Regardless of the level of expectation for Ole Miss football the Rebels can count on a first-place vote at SEC Media Days as long as Glenn Waddle is in attendance.
Waddle, the school’s public address announcer for football and baseball, is a veteran of the SEC’s Summer Propaganda Festival, also known as Media Days, but other responsibilities will keep him from attending this season.
The frame of mind surrounding Ole Miss football was particularly low last season, and Waddle’s vote generated plenty of Twitter response.
Waddle calls his vote a “tradition.” He says preseason polls are meaningless and that he’s put much more effort and focus into in-season polls in which he’s participated.
“For a preseason poll where half the folks don’t vote … I just consider that to be a lark,” Waddle said.
Riding a 14-game SEC losing streak going into the 2012 season didn’t change things.
“David Kellum (Ole Miss radio play-by-play voice) sat by me in the media room and said, ‘Are you going to pull the trigger again.’ I said, ‘Sure. I’ll vote us No. 1 again. Why not?’”
Waddle says one of his favorite pastimes is listening to the bewildered voices of Birmingham sports talk radio while driving back to Jackson after the vote has been released.
Voting in the Media Days poll is voluntary, and many registered media choose not to participate.
Waddle says he takes a much more serious approach to putting players’ names on the ballot for the preseason All-SEC team.
“I have done a pretty good job of picking the players. I don’t pick just all Ole Miss players. I’ve picked players from all over the place that I thought were really, really good. I think I’ve done a really good job with the All-SEC team. It’s always been that the who will win the conference thing has been fun for me.”