After three days packed full of all kinds of scintillating information in Birmingham, at the 2009 SEC Media Days, SEC Sports Hub is here to take a look at some of the highlights of the hectic event.
We brought you full coverage of the event, complete with highlights from every team's press conference. Below, you can find the links to all of our coverage for each team:
- Alabama Crimson Tide at SEC Media Days
- Arkansas Razorbacks at SEC Media Days
- Auburn Tigers at SEC Media Days
- Florida Gators at SEC Media Days
- Georgia Bulldogs at SEC Media Days
- Kentucky Wildcats at SEC Media Days
- LSU Tigers at SEC Media Days
- Mississippi State Bulldogs at SEC Media Days
- Ole Miss Rebels at SEC Media Days
- South Carolina Gamecocks at SEC Media Days
- Tennessee Volunteers at SEC Media Days
- Vanderbilt Commodores at SEC Media Days
So, after taking the weekend to regroup and rewatch some of the press conferences, SEC Sports Hub has put together a list of the top moments, most bold statements, and most interesting tidbits from an eventful 2009 SEC Media Days event.
The biggest buzz of the three day event was undoubtedly man hunt that took place following the release of the 2009 Preseason All-SEC teams. The controversy was over two time National Champion and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow not being named a unanimous selection to the All-SEC first team by the coaches.
Every coach was faced with the question of who they voted for, and it wasn't until the final day of the event that we finally learned the culprit. South Carolina Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier mistakenly voted against Tebow, and issued a heartfelt apology to Tebow and the Gators at the beginning of his press conference.
The boldest statement came from Vanderbilt Commodores' head coach Bobby Johnson, on the very first session of the event. Johnson was asked about his expectations for Vanderbilt following the program's second bowl win in history last season, and Johnson responded with gusto.
"You know, I think the sky's the limit for Vanderbilt, to tell you the truth. When we prove that we can win consistently, I think recruiting will pick up and we're going to have the same quality team that the top tier teams have in our conference. We expect to compete for championships," Johnson said.
For a program that recorded its first winning season in the past 25 years, Johnson certainly has brought a new level of energy and excitement to the Commodores.
The best moment of the 2009 SEC Media Days came at what could have been an extremely awkward moment for some of the 900+ members of the media who were present when Tim Tebow came to the stage. Blogger Clay Travis asked Tebow if he was "saving himself for marriage."
Rather than stumble over a question that crossed well over the boundary of professional journalism etiquette, Tebow responded with an unequivocal yes. His graceful and smooth answer, accompanied by a few hearty laughs from the superstar, averted a potentially awkward situation and turned it into yet another chapter in the legacy of one of college football's greatest players.
Most Interesting Tidbit
Certainly one of the most interesting tidbits of information from the week was the fact that Tim Tebow's prophetic speech after the loss to Ole Miss has been used for motivation by more people than just the Gators.
In fact, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt actually read Tebow's speech to his team once and keeps a copy of it on his desk as inspiration.
"What you love about Tim Tebow, not only does he make the promise, he carries it out, and he puts his team on his back. I have those words, after our game, the words he spoke to the media, I have that on my desk. I read it to my team once. I have an awesome respect for that," Nutt said.
The biggest surprise this year probably wasn't quite as big as in years past. There were no subpoenas issued at this year's SEC Media Days, and no coaches decided not to show.
Instead, Florida All-American linebacker Brandon Spikes came down with a case of the butterflies and opted out of speaking at the event. Spikes was replaced by fellow linebacker Ryan Stamper. For a man that almost single-handedly resurrected the Gator defense, it sure seemed odd that a few hundred reporters could scare Spikes.
Best Statement of SEC Dominance:
The annual questions about the SEC's dominance as a conference were certainly not lacking at the 2009 SEC Media Days, after the Florida Gators helped the conference capture its third consecutive BCS National Championship.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik put together perhaps the most impressive statement about the conference's strength, fresh off a stint in arguably the nation's second best conference, the Big 12.
"I think I can speak a little bit intelligently about it because I've freshly been in both. The SEC, when you travel stadium to stadium, the passion, the pride, all of the things that go with, you know, what make college football great, there's no greater league, in my opinion, than the SEC. Do I think this is the best conference in the country? I do."