of this schedule, "I doubt this (kind of schedule) happens (again, while I have any say) any time soon."

Wise words, the SEC is punishing enough.

Media Days continue, I think they'll let Rich Brooks speak during the infomercials around 2 a.m. this morning, and then the interesting people will speak later.

And that's it for this Thursday's Thoughts. If I've insulted your team, it was intentional; if I made you laugh, I have succeeded. 

See you next Thursday the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.


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