With SEC Media Days coming to a close Friday, we’re offering up these final observations from Hoover, Ala.
* I’ve been covering SEC Media Days since 1992, and this was the craziest one yet. By far. This Tebow-gate thing was absolutely surreal, with coach after coach coming to the podium and revealing whether or not they voted for Tim Tebow on the preseason All-SEC first team. Even more surreal was watching Steve Spurrier’s rather uncomfortable confession he was the one who slighted Tebow. I felt bad for the Head Ball Coach. He was clearly embarrassed by the whole thing. He seemed more like the old Spurrier when he got to talk about his team and the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see how UF fans react to all this. Is Spurrier’s popularity going to do a deep fade in Florida?
* New Auburn coach Gene Chizik seems like an OK guy, but he does not have the kind of dynamic personality you would expect from a coach at a high-profile program like Auburn. They say there’s excitement about his hiring on the Plains. But I certainly didn’t feel it Friday when Chizik was on the podium. He’s got a huge job in front of him, that’s for sure.
* Give Lane Kiffin credit. The new Tennessee coach was asked a lot of tough questions Friday, and he calmly answered them all. I don’t know if the kid can coach, but he certainly handled himself well Friday. Pretty impressive.
* I have a feeling Les Miles has a feeling that the Tigers are going to bounce back in a big way this season. If his quarterbacks take care of the ball, this LSU team is going to be really, really good. That Florida-LSU game in Baton Rouge is going to be tremendous.
* The media obviously loves Florida. The Gators were a near unanimous pick to win the SEC by the media. They were a unanimous pick to win the division. It’s the first time that’s ever happened. The expectations are really off the charts now. Even Kiffin likes Florida. He said he put 11 UF players on his ballot for the coaches’ preseason All-SEC team.