With no Urban Meyer and no Nick Saban in attendance, Day 2 of SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., was relatively calm...well, at least by SEC Media Days standards. Here's a Cliffs Notes version of the day's events:
Stealing the show
If you didn't know Vanderbilt interim head coach Robbie Caldwell prior to SEC Media Days, you do now. Caldwell, who was named the interim head coach last week following the abrupt retirement of Bobby Johnson, stole the show at Day 2 of SEC Media Days with well-timed jokes and unassuming attitude.
Among the gems from Caldwell Thursday afternoon was the explanation of his first ever job.
“My first hourly paying job was on the turkey farm,” said Caldwell. “I don’t know if I could tell you what my job was…I was on the inseminating crew. That’s a fact. I worked my way to the top. Best job I ever had — got paid by the hour for the first time. That was about ’68, ’69. That’s what we did every afternoon.”
When asked if such an experience ruined Thanksgiving for him, Caldwell walked away from the podium, displayed his gut, and said, “No, it hasn't.”
Vandy has a pretty daunting schedule in 2010, so it's highly unlikely that Caldwell will get to keep his job. But come on, for everybody's sake, keep this guy around. After all, he got a round of applause from the SEC media.
So...what exactly do you mean?
The news that Georgia is being investigated as part of agent-gate leaked out late Wednesday night. As luck would have it, Georgia's turn at SEC Media Days was Thursday morning. That's some convenient timing.
Wednesday evening, SI.com reported that All-SEC wide receiver A.J. Green was not present at the now-infamous agent-party in South Beach. Take it for what it's worth, but TMZ is reporting that the subject of the investigation is, in fact, A.J. Green. TMZ may take a lot of grief for their methods, but as the Tiger Woods saga proved, they're right more times than not. I'm not saying that they are in this case, but I wouldn't dismiss the report based solely on the name of the media outlet.
While the contradicting accounts sort themselves out, Green's reaction to the investigation was far less muddled. The junior rattled off a series of “no comments” and “next questions” that would make Drew Rosenhaus proud. Green was even asked how it feels to respond with “no comment” to the endless agent questions. Green's reply? “No comment.”
He already said that he wasn't there. There's nothing else he needs to say publicly until the investigation is complete.
Alabama may have made the rounds on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the Marcell Dareus from making news on Thursday.
According to a report in the Birmingham News, Dareus was lured to the agent-party by his friend Marvin Austin, who is a star defensive lineman at North Carolina. When Dareus arrived in South Beach to find a party held by agents, he turned around and flew back home.
It's an interesting account of what happened, and it very well may be 100 percent accurate. But if that's the story they are going to go with, it will raise quite a few eyebrows in the NCAA office.
Once upon a time, Steve Spurrier was the star of Media Days. Now, he's just “one of the coaches.” Of course, having a .556 winning percentage (35-28) at South Carolina, when he had a career winning percentage of of .772 (142-40-2) when he took over, will go a long way to humble a man.
In his usual self-deprecating form, Spurrier took a shot at himself at Media Days.
"I never thought I'd get a bigger bonus for our guys graduating than I did for the bowl game,” said Spurrier. “But that's what I did this year."
With all the talent that the Gamecocks have coming back, something tells me the Ole Ball Coach will have a higher opinion of himself with he makes the rounds in Hoover before the 2011 season.
A Heisman demeanor
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett passed up the opportunity to turn pro last year. He may not be collecting a check in the NFL right now, but one thing's for sure – he certainly handles himself like a professional.
Continually deflecting praise to his teammates, addressing reporters by name and saying how much he needs to improve his technique, Mallett, who threw for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, displayed the confidence that a championship-caliber quarterback needs to succeed. He left no doubt that he can handle the pressure of high expectations.
Enough with the “Richt on the hot seat” talk
The offseason lasts way too long, so rampant speculation sometimes fills the time. One of the victims of that speculation this offseason was Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who is viewed by some as being on the hot seat this season, even though he's averaged 10 wins per season during his nine-year coaching career.
When asked if he is insulted that, despite having a 90-27 career record (and a winning percentage that's 54 points higher than Vince Dooley's), some publications and radio hosts have put him on the imaginary hot seat, Richt replied in the most diplomatic way possible.
“Not really,” said Richt. “I understand the business. I understand just how things go. So I don't worry about it. My goal is to focus on the important things and the things I can control.”
That may just be the politically correct answer and it may be the truth. Whichever it is, one thing is for certain, his job is safe. A 7-5 season may put him in danger in 2011. But barring a meltdown of epic proportions, Richt isn't getting fired in 2010.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
Off-Season Column Archive:
SEC Media Days: Day 2 Recap – July 22, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 1 Recap – July 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part III – July 13, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part II – June 21, 2010
Auburn Gets The Last Laugh – June 10, 2010
Realignment – What Should The SEC Do? – June 9, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part I – June 7, 2010
Richt On The Hot Seat? – June 3, 2010
Auburn Dismisses Redshirt Freshman RB – May 21, 2010
SEC Hires of the Decade – The Bottom Five – May 14, 2010
Top 5 SEC Hires of the Decade – May 5, 2010
Georgia In A Gray Area – April 26, 2009
Taunting Rule Goes Too Far – April 16, 2009
Memorable SEC Press Conferences – February 20, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 2 – February 18, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 1 – February 16, 2009
Florida Reaches For DC – February 12, 2009
Vols Go West For New DC – February 3, 2009
Early 2010 SEC Predictions – January 31, 2010
Chizik Doing It Right – January 21, 2010
Georgia's DC Debacle – January 12, 2010
SEC Bloggers: Do Over – January 8, 2010
Trouble In Baton Rouge – January 2, 2010
Meyer Calls A Reverse – December 27, 2009
Urban Meyer's SEC Legacy – December 26, 2009
End Of The Season Accountability – December 26, 2009
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 18, 2009
2009 SEC Superlatives – December 13, 2009
Click here for the 2010 Three & Out archive
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