Yesterday, as the final coach into the main media room, Steve Spurrier stole the show at SEC Media Days. Today, Bret Bielema did the same. The coach who looks more like Curly Joe DeRita of “The Three Stooges” than we’d ever noticed, brought the curtain down on Day Two with an impressive turn at the podium.
Sure, he probably got too fired up over a Gus Malzahn quote that he seemed to take too personally. But even his heated rant served as a “Get to know me!” moment for one of the league’s four new coaches.
The lesson? This guy ain’t gone bite his tongue.
Whether it was explaining his recruiting tactics — get into Florida and make a big push into Texas — joking about who might help him make said push — “We have a certain alumni who built a stadium in the middle of Dallas that’s very big” — or having a little fun with how low his team will be picked in the SEC West — “The lower the better. The same group that’s gonna vote us a certain place tomorrow is the same group that a year ago today had us in the top five.” — Bielema was on. He was engaged. He was darned entertaining.
Now, does putting on a good show at Media Days mean much when it comes to on-field success? Of course not. Robbie Caldwell was worthy of an invite to an improv club in 2010, but he lasted just one year as Vanderbilt’s coach. On the other hand, there have been mannequins that’ve shown more personality than Gene Chizik did… and he won a BCS championship.
But this event is as much for the fans as it is for the media. And Bielema gave the media a number of good quotes while also firing up his own fanbase. You think Hawg fans didn’t love Bielema’s heated response to that Malzhan’s quote? Please.
So hats off to the last speaker of the day. Again. Beilema won Day 2 of SEC Media Days.