Six quirky predictions for SEC Media Days
Editor’s note: Our nuts and bolts SEC Media Days preview appears Sunday, complete with coach and player interview schedules and items to watch for during the four-day, SEC Network-televised circus.
Nick Saban will talk process and reiterate his disdain for satellite camps.
Steve Spurrier’s goal of energizing a sleepy ballroom of writers, reporters and media personalities with one-liners will result in widespread coach worshipping and emoji-filled tweets.
Players won’t reveal much, instead, choosing to shower other teams with compliments.
This much we know.
What we’d like to see next week at SEC Media Days, the only preseason Power 5 gathering worth watching, changes the scope a bit. Here are six quirky (meant to be taken as a joke) predictions that would make waves from Hoover:
6. Steve Spurrier reveals Pharoh Cooper is Gamecocks’ starting QB
Guess again! The Head Ball Coach gets the last laugh after pulling the wool over our eyes throughout the offseason involving his quarterback battle in Columbia, S.C. Projected starter Connor Mitch and incoming true freshman Lorenzo Nunez will take a back seat to the SEC’s top returning receiver, who will somehow play two (maybe more) positions at once this fall for the Gamecocks. I giggle at Spurrier’s pronunciation of his best player’s first name. Oh, Fay-row.
5. Jeremy Johnson professes to be college football’s best player
You can be player attendees have been trained on what to say and topics to avoid in front of the cameras, but the SEC’s new golden boy who leaped Dak Prescott this week as the league’s Heisman favorite alongside Nick Chubb hasn’t yet introduced himself to the national spotlight. He could take a major leap from a personal brand standpoint by proclaiming he’s the best player in college football and backing up the ‘Cam Newton 2.0’ comparisons that have littered the offseason. C’mon Jeremy, give us something to work with!
4. Rest of the A-list stars arrive via helicopter
Was I the only media member disappointing at Wednesday’s player attendee reveal? I know it’s an unwritten rule to bring a bunch of seniors to represent your program and there’s always the fear of youngsters saying something they shouldn’t, but the Media Days guest list is lacking. The most notable no-shows include Nick Chubb, Derek Barnett, Myles Garrett, Derrick Henry and Robert Nkemdiche, all All-American candidates. I’m not sure 1,000 pounds of additional football muscle could fit in a private chopper, but we can dream.
3. Malzahn, Saban, Sumlin and Bielema re-ignite ‘pace of play’
A pertinent topic last summer, thank goodness verbal sparring between coaches involving player safety has, for the most part, ended concerning the possibility of injuries involving uptempo offenses. Or has it? Comedy hour would ensue once again if Saban and Bielema, out of nowhere, bring up pace of play amongst their peers. Each coach in the SEC has an agenda to relay next week, but resurrecting a misinformed perception doesn’t appear to be on the docket.
2. Les Miles spends 7 minutes talking about the danger of fireworks
Sadly, Americans didn’t heed necessary safety warnings over the July 4 holiday. Two men died from launching fireworks off their bodies and two NFL players lost fingers thanks to pyrotechnics. Let’s hear the Mad Hatter’s take on the issue, who I’m sure would provide well-delivered philosophical reasoning on why incendiary devices shouldn’t be lit at close quarters. Miles would talk with his hands and give explicit details, similar to his approach in 2014 with FIFA and the World Cup.
1. Leonard Fournette strikes the Heisman pose at the podium
The SEC needs a Hollywood star. The league’s had it with Cam Newton, Tyrann Mathieu and Johnny Manziel. Dak Prescott’s a candidate, sure, but he’s never been boisterous about his talent. Fournette on the other hand, LSU’s standout sophomore, thinks of himself quite fondly. After his first touchdown last season, college football’s cyborg running back did his best Desmond Howard impression inside Tiger Stadium. Thankfully, the rest of the season lived up to sizable expectations. Here’s to hoping his first appearance at Media Days features everyone’s favorite pose.