DAY 2 RECAP
It was Alabama's day at SEC Football Media Days with Nick Saban up first at the podium. And the Haters could not wait to misinterpret his comments. Saban often uses this venue to open conversations about issues that concern him regarding the state of the game. Many of the subjects involve the evolving relationship between college football and the NFL:
"I just felt like, in our experience last year, our team chemistry from the SEC Championship Game to the playoff game was affected by something. I think that to have a December 15 deadline for when a junior can submit for a draft grade and then you get that assessment back sometime right before or right after Christmas and then you have a playoff game January 1 or 2 – and I think it’s my obligation as a coach to inform that young man of that information, because it’s his information, it’s not my information, to make him aware of that.
"We’re talking about a young person who has to deal with a lot now. We had six guys in this situation and 11 in the year before. So we’re trying to get ready for a game and all of a sudden a guy finds out he’s a first-round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first-round draft pick finds out he’s not a first-round draft pick. And we’re trying to get ready for a playoff game.
"I think it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college."
That high-pitched screech you heard in the distance earlier Wednesday were the haters interpreting this as Saban making an excuse for losing to Ohio State. He later sat down with Greg McElroy, Dari Nowkhah, and some bald-headed UT-grad to clarify:
"It wasn't an excuse at all for losing to Ohio State. There is no excuse. We didn't play well. It's my responsibility, and I didn't manage it as well as I should have."
Beyond these comments, Saban was poised and appears focused on the season ahead. Even when some jackazz asked him about the Confederate flag, he took the high road rather than pander to one side or the other.
Reggie Ragland, Kenyan Drake, and Ryan Kelly looked like rock stars and represented the team well.
Arky's Bret Bielema seem to get a little emotional during his opening statement when talking about the three players he brought with him. It is unclear exactly why other than an I love you guys moment. When asked about Steve Spurrier "cartwheels" comment, he said Spurrier and his wife were "awesome" to him and his wife when he joined Arkansas but also joked "I respect my elders".
Mizzou head man Gary Pinkel, typically understated, didn't add anything memorable. Oh yeah... Kentucky's Mark Stoops spoke as well.
THURSDAY, JULY 16
It should be an interesting day kicked off by Mark Richt who has been a little more outspoken in recent years.
He will be followed by Hugh Freeze who will probably get asked about the developing Laremy Tunsil soap opera within the first two questions.
The Mad Hatter wraps up the gabfest with his "special" way of orating.
9am - 1:30pm
• GEORGIA (Coach Mark Richt/Malcolm Mitchell/John Theus/Jordan Jenkins)
• OLE MISS (Coach Hugh Freeze/Evan Engram/Mike Hilton/C.J. Johnson)
• LSU (Coach Les Miles/Leonard Fournette/Vadal Alexander/Kendell Beckwith)
Live coverage continues on SEC Network and espn3.com with Greg McElroy, Marcus Spears, and Booger McFarland, moderated by Joe Tessitore/Dari Nowkhah.