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August means SEC football
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Forsyth County News

Ah, August.

As the temperature and humidity chase each other into the 90s, it can only mean one thing:


August ushers in football practice, and this week the members of the Southeastern Conference begin the process of determining the 2012 National Champion.

For the next month, the faithful of the 14 SEC brethren will await the daily pronouncement from the head coach regarding that day’s practice. But beware! Every syllable uttered is calculated to disguise the team that will arrive in September.

To help you wade through the misinformation, obfuscation and double-talk, we’ve prepared a primer. From the SEC Media Days, conducted two weeks ago, as transcribed by the good folks at, here’s what the coaches had to say about their upcoming seasons.

And what they actually meant.

Nick Saban, Alabama: "Great to be here. You know how excited I am looking forward to this event."

Translation: I abhor Media Days. And the press in general.

Saban: "The most important thing we’ve learned is you got to stay on top of little things. You have to make it happen by what you do everyday."

Translation: Maybe not everyday. I mean, you can lose to LSU and still get to play them again for the National Championship.

Mark Richt, Georgia: "We haven’t played a game. We haven’t won a game. We know our league is tremendous. We know the Eastern Division is going to be a rough road. All we’re trying to do is prepare the best we can to hopefully play to the very best we can play and maximize the potential of this football team. Hopefully that will be good enough to get back to Atlanta and hopefully play a little bit better this time around."

Translation: We know that, hopefully, we’ll be better prepared than 42-10.

Les Miles, LSU: "We’ll run the football, and throw it. In my opinion, we’ll run it efficiently and throw it efficiently. And with big plays."

Translation: We’ll be just the opposite of what we were against Alabama last year. Twice.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: "We’ve got a good team. We’ve had some good teams at South Carolina the last couple years. That’s probably why I’m still coaching. Our teams are getting better. We’ve still not won the SEC. That’s our ultimate goal."

Translation: Like I’d give the rest of the conference the satisfaction of retiring.

John L. Smith, Arkansas: "It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m definitely blessed to have the opportunity and was definitely blessed to be back at the University of Arkansas."

Translation: What a blessing! I left and returned for the same reason: Bobby Petrino.

Will Muschamp, Florida: "Really excited about August 3rd, when we report after a very frustrating, disappointing first year. Certainly didn’t meet the expectations level that we expect at Florida."

Translation: I expect that my life expectancy in this job isn’t expected to exceed my contract if I continue to fall short of expectations. But I do expect us to beat Bowling Green.

Gene Chizik, Auburn: "I’m going to go back and start with the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. I thought it was a big moment for us. We beat a very good Virginia team. That’s a team that went into Florida State and beat them at Florida State. They went into Miami and beat Miami. They beat Georgia Tech, I believe, when they were undefeated. That was a big win for our team."

Translation: I’m sure glad I don’t coach in that rugged ACC.

James Franklin, Vanderbilt: "There’s a buzz about Vanderbilt football right now that there hasn’t been for a long time."

Translation: "There’s a buzz about Vanderbilt football right now that there hasn’t been for a long time."

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: "We have the third highest GPA in school history this spring!"

Translation: We pounded Ole Miss, 31-3 last fall!

Joker Phillips, Kentucky: "What makes us excited is how we finished last season. Our last four games last year we were 2-2!"

Translation: Hey, for a basketball school, we do okay, you know?

Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: "I’m a realist. Our program is in a spot that none of us are happy with. I get that. I’m very, very anxious about starting the process and the journey to get us out of being where we are to back to where it’s been in years past."

Translation: I hope I can return the program to the halcyon days of David Cutcliffe.

Derek Dooley, Tennessee: "It’s been a tough four years in Tennessee. I know, of course, the SEC has enjoyed taking advantage of our tough times. But there’s a mood on our team right now that you’re not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore!"

Translation: I’ve never felt so Nixonian!

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A & M: "I was just out in the ESPN bus. They said, do you realize you play the six defending national champions? We understand the challenges ahead of us.

Translation: Sure is great to be in the SEC. At least for now.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri: "We’re excited about obviously joining the league. We’ve been working hard since January in our preparation for the football season."

Translation: Sure is great to be in the SEC. At least for now.