Slive Waves SEC Brag Bag High

Notes from Monday's first day of the four-day SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., which featured league commissioner Mike Slive gving his state of the league address.

During his state of the SEC speech to open the league's Media Days on Monday, SEC Commissioner inserted quotes from Winston Churchhill, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He also noted that the SEC had won seven national championships last season, had six national runner-ups and finished in the top five of 13 of 21 sports.

"This past year our student-athletes traveled down a road paved with ahcievements and accolades, which brings me to my anuual brag bag," Slive said. "As Muhammad Ali said, it's not bragging if you can back it up."

He also mentioned thde 11 postseason bowls the league is now affiliated with and made it clear that the SEC would have its say who went where from now on as the new four-team playoff comes into being.

“The conference will assign teams to each of these games rather than doing it the old fashioned where the bowl selected the teams,” Slive said. “Before making that final decision, the conference will consult with our institutions and with the bowls, but the decision will be ours.”

The Capital Bowl will have the first selection of available teams beginning this year and then alternating with the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl.

There is also a list of six bowls – the Belk Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.) , the Autozone Liberty Bowl (Memphis), the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville), the Outback Bowl (Tampa, Fla.), the TaxSlayer Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.) , the AdvoCare Texas Bowl (Houston) – will be the next bowl's that get teams from the SEC.

The league also has agreements with Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shereveport, La.

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While Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is not scheduled to be here until Wednesday, there was some news regarding a couple of former players and one current one.

Neither cornerback Chris Murphy or wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan were listed on the roster in the media guide released.

Murphy was a true freshman that enrolled in January, but did not return to campus this summer while Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema dismissed Cowan this summer because of academic issues.

Also noteworth was the fact that offensive lineman Cordale Boyd is now listed as a defensive lineman after the Razorbacks added UNLV offensive lineman transfer Cameron Jefferson this summer.

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Some other tidbits from Monday's media days:

• Slive noted that four new SEC Storied episodes will be released during the first month on the new SEC Network, which launches on August 14.

Three of them will be about Auburn's legendary trio of Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley and Frank Thomas, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier and the late Chuckie Mullins and Brad Gaines.

• After a 4-8 campaign in the 2014 Florida head coach Wes Muschamp knew he was going to get questions about being the “coaching hot seat.”

So he just took care of that right away in his opening remarks.

“There will be a lot of chatter about hot seat business,” Muschamp said. “That's part of it. The way tou combat that is having a winning football team and winning football games, which is what we're going to do.

“I've got a lot of confidence in this team and staff,” Muschamp added. “This is probably the most complete team we've had since I have been at the University of Florida in all three phases. Looking forward to getting this thing going.”

• Vanderbilt head coach Derrick Mason – the only new head coach at this season's event – said that he does not believe in redshirting at his new school and has plans to play bunch of freshmen this season.

He also said that Vanderblt is setting up a series with fellow educational heavyweight Stanford, where he coached under David Shaw before taking over the Commodores.

Mason believes that Vanderbilt can rise to being both a football and educational power as has Stanford.

“Vanderbilt has its own brand,” Mason said. “It sits in the SEC, which is the best conference in college football. For us, when we talk about who we are, what we look like, the idea of using the brand – the brand of academics and athletics – as well as recruiting a certain type of man and that young man is called a Vanderbilt man.”

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Tuesday's roster at SEC Media Days will feature South Carolina and Mississippi State in the morning and Texas A&M and Tennessee in the afternoon.

Wednesday will bring Missouri, LSU and Arkansas with Thursday's teams being Georgia, Ole Miss, Alabama and Kentucky.

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