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SEC Media Days Roundup: Day Two

1. The LSU buzz at media days?  The player who wasn’t there.

2. Zach Mettenberger’s road to LSU: “I definitely took the path less traveled,” and on what went wrong at Georgia.

3. Les Miles on Mettenberger: ”Maybe he (Mettenberger) could have taken some snaps in that national championship game should he have not gotten hurt earlier in that bowl practice.”

4. The loss that still can’t be explained.

5. The ever-quotable Miles and some of his interesting answers.

6. Is Florida coach Will Muschamp the Anti-Urban?

7. Muschamp: ”We are a year older and I’m pleased where that is headed.”

8. A key to the Gators season? A quick start.

9. Matt Hayes on Florida: “There was a time when they owned this place.”

10. How will Auburn’s 2012 season be defined? “(B)y to what extent it closes the gap on the blowout losses.”

11. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Does Auburn have an image prob­lem or a character problem?”

12. Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier is impressing teammates and coaches in summer workouts. High expectations for the sophomore.

13. Arkansas players and coaches are still in contact with Bobby Petrino. His influence is still everywhere in the program.

14. “More indication came Wednesday that Arkansas’ season-ending rivalry with LSU will be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.”

15. Knile Davis: ”I do feel like I’m the best running back in the SEC.”

16. Tyler Wilson enters his senior as a confident quarterback of the Razorbacks.

17. A confident Dan Mullen has high expectations for his Mississippi State Bulldogs.

18. Why the SEC opener against Auburn is not just another game.

19. Is Johnthan Banks a better player than Tyrann Mathieu?

20. Kentucky’s 333 pound silent giant. Right guard Larry Warford and center Matt Smith take questions from the media.

21. Even at a football event, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips can’t escape UK basketball frenzy.

 

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Florida’s Muschamp At The Podium – 7/18/12

Coach Boom is taking to the podium to kick off Day Two of SEC Media Days and Year Two of his tenure at Florida.  We’ll see how Will Muschamp handles questions about pressure, his roster, and possibly even Urban Meyer’s jump to Ohio State.

* Muschamp says the first year was disappointing, but he feels the “foundation” has been put down and the team is headed in the right direction.  “We’re building a program, not a team.”

* Florida will be more of a downhill running team.  Last year the line “wasn’t as good” and the backs were smaller.

* Muschamp points out that his team was outscored 72-22 in the fourth quarter in SEC games.  That led to a change in the strength program and the coach trumpets his new strength team.

* The coach continues with his long-winded, fast-talking opening remarks and says he’s willing to play both quarterbacks — Jeff Driskell and Jacoby Brissett — if necessary this fall.

* On his new offensive coordinator Brent Pease, Muschamp said, “Well, we better score some more points.”  He then wished Charlie Weis well at Kansas.

* UF will bring back 15 of their top 16 tacklers.  This year, with more experience, he thinks the squad will be better.  “We inherited a good, young team.”

* I don’t think Muschamp has taken a breath yet.  Good Lord, slow down.  I don’t envy the Florida writers who try to cover this guy on a regular basis.  He’s talking so fast that it makes him seem nervous.

* Referring to Caleb Sturgis making the All-SEC team, the coach said he told his team that the SEC’s coaches “must not think much of you.”

* No coach gave more stats, strengths, weaknesses, high points and low lights than Muschamp.  Unfortunately he did it all in the span of about 38 seconds.  Best tip: Read a full transcript when the SEC posts one later today.  Wow.

* Looking at the clock, what seemed like 38 seconds was really about 15 minutes.  Which gives you an idea of how much info Muschamp crammed in at a breakneck pace.

* The coach believes Missouri and Texas A&M will do well in the SEC.  Offensively, Mizzou is “exotic.”  He says they’re a tough preparation for a defense.  He also is talking up the Tigers’ coaching staff.

* He says A&M’s coaches put up “video game numbers” at Houston.  He said they took 106 snaps in the first half of their spring game which shows their tempo.

* Muschamp wouldn’t comment on Dante Phillips, the DT signee who was cleared by the NCAA but not admitted by UF.  He released the player to sign elsewhere, so he said he could not comment.  (Phillips’ new Twitter name, for the record, is @knoxvillebound.  You do the math.)

