Cue the Circus

More than anything, Southeastern Conference Media Days is about the spectacle of the nation's grandest conference – a football-crazed frenzy where nothing really happens and little insight is given by representatives of each and every school.

Let's face it: You, the passionate Ole Miss fan, won't learn anything more than you already know about head coach Houston Nutt and the Rebels. The three-day circus is filled with cliché after cliché, canned answers and preseason rankings of no significance.

Consider this time last year, when a massive media contingent was sent into a tizzy because one head coach voted Ole Miss' Jevan Snead, a rising junior, to the All-SEC first team over Florida's Tim Tebow, a former Heisman winner, who won the award as a sophomore.

The former darling of Media Days

Oh, the humanity!

Honestly, SEC Media Days have become somewhat, if not a complete, mockery of itself. When Nick Saban walks through the doors Wednesday of The Wynfrey Hotel, a mass of Alabama crazies will surely be waiting. They'll carry signs and scream until their lungs give out, just to get a glimpse of their beloved "Bear" reincarnate.

Heck, the university is already constructing a statue in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was inevitable.

So as you patiently await the overcooked hype of a mind-numbing three days, I give you a few storylines to watch for, with a little Ole Miss flavor to start. Not that there's much to watch for, anyway.

Powe, Lockett and the quotes that follow

I know, I know. But, Ben, you said all quotes are cliché at SEC Media Days. There's little to learn, as you put it, that the die-hard Ole Miss fan doesn't already know.

See, this is one of those few redeeming qualities of Media Days – the people. Last year, if you recall, Snead and senior free safety Kendrick Lewis represented Ole Miss. Every question directed their way was built around "living up to expectations." Easy. The scripted answer? "One game at a time."

Don't hold back, JP.


With Powe and Lockett, expect the unexpected. Powe especially, considering his consistent use of colorful verbiage, including "helluva" and "those guys behind us see us eat," meaning the linebackers.

He relishes his talking minutes, as does Lockett, so there's an awfully good chance we all won't be bored to tears this year.

It's what we're all hoping for, at least.

Urban's health and Saban's wealth

Liken the first day of Media Days to the main event of the WWE, when all the hoopla comes crashing into a World Heavyweight Championship bought between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Stone Cold" Steven Austin.

Except, of course, this conference saves its best for first. Well, unless you add in-state rival Mississippi State. Then it becomes an uncomfortable three-way dance, where The Rock and Stone Cold beat X-Pac, who shouldn't be there in the first place, to a bloody pulp.

Yeah, Dan Mullen is X-Pac. Why not? Or, better yet, he's a clean-cut, smooth-talking version of "The Road Dogg" Jesse James.

Nick Saban, sans the elaborate underwear

Alabama and Florida, last season's conference championship foes, meet again to kick off the festivities. Saban, naturally, comes first. College's own Bill Belichick isn't too fond of this type of shindig or any media gathering, for that matter.

But don't get it twisted, he loves the attention. And when you're the bread-winner of coaches, you get first draw.

Then there's Florida head coach Urban Meyer. His story is intriguing, mainly because he abruptly retired during bowl season, and was replaced by an interim head coach, Steve Addazio. He unsurprisingly returned to the winningest conference program over the last five years not long after.

The lone component missing Wednesday is an appearance from LeBron James and Jim Gray. Definitely an opportunity fail.

Vandy – the little engine that never has

Rarely, if ever, has Vanderbilt, a Eastern Division cellar-dwellar, made headlines heading into Media Days.

Take cover, folks. We've reached football Armageddon.

The Commodores take center stage, after veteran head coach Bobby Johnson unexpectedly retired earlier this month, citing "a personal decision." He's been replaced by offensive line and assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell, who will work on an interim basis this fall.

Farewell, Bobby J. The Ogre won't miss you.

"Football is not life, but it's a way of life and it consumes your life," Johnson, better known in Oxford as the proverbial butt-kicker of Ed Orgeron, said afterwards.

Kind of like Media Days, no?

Johnson coached Vanderbilt for nine seasons, with his most successful coming in 2008, the school's first non-losing season since 1982. The Commodores won their first bowl game in 53 years, the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

Good luck next season, Nashville.

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