Media room is about half-full, at best. After yesterday when standing room only occupied the room, it's good to have elbow room.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt begins with a ten second introduction, and asks for questions. Quick introduction, but I think everyone is grateful not to hear the same coachspeak after two days of the same type thing.
"It won't be doubly important, it'll be triply important," Richt explains about the rule change moving the kickoff back to the 30-yard line.
The obligatory "how will you handle the ban on text-messaging" question surfaces. Richt explains that he hopes they have built enough of a relationship with the players prior to the ban to maintain those contacts. Richt notes that after the text ban, there is a 30-day period with basically no contact with the recruits, and that could represent a dangerous period.
Richt concludes early, about half the time alotted. Just not as much excitement with Georgia football this year from the media at large--product of coming off a year losing to Vanderbilt and Kentucky?
With Richt ending early, it gives more time to review media voting for the all-SEC teams. Kentucky was represented by QB Andre Woodson and TE Jacob Tamme on the first-team all-SEC offense, and WR Keenan Burton on the second-team. Kentucky LB Wesley Woodyard and DB Trevard Lindley both made the second-team all-SEC defense. Rafael Little was named to the second-team as a return specialist.
Darren McFadden was the only unanimous selection, with 80 total votes. Tamme drew the second most votes for an offensive player with 67.
Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron takes the podium. Orgeron always sounds more like a football coach than anyone else here. I unconsciously suck in my gut, worried that he'll begin screaming at me for not staying in shape. I bet I'm not the only one.
Happy birthday to.....Coach Orgeron. Today is the Ole Miss head coach's birthday.
"We'll have the attitude that we won't let it affect us," Orgeron explains about the text message ban. "Technology will always stay ahead of the rules."
As one might expect with in-state rivals, Orgeron disagreed with MSU coach Sylvester Croom about the new kickoff rule. "We'll still defer and go on defense," Orgeron said. He added that he was looking forward to the rule moving the ball back to the 30-yard line on kickoffs.
SEC just announced that this year's total was 830 attendees at SEC Media Days, an all-time record. Last year there were 685 in attendance.
While there's a break, let's reflect about the circus yesterday. It was reported that a 75-year old couple--husband and wife--spent the night at the Wynfrey Hotel waiting on their coach, Nick Saban, who appeared yesterday at SEC Media Days. No shock there, except when you realize that they didn't have a room at the Wynfrey. Instead, they apparently spent the night on this couch, just outside the Wynfrey Hotel Lobby all night long. Bama Fever or Saban Fever?
LSU head coach Les Miles at the podium.
Miles proclaims that the Alabama game is "just one game," and that it's no more important than any other game. LSU fans will disagree, and I bet he does, too--in private.
"I certainly regret it," Miles admits about saying "F_______ Alabama" earlier this summer. You've gotta like an emotional coach, although you'd prefer him to save those kind of comments where they won't made locker room bulletin board material. Miles ignores the question about who would win in a boxing match between him and Nick Saban.
"I don't think I called out USC in any way," Miles explains when talking about his comments about Southern Cal a few weeks ago. He suggests it was more about SEC pride and explaining how difficult it is to get through the SEC schedule. Miles has had an interesting off-season, mostly created by his own doing.
"I think there will be a common sense use of an effective way to communicate." Miles does not believe the NCAA will stick with an outright ban on text messaging, although he does believe there should be some restrictions on it.
Another coach who believes the 5-yard move on kickoffs will play a major role in the game. It appears unanimous that a "small" change is believed to have a huge impact on the game. Miles focused on the kickoffs themselves, though, suggesting that we will see many more "pooch" kicks, "sky" kicks, and gimmick type of kickoffs to counter the inability to kick the ball out of the end zone.
Miles concludes. Glenn Dorsey, LSU's talented defensive lineman, will be interviewed shortly. Dorsey was named on 78 of 80 defensive team votes, earning top votes along with Alabama's Simeon Castille.
The SEC is preparing the box lunches to feed the media. The room may soon empty when they learn there's a free lunch just outside.
Dorsey explains that he really appreciates Miles being outspoken. "It shows he cares," Dorsey elaborated. "Even when there's a bad call in a game, we know it affects him just like it does us."
Box lunch arrives. So does Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer. "Guys, go ahead and continue eating, it won't bother me," Fulmer opens his talk.
"We have eliminated the unselfishness and distractions we've had," Fulmer explains, making reference several times to the 2005 season.
"Candace Parker." That's the reason that Tennessee's womens team won a national championship, according to Lady Vol head coach Pat Summitt. Fulmer describes the friendship he has with Summit, and why you win championships. You need certain types of players to win.
Fulmer still talking. He wins the award for longest introduction, having yet to stop for a breath--or a question--from the media. About to open the floor to questions now.
Question related to Andre Woodson at Kentucky, and Fulmer is glowing with praise for the quarterback. Andre Woodson is outstanding; we tried to recruit him, Fulmer acknowledges. "Randy Sanders has done an outstanding job with him" as well. Fulmer states that Kentucky had the best backfield in the conference last year.
The kickoff rule will impact the game more than any other rule since I've been in the league, Fulmer said. "There will be more strategy in kickoffs." Scoring will be up, and field position will be greatly changed.
Fulmer concludes. Tennessee's Erik Ainge, the second-team All-SEC quarterback selection, is running behind.
Ainge arrives, drawing the biggest crowd of the day for player interviews.
Ainge concludes, discussing the impact all of the attention heaped upon a 19-year old kid can cause. "You know you should ignore it, but you can't," he admits, acknowledging it sometimes plays a negative role in the play.
SEC Media Day concludes. Thanks to all for staying with KSR for the duration, and hope that you continue to follow the 'Cats throughout the season at the best place for Kentucky sports anywhere, Kentucky Sports Report.