SEC alums I'd love to chat with over beers or sweet tea
The SEC has seen a number of high profile players and coaches come and go over the years.
Each school has a distinct person who would be ideal to sit down with over a beverage or two. Bar stools and beers would set the comfort level perfectly, but sweet tea on the porch would work fine if any these gentlemen turn out not to be drinkers.
The venue really wouldn’t matter, it’s the company — and the stories and life philosophies — I’d cherish.
If I could clink glasses with one SEC legend from each program, living or dead, here’s who I’d pick:
Alabama: Bear Bryant
Bryant is the most iconic coach/player in Alabama football history, with all due respect to Nick Saban. You’ll see multiple hats that resemble the one Bryant used to sport back in the day scattered across Bryant-Denny Stadium, and for good reason. Bryant was one of the best motivators and coaches the sporting landscape has ever seen at the college level, and a practice session with him would be any Crimson Tide fan’s dream.
Arkansas: Darren McFadden
Clint Stoerner, Ryan Mallett, Houston Nutt, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and the late Frank Broyles would all be great, but McFadden is my answer. The former Oak Grove phenom delivered time and time again on the football field and is one of the most underappreciated players in SEC history. With all the chaos that occurred during the Nutt era, it would be fun to get a player’s take on what really happened.
Auburn: Bo Jackson
Cam Newton and Pat Dye are worthy of consideration, but Jackson surpasses. Crazy stories about Jackson have surfaced over the years, like him dunking a stick into a basketball hoop IN EIGHTH GRADE, and it would be awesome to find out how many were true. It also be interesting to get his take on if he should be considered an NFL/MLB Hall of Fame resident.
Florida: Steve Spurrier
Emmitt Smith, Danny Wuerffel, Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer are all acceptable answers, but the “Head Ball Coach” would be the most entertaining. Spurrier has never been afraid of conflict, so it could be amusing to ruffle his feathers a little bit. This is the same guy that mocked rival Florida State, nicknaming the them as “Free Shoes University” in reference to the Seminoles always being in trouble with the NCAA.
Georgia: Vince Dooley
Mark Richt, David Pollack, Matthew Stafford, Champ Bailey, Hines Ward, A.J. Greene, Fran Tarkenton, Herschel Walker and the late Wally Butts all make the candidate list, but Dooley comes out on top. Dooley has done so much for the the University of Georgia that even the greatest of Bulldogs fans might not know about. He blended flawlessly with Herschel Walker, creating one of the best coach-player tandems the SEC has ever seen.
Kentucky: Tim Couch
The former Kentucky quarterback didn’t have much of an NFL career, but he tore up the college ranks while in Lexington, including a stellar performance against Alabama at home in 1997. Couch probably has a thing or two to say about that.
LSU: Les Miles
I’m sure some LSU fans would love to catch up with Nick Saban, Kevin Mawae, Alan Faneca, Leonard Fournette, Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, but Miles gets the nod here. Miles is one of the most quotable coaches of all time. The grass at Tiger Stadium might be the main topic over a pitcher of beer with him.
Mississippi State: Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott is the best football player to throw on a Mississippi State uniform and Bulldogs fans would welcome Prescott into their homes like another member of their family. The humble star has had doubters his whole career, including Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd. These naysayers have fueled his desire to get better, and listening to him discuss combating criticism could be life-changing.
Missouri: Chase Daniel
Daniel’s biggest moment at Mizzou came against the No.2 Kansas Jayhawks in 2007, where he put on a clinic, throwing for over 350 yards and three touchdowns. Tigers fans would love to relive that game over and over, and a sit-down with Daniel would be a perfect way to do that.
Ole Miss: Archie Manning
Like rival Mississippi State, choosing the partner for a night out is easy for Rebels fans with so much adoration for Archie Manning. Ole Miss alumni can’t say enough about the father of Peyton and Eli. His sons have been a huge part of his life, and their impact would be a great story to let Archie dive into.
South Carolina: Marcus Lattimore
No player has suffered more adversity in recent memory than Lattimore. Faith is an important but often neglected part of life for many people, and Lattimore enjoys sharing his testimony along with his football story.
Tennessee: Peyton Manning
Phillip Fulmer, Jason Witten, Johnny Majors, the late Reggie White, Robert Neyland? How about the guy who mentioned wanting to finish off some Budweisers after winning a Super Bowl. Tennessee hasn’t won a national championship since 1998 — the glorious era Manning ushered in at UT, even though the title came the year after he graduated.
Texas A&M: Johnny Manziel
Yes, this option will receive some backlash, but is there a college quarterback that was in the headlines more than Johnny Manziel? For all his antics off the field, Manziel won the Heisman in 2012, in a season that he would be more than glad to share again.
Vanderbilt: Dan McGugin
He went 197-55-19 at Vanderbilt, and coached the 1910 team that finished the season undefeated. McGugin’s teams were some of the best in Commodores history. Many fans would be intrigued by the legacy that he built in Nashville and how he was able to sustain it for so long.