HOOVER, Ala. | Welcome back. It’s Day 2 of SEC Media Days, and for you Mississippi State fans, it’s the day you’re most interested in.
Dan Mullen and his crew will meet the press horde today. They will start the rounds at 8:30 a.m., and Mullen is expected to be in the main press room at about 9:40. Players will follow, and MSU brought cornerback Johnthan Banks, offensive lineman Gabe Jackson and quarterback Tyler Russell.
OK, on to the rest of today’s itinerary. It’s the busiest day of the week, with six teams on tap.
• 8:15-8:30 a.m.: Steve Shaw, the SEC’s coordinator of football officials, will talk about various rule changes. I’ll probably miss that, too bad.
• 8:30-11:20 a.m.: We start early with Mississippi State and Florida. Mullen will probably enter the refrigerated ballroom and tell all of us how cold he is because he’s a Southerner now and has thin blood. And as Spencer Hall pointed out when we were chatting yesterday, Mullen might not be exaggerating. He’s been out of the Northeast for quite a while.
Anyway, I’m sure Mullen will field questions about whether he can post a third consecutive winning season, and whether the Bulldogs can improve on last year’s 7-6 mark (2-6 SEC). In fact, you may recall I did a story Monday looking at 10 topics Mullen will likely be asked about (CLICK HERE).
As for Florida, Will Muschamp (a.k.a. Coach Boom) will greet every stupid question with that creepy stare of his, or at least he should. That stare could make Nick Saban blink. Seriously. CLICK HERE to see.
Coach Boom’s boys went 7-6 (3-5 SEC) last year, and that offense needs a good kick in the rear end. Who’s the QB? Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskell? Will it matter? I don’t know, but neither one of those guys will be here. Muschamp brought linebacker Jon Bostic, tailback Mike Gillislee and defensive end Lerentee McCray.
• 10:50 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: We get a contrast in programs with this next pairing, as Arkansas and Kentucky step to the mic. Sure, Bobby Petrino is a sorry SOB who left the Razorbacks in the lurch, but this team should be able to get by on talent this year. Plus, John L. Smith will be a million times more interesting than Petrino (although hiring your mistress and then having it all exposed because of a motorcycle wreck is pretty interesting).
The Hogs were 11-2 (6-2 SEC) last year and finished third in the West. Can they give Alabama and LSU a run for their money? So long as they have Tyler Wilson, I believe so. He’ll be here today, along with tailback Knile Davis and defensive end Tenarius Wright. By the way, don’t follow Davis on Twitter; all he does is retweet fans saying they can’t wait to see him on the field. Sure, he’s coming back from a bad knee injury, but he brings nothing to the social media table.
Kentucky is horrible, and I kinda wish I had the cajones to ask Joker Philips if this will be the worst offensive team he has ever witnessed in the flesh. Poor guy. It’s not easy to follow Rich Brooks. Joining Phillips will be center Matt Smith, defensive end Collins Ukwu and guard Larry Warford, unless they “accidentally” get lost leaving the hotel and “accidentally” hitch a ride back to Lexington.
• 1-2:30 p.m.: Lunch! Nom nom banana pudding.
• 2:20-5 p.m.: Another contrast in styles, as Auburn’s Gene Chizik and LSU’s Les Miles wrap up the day. Chizik never smiles, and Miles does nothing but make us smile. I’m petitioning that Miles get two turns today, and Chizik gets to be a coat rack.
Can Chizik be more than a seven- or eight-win coach without Gus Malzahn? Unless another Cam Newton comes along (not happening), no. I’m not sure when Chizik’s contract with Auburn is up, but I believe his contract with Satan is on its final year. Sources say it won’t be renewed.
But seriously, Auburn does have some nice players in spots. And Chizik built up some equity with that national title. He could end up staying there a long time, although that could ultimately be a result of his ability to impersonate a coat rack. Joining Chizik today will be receiver Emory Blake, defensive end Corey Lemonier and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, whose brain I will pick about his groundbreaking work on the catch-to-touchdown ratio formula.
And then there is Miles, the man LSU fans love to hate, and the man we love to love. He’s a quote machine who can butcher the English language in the most beautiful manner, if that’s even possible. I expect him to be especially talkative about quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who rumor has it is a REAL QUARTERBACK. He knows how to throw a forward pass and everything.
Mettenberger will be here and will probably be confused for a defensive end by a few media members. Also here for LSU are receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Eric Reid. Sorry, no Honey Badger, because some yahoo would probably start quoting that video at him. “Honey badger don’t care, amirite!” *15 media members punch him in the face* *Honey Badger chuckles*