Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2005
so little time
Ok sportsfans, it’s official, this years’ SEC Media Days had more storylines coming in and out of it than a WWE Pay-Per-View.
Just think about it football fans.
This year, the big news was Phillip Fulmer’s returned to Hoover after sitting out last year due to "jurisdicitionary purposes.&uot; That’s what he said. In reality, it was the fact that he was afraid of Tommy Gallion waiting on him at the state line with a subpoena. Gallion might have even sprung for a bright orange envelope just to be cute.
With all that in the past, the Dean of SEC coaches stepped to the mic on Wednesday clearly focused on the 2005 football season. While in his opening statement Fulmer made it crystal clear that he would not answer legal questions, a very smart move.
Members of the media, however tried to test him, each time getting shot down.
With that being the overriding storyline, the main event so to speak, the undercard appeared to be just as juicy.
Steve Spurrier’s back and coaching at South Carolina.
Spurrier took the helm of a program that has been in a continuous decline since the early consecutive wins over Ohio State in the Outback Bowl during the Lou Holtz years.
Since their ownership of the Buckeyes, the only positive that the Gamecock-Nation can hold onto is a 20-3 romp through the Crimson Tide in their past two meetings. The ‘Cocks won in 2001 37-36.
I’m going to emails for pointing
out that loss.
Spurrier is going to have his work cut out for him in the Chicken Coop at Williams-Bryce Stadium.
If we’re talking new coaches, might as well look at the class of ’05: Urban Meyer (UF), Ed Orgeron (Ole Miss) and Les Miles (LSU).
For Meyer, it’s going to be a change from having a team led by one athlete, to a team filled with athletes. As for Orgeron, it’s the opposite. He came from a team that was loaded with athletic talent and has inherited a team that is void of it.
At Utah, Meyer had Alex Smith – who just signed a contract with the 49ers that’s equivalent to the gross national product of Finland. He inherits Gators lead by Chris Leak, one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
Speaking of Southern Cal, Orgeron makes his way to Oxford’s "Grove" by way of LA. Orgeron is bred from a champions pedigree – assistant coach to Jimmie Johnson at Miami during the 80’s and 90’s time in Syracuse and then d – line coach at USC through the Pete Carroll era. The guy knows the keys to a winning football team. When he gets to Oxford he will see that he doesn’t have one.
Moving from the "Grove" to the Bayou, Miles looks like he is fairing better than Orgeron, inheriting a pretty much loaded squad
of Bayou Bengals.
Miles comes to Baton Rouge with instant cred, as the only coach in the nation to beat Oklahoma two straight years. The barometer in the Big 12 is whether or not a team can win in Norman.
Miles and his Okie State Cowboys whooped the Boomer Sooners in annual Bedlam Game twice. LSU does have the talent to go all the way this year, sports writers think so at least.
That’s five storylines right there.
The storylines continue to get better.
Sylvester Croom faced the media one year after being hired as the first African-American head coach in the SEC. Croom is looking to make that a footnote and focus on his team.
Miss State upset Florida in the swamp, costing Ron Zook his job. Miss State finished with one win, and a loss to a D I-AA school.
Mike Shula provided another storyline: Can the son of a coaching legend turn a struggling team around and make them live up to the national hype? Sportswriters picked Alabama to finish third behind LSU and Auburn. On a positive about the Tide, they did have the No. 1 defense against the pass last season. Negatively, they dropped three games straight to LSU, Auburn and Minnesota to end 2004.
On the bright side, though, Brody Croyle has been surgically fixed.
What he needs to worry about though, is that pre-pubescent offensive line that’s going to be blocking for him and how tender his shoulder’s going to be the first time he lands on it.
We’ll see if he sticks to his word.
What, you think I’m going to go through this column and not talk about the Auburn Tigers?
A storyline, that rivaled that of Fulmer’s return, focused clearly on Auburn.
The Tigers were kept out of the National Title game and ended up going turkey hunting in the Sugar Bowl, finishing 13-0 with a win over Virginia Tech.
If anyone has a legit gripe about the need for a playoff and the end of the Brilliantly Crappy System, look no further than Auburn.
With all this happening before the first game is played, its going to be interesting to see what happens when the final whistle blows.