It might be 100 degrees outside but inside the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama the SEC football season has begun.
On Tuesday over 1100 media representatives from around the country gathered to meet with the14 SEC head coaches and over 40 of their star players for the SEC Media Days.
It’s the unofficial start of the season as well as the three biggest media days in sports (excluding the Super Bowl) to be found anywhere in the country.
Auburn wasn’t on the schedule on Tuesday yet was in the discussion when Commissioner Mike Slive brought up the Tigers great 2004 team in his opening remarks.
Tiger fans will always remember how that undefeated team (with 4 first round NFL draft picks on it) was left out of the National Championship picture when Oklahoma and Southern Cal were placed in the big game in the Orange Bowl. USC destroyed the Sooners, 55-19 and Auburn was listed No.2 in the final BCS standings despite finishing 13-0 and being the league champion.
Slive indicated that it was that snub of Auburn that was the motivation behind his pushing for a four team playoff for the last eight years. “The SEC has supported a four-seeded playoff,” said Slive. “(For) the four best teams, for several years starting in 2004, when an undefeated Auburn, the SEC Champion, was left out of the national championship hunt.”
So the Tigers are the reason college football will have a playoff system beginning in 2014. I guess it’s somewhat comforting to know that Auburn’s misfortune helped bring about change. However, I don’t know about other fans but I would rather have had the chance at the crystal ball.
Also interesting was the introduction of the league’s newest members to the media. It appears that Mizzou, at least, may be coming into the league with a bit of a chip on their shoulders.
Missouri Coach Gary Pinkell apparently aggravated about repeated questions of what it would be like to play in America’s toughest football conference said, “People act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high school teams. We’ve played in a pretty good league.”
That may be true but let’s see how he feels after playing Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina in the same season.
When asked about SEC quarterbacks he replied, “Overall we’ve not had All-American quarterbacks too much, have we, lately in our league? Who was the last one? I guessTebow had to be.”
When someone reminded him of Cam Newton, he said, “Yeah, I guess he was an All-American Heisman winner.”
Could the man really have forgotten the two beat downs by Cam and Auburn he suffered in 2010? Newton accounted for 746 yards and 11 touchdowns against the Gamecocks including directing an embarrassment of Spurrier’s team (56-17) in the SEC Championship Game.
Yeah, it may be summer outside but in the Winfrey Hotel, the SEC season has begun.
Today the Auburn contingent of Coach Chizik, Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Emory Blake, andCory Lemonier meet the press beginning at 2:40 p.m. Fans can listen to the interviews over one of 28 radio stations broadcasting live from the Wynfrey, view live streaming at the SEC Digital Network here , or watch it on ESPN3 and ESPNU.