The countdown begins!
Not because there’s any nip in the air, mind you. If one’s detected, please alert the media.
No, we know that the college football season’s right around the corner when the Southeastern Conference conducts its annual Media Daze. That special week which finds the conference coaches convening to dazzle an assembled array of journalists with nonsensical jive designed to leave the masses totally unenlightened.
But with a little help from our friends at asapsports.com, who provided the transcripts, we’re able to read between the lines. Here are key quotes from each coach, along with what each coach really wanted to tell us:
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: I tell you, it’s good to be back. I’m a year older, a year wiser, and I’ve grown up a little bit.
Translation: If I didn’t learn anything going 0-8 in SEC games last year, I suspect I won’t see you here next year. But we do have plenty of room for improvement.
Bret Bielema, Arkansas: Have our opener in September, play three games before our first SEC game. That will be in Dallas Cowboys Stadium against A & M. We’ll open up with them, on the road at Tennessee, and on the road with Alabama before we have a bye week, and come back and play Auburn.
Translation: Then we have UT-Martin for homecoming, we’re at Ole Miss and LSU, and we get Mississippi State and Missouri at home! I am the schedule master.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky: My third year here at SEC Media Days! Really, glad the first two years trying to build this program didn’t kill me!
Translation: Now that we’ve won a couple conference games, I really hope we can live up to the heightened expectations.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A & M: Three years ago, if the majority of people, if you had said you would have won 28 games over the last three years in the SEC, a lot of people would have not said that was possible or said there’s no way that’ll happen.
Translation: There’s no way our defense allows 28 points a game now that we’ve poached defensive coordinator John Chavis away from LSU.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: Got a new coach, John Hoke. John was with me in Florida in 2001. We led the SEC in total defense and in scoring defense that year. That year was really one of the best teams we had in the 12 years I was there. After that year, I decided to go pro. I went to the NFL, and John Hoke went to the NFL. I lasted two years, and John Hoke lasted 13. So he’s a lot smarter, better coach than I am.
Translation: Once again, I won’t have a darn thing to do with our defense. Any questions there, you go ask John Hoke.
Les Miles, LSU: I don’t care who we play. We look forward to playing them!
Translation: Knowing who’s on your schedule is really very overrated.
Butch Jones, Tennessee: With Tennessee football, obviously, we have a lot of positive energy, a momentum, and enthusiasm that’s surrounding our football program right now. I think a lot of it is the byproduct by the way in which we ended the season, going 4-1 and having our first bowl victory since 2008.
Translation: I’m glad no one remembers that those four wins came against South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Iowa.
Gus Malzahn, Auburn: We’re hoping to repeat the same performance offensively as we did in 2013. Defensively, in the offseason we hired Will Muschamp, in my opinion the best defensive mind in all of football, not just college football.
Translation: Boy, it’ll sure be nice not to have to score 35 to win a conference game!
Jim McElwain, Florida: I think part of the experience of being in this conference is realizing it doesn’t happen just overnight.
Translation: It’ll take time to undo what the Defensive Wizard wrought.
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: I’m a big picture guy. So you won’t find me making too much of a loss or too much of a win.
Translation: That 42-3 Peach Bowl loss to TCU did leave a pretty big picture.
Mark Richt, Georgia: Going into my 15th season here at Georgia. I know that this league is jam-packed full of great coaches, and great players, and great venues. It’s just an experience that a lot of people would love to be able to be part of.
Translation: All that greatness sure makes it tough to win a conference championship.
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: Ready for some football!
Translation: September and October are our two best months. November and January, not so much.
Gary Pinkel, Missouri: I’m a process guy. Process football program. Learned that from the great Don James.
Translation: Maybe someday we’ll get credit for processing the SEC East.
Nick Saban, Alabama: It’s going to be a challenge for our team to reestablish the identity that we would like to play with.
Translation: Could someone please remove those Ohio State hecklers from the back of the room?