* Asked what he learned in Year One, Muschamp pointed very much to the injury to John Brantley in Week Five that helped to unravel the season.

* New O-coordinator Pease has “always been on the list” of possible hires that Muschamp keeps.

* “In all league, it’s all hard.”  Asked about scheduling, Muschamp wouldn’t complain about having to play eight-straight league games.  He said he can’t control it so he doesn’t worry about it.  Good for him.

* Muschamp said he talked to Charlie Weis “yesterday” about last season.  Doesn’t sound like there’s any bad blood there.

* Asked about playing LSU every year, Muschamp said that he thinks “Florida/LSU is good for our league.”  Muschamp said he would not necessarily be in favor of a nine-game schedule because of the Florida State school.  He said every coach selfishly wants what’s best for his own school which is why the league needs a commissioner like Mike Slive who builds a consensus and who everyone follows.

* Funny moment… when Muschamp was asked about Florida’s consistency, the questioner mentioned that UF hasn’t had a losing season since 1979.  “Yeah, I heard that a few times.”

* Muschamp says A&M is an SEC-like atmosphere.

* The coach says he doesn’t have a lot of social media rules, but Florida does monitor it.  “Unfortunately we’ve got some knuckleheads here or there” who’ll put things out there that have to be taken down.  Muschamp’s buddy Jimbo Fisher banned Florida State’s players from Twitter yesterday.

* Asked about the Georgia/Florida game being played in Jacksonville, Muschamp quickly called it the “Florida/Georgia game.”  He said the game needs to stay in Jacksonville and then said, “Coach Dooley never complained about it being there.”  Zing to Mark Richt and the UGA brass.  Muschamp might have played at Georgia, but he’s clearly a Gator now.

 

Our overall grade for Muschamp’s “performance” based on comfort, friendliness, openness… we’ll give him a 5 on a scale of 1-5.  In terms of breaking down his team — openness — he deserves a 6.  He’s not “entertaining” like a Steve Spurrier, but he is definitely full of energy.  Makes you wonder how many Red Bulls he guzzled this morning.

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SEC Headlines – 4/3/12 Part One

1.  There was room for improvement after Alabama’s first spring scrimmage.

2.  Clint Moseley’s sore shoulder has become a “big factor” in Auburn’s quarterbacks race.

3.  Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino — who wasn’t wearing a helmet during his weekend motorcycle crash — was resting comfortably in an area hospital last night.

4.  The Hogs will start an e-ticket program for football this season.

5.  Soccer player / homecoming queen Mo Isom — who’ll try out as a kicker at LSU again this August – will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today.

6.  Here’s a rundown of yesterday’s practice session at Ole Miss.

7.  New MSU hoops coach Rick Ray gets a big thumbs up from one former boss… and a pair of MSU commitments.

8.  Ray’s new boss opens up about the search that led Scott Stricklin the former Clemson assistant.

9.  Here’s a Day Two practice report from Texas A&M.

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SEC Media Days Lineup Set

With the Southeastern Conference growing, one thing we failed to think about was this: SEC Media Days — which has become a fan festival in recent years — will be growing, too.

Great.  Instead of 12 coaches, there will be 14 speaking this July.  And players?  You could no longer fit ‘em all on a Greyhound bus.

Here’s the schedule:


Tuesday, July 17th
1st Session: South Carolina and Texas A&M
2nd Session: Missouri and Vanderbilt

Wednesday, July 18th
1st Session: Florida and Mississippi State
2nd Session: Arkansas and Kentucky
3rd Session: Auburn and LSU

Thursday, July 19th
1st Session: Alabama and Tennessee
2nd Session: Ole Miss and Georgia


The league two new partners get their official, eye-opening welcome to the SEC on Day One.

Day Two will be an absolute bear.  With more fans and more media at the event, coaches have fallen farther and farther behind schedule the last couple of summers.  Tossing two more schools into that mix could stretch Wednesday’s gathering from dawn to dusk.

Day Three used to end at lunch.  Now it’s scheduled to roll all the way through 1:30 — which likely means 2:30 in reality.

The league is growing.  Shoulda realized that Media Days would grow with it.

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