Media Days: Day 1 Wrap

HOOVER, Ala. | OK, Day 1 is in the books. I saw Spencer Hall in a white suit, listened to Steve Spurrier crack wise about journalists and Ole Miss, heard Gary Pinkel defend the Big 12, learned about a forthcoming documentary on former MSU head coach Sylvester Croom, and oh Missouri receiver T.J. Moe killed it.

To the highlights!

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• No further elaboration on Hall’s suit is needed, because you had to be there (you can sorta see it in this picture). As for Spurrier, he was his usual fun self.

First, the money quote, when asked about South Carolina’s schedule: “You think I make out the schedule? If I made the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we’d be playing Ole Miss.”

Spurrier also made his pitch for an eight-team playoff, featuring the six BCS conference champions and two at-large teams. Of course, because it makes so much sense, “It’s not going to happen.”

Spurrier generally likes the media (I think), because he pokes fun all the time. Today he said, “Told my wife as I was leaving, I said, ‘You know what, I’ve been to this thing 20 years now.’ But you guys have been here 30, 40 years, some of you. They don’t fire media people, we found that out.”

No, they don’t, they just exclude them from restructuring plans.

• Pinkel, Missouri’s coach, was asked by me (and others) about moving from the Big 12. I wanted to know whether the Tigers’ SEC opener against Georgia on Sept. 8 (in Columbia) was of extra importance in regards to earning respect and making an early statement.

“Normally (you) never talk about a game other than your first game, ever,” Pinkel said. “We understand historically for the University of Missouri it’s going to be a big game, the first SEC game, the first SEC home game for our university.”

He also had to defend the honor of the Big 12, from which Mizzou defected.

“People act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high school teams. We’ve played in a pretty big league.”

• I did a blog entry already to the Croom documentary, and I can tell you it will likely air in September. Again, you can read more in tomorrow’s Journal. By the way, I’ve seen some interesting fan reaction to this news on Twitter.

• Missouri is a welcome addition to the league, if for no other reason than Moe. As mentioned above, the kid was a riot during his interview session. The best of many good quotes, when asked about the SEC: “They also have prettier girls, the air is fresher, the toilet paper is thicker.” Only three-ply allowed in the SEC, man.

I’ll have some Moe audio on tomorrow’s Bulldog Beat, as he talks about adjusting to the SEC and the importance of the Georgia game.

• Also speaking today were Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and new Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Franklin continued to preach how great a fit Vanderbilt is for kids who want to excel both on the field and in the classroom. “If you’re truly the best and the brighest, where else would you go?”

Sumlin, meanwhile, was asked about playing in the SEC Western Division. His reply was blunt: “What’s my assessment? It’s a pretty d**n hard league.”