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Story Archives: SEc rules again
|SEc rules again|
The SEC is, without a doubt, the most prestigious conference in college football. If you don't believe it, just look at the past five national champions in college football — all from the SEC. And it's not like it's two teams dominating, because four different SEC teams have won the past four years.
From top to bottom, with the exception of Kentucky and Vanderbilt, every team has the talent to win the SEC and play for a national title. So when I had the opportunity to go to the 2011 SEC Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Al., I couldn't resist.
Every coach from the SEC stood on stage in front of a podium and was bombarded by questions from the media, then three players from their team would go to different sections of the rooms to be interviewed.
I listened to every coach speak, and I interviewed just about every player there. The highlight from the media days as far as the coaches go was undoubtedly Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt.
While most coaches there gave political answers, Spurrier was himself and said exactly what was on his mind. He just has this "I don't care, I'll say what I want to say" demeanor to him, and I love it.
He had me struggling to keep a straight face on many occasions.
I really enjoyed listening to Richt talk because not only is he a great coach, but he's a great person.
He was kind, funny and, like Spurrier, wasn't hiding anything from the media.
Contrary to what most people might assume, the coaches that were the worst to listen to wasn't Vanderbilt's James Franklin or Kentucky's Joker Phillips.
Both were very enthusiastic and passionate about this upcoming year I might add.
The worst had to be the head coach of the defending national champs, Gene Chizik.
The man is glaring with cockiness and is the cure to insomnia. I've tried to like Chizik, but I just can't do it. I've been saying this for years, and I'll continue to say it — all of Chizik's success hinders on the success that offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn brings to the team, and that's another reason I'm not a fan.
As far as the athletes go, all of them were great to talk to. Georgia's Aaron Murray impressed me the most with his passion and enthusiasm for the upcoming year. South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore was very humble, Kentucky's Danny Trevathan had fun with his camera and started interviewing the media and Alabama's Trent Richardson was a pleasure to talk to as well.
I had the chance to talk to Ferriday head coach Richard Oliver's former high school players, Tennessee's offensive lineman Dallas Thomas and Ole Miss' running back Brandon Bolden, both who played for him at Scotlandville.
Both players had nothing but good things to say about Oliver.
"That's my guy," Thomas said. "He's a good guy and I love him to death. He influenced my life by the way he pushed me, and he got me ready to go to college. He's a good coach and he made sure we practiced real hard. He'll get you prepared to play Friday night."
"He's a guy who knows what he's talking about," Bolden said. "He'll try to put you in the right position. He's the reason actually why I came here (Ole Miss). He brought me up here, and he's a real good guy"
Obviously, what makes the SEC great is the fact that the conference has the best athletes in college football, but it's the league's dynamic people that make it so interesting.
From Spurrier to Alabama's Nick Saban to LSU's Les Miles, the conference is represented in many ways and all for the most part represented well. Going to Media Days was a tremendous honor for me and talking with some of the greatest athletes in the world was a dream come true.
As the media days wrapped up and I walked out of the Wynfrey Hotel, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Which one of those teams will be the sixth straight?"
Jake Martin is a summer intern for the Concordia Sentinel. He is sports editor for the Nicholls Worth.
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