After an early morning drive and a long day at the Hyatt Regency, I am back at the hotel with my feet up and pajamas on. This is my third SEC Media Days, so I’m used to the madness now, but a full day of press conferences and having your chair bumped by big media bellies is enough to wear anyone out.
Before I turn in to get some sleep before Kentucky’s big day, here are my takeaways from Day Two of SEC Media Madness…
I don’t want Steve Spurrier to ever retire
Believe it or not, the Ole Ball Coach is 70 now, and coming off one of his worst seasons, faced a lot of questions about retirement. Spurrier rolled with the punches, telling reporters that he plans to “breeze right on through 70” like he did ages 60 and 65.
“I can still remember just about everything,” Spurrier said, rattling off a list of public figures around his age still working (Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Coach K). “That retirement thing, I don’t think I’d be very good at it. I can go to the beach and stay four or five days, and, hey, let’s get on out of here. We’ve been here long enough.”
[Insert hangover and sunburn jokes here]
Once Kentucky broke the Spurrier curse a few years back, I’ve grown to love the Ole Ball Coach if for any other reason than he makes SEC Media Days entertaining. In fact, if he does retire, I’m totally for Mark Ennis’ suggestion:
Imagine an SEC Network show with retired Steve Spurrier and Rich Brooks just judging stuff. Like, Antiques Roadshow format but anything.
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) July 14, 2015
Spurrier wants odds on every SEC coach being at their school in 4 years, so let’s do it
Danny Sheridan is a famous sports handicapper, and while talking about retirement, Spurrier said he wanted Sheridan to do the odds on every SEC coach being at their respective school four years from now. So, let’s do that.
- Gus Malzahn (Auburn): 6-1
- Despite a minor setback last season, the Tigers are a National Championship contender; however, Auburn has proved they won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a coach if things go south.
- Jim McElwain (Florida): 12-1
- I don’t know much about McElwain, but considering he doesn’t have enough common sense to put on sunscreen, I’m skeptical.
- Derek Mason (Vanderbilt): 20-1
- I really like Mason, but for a program like
VandyWest End, it’s a steep climb unless you’re James Franklin. I hope he proves me wrong.
- I really like Mason, but for a program like
- Steve Spurrier (South Carolina): 15-1
- I love the Ole Ball Coach, but something tells me retirement will sound nicer and nicer as the next four years go by.
- Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M): 8-1
- Sumlin just hired a new defensive coordinator and has the newly renovated Kyle Field to call home. I honestly don’t follow him enough to know whether or not he’d turn down the NFL or a more prestigious program.
- Dan Mullen (Mississippi State): 7-1
- No one was more surprised that Mullen got the Bulldogs to #1 last season than me. Will he stay in Starkville if things stay rosy or get out because it’s Starkville?
- Butch Jones (Tennessee): 10-1
- This one was tricky, but I think Jones has the Vols primed for a breakout year. I also think he’ll stick around even if bigger schools come calling.
- Nick Saban (Alabama): 3-1
- I don’t see Saban leaving anytime soon, even for the NFL. Alabama will keep pouring money his way to make sure that never happens.
- Mark Stoops (Kentucky): 8-1
- I have faith that Stoops will get the Cats to a bowl game and next season will be the year they really make some noise, but as a long-suffering Kentucky fan, I also fear if that happens, someone bigger will come scoop him up. Stay away, Florida State!
- Gary Pinkel (Missouri): 3-1
- Missouri’s won the SEC East two years in a row and Pinkel, age 63, has a contract with the Tigers through 2021. Seems like a retirement track to me.
- Bret Bielema (Arkansas): 8-1
- Bielema’s turning the Razorbacks around, but if they continue to progress, will he stay with them or bolt for a bigger name job?
- Mark Richt (Georgia): 9-1
- Even though Georgia always seems pretty good, Richt always seems to be on the hot seat.
- Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss): 5-1
- Freeze turned Ole Miss around, and even if big schools try to poach him, leaving Oxford is stupid.
- Les Miles (LSU): 6-1
- LSU has had a few subpar seasons, but it’s Les Miles. Why would you ever get rid of him?
A list of things that never change at Media Days
- The rooms being freezing cold
- The weather outside being brutally hot
- Too much Dr. Pepper and not enough Diet Pepsi
- Paul Finebaum wandering around not talking to anyone
- Creepy old men hitting on young women
- Lonny Demaree being awesome
- No lines in the women’s restrooms (take that, men!)
- Only sweet tea at the buffet, no unsweet
- Excellent people watching in the media lobby
- Men asking way too many questions about fashion
- The awesome look of disappointment that crosses the fans’ faces when you come down the Escalator of Disappointment
A list of things that did change at Media Days
- There were more women in the main room–hooray for us!
- Selfie sticks (ugh)
- Periscoping EVERYWHERE
- New charging stations for your phones:
- Freddie Maggard’s excellent analysis
- The SEC Network has a desk inside the main room, which means you’re pretty much guaranteed to be on TV at some point, which makes me paranoid about my posture and things stuck in my teeth
- Players from opposing teams talking about how Kentucky is on the rise
I’m sure that list will grow as the week goes on. Finally…
Someone explain how this works to me
A few of these mysterious rotating mini helmets were on display on Radio Row today, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they work. Magnets? Magic? Maybe I’ll ask Space Dobbs.
Mark Stoops, Jordan Swindle, AJ Stamps, and Melvin Lewis are up tomorrow around 10:30 a.m. CT. There’s a local media opportunity before then, so post questions you’d like me to ask. I’ll also be Periscoping throughout the day, so be sure to follow me @MrsTylerKSR. Hopefully this shorty can fight to the front to give you all a good view.