As usual, the SEC Media Days opened with a bang with Commissioner Mike Slive, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze all on the podium to face a rabid media…….and ESPN’s College Football Live, which will be spending every waking hour in Hoover, Al. for the next three days.

THE BEST THINGS THAT HAPPENED

1) Muschamp on Ohio State reporting Florida for NCAA violations: “Thanks to our Ohio friends. They certainly know a lot about NCAA violations.” We like this because a) He didn’t refer to Ohio by their proper name: Ohio State. And b) He referred to ‘Tatttoogate’, without referring to it. Made us laugh, anyway.

2) Twitter during Muschamp‘s speech. Seriously, the guy didn’t draw breath for what seemed like hours. It was incredible. If Muschamp ever becomes a politician he’s got the filibusters down pat. The best quote: “To his credit, Will Muschamp crammed 45 minutes worth of words into his 15-minute talk” (Jason Leiser). Having said that, there were others, some of them were funny, others were not.

3) Steve Spurrier – On Georgia: “Give Georgia credit, after we beat them the past couple years, they’ve won all their conference games.” //

STEVE SPURRIER, THE QUOTABLE PARTS

1)  On Jadeveon Clowney: “Jadeveon has done a good job staying out of the limelight all summer”…. “He’s actually a little lighter than he was at the end of last year, I think he told me. He’s going to be ready to go.”

2) On player compensation, he said SEC coaches agreed unanimously that players should be paid a $300 stipend – totalling $300,000 per season per SEC school. And if the schools couldn’t afford it, the coaches would stump up the cash. We love you, Steve.

3) On Notre Dame: “We voted 14-0 they ought to be in a conference….” “Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like the rest of us”…. “We just started trying to figure out  why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners. Nobody had a good answer except that’s the way it’s always been done“….”If you were a Notre Damer, you would say, we’re supposed to be independent in football, always, this, that and the other. From all of the rest of us that are in a conference, we say, why aren’t they in a conference? It’s sort of hard to figure out why they have their own conference. They’re sort of in the ACC. I know it’s probably not going to happen, won’t happen because I said it, but maybe if you can give me a good reason why they’re not in a good conference with all the rest of the schools, that’s something we talked about right there.”

4) On schedules: “It’s not always fair. We know that. We know that last year Alabama, Georgia played for the conference championship. Alabama did not play the three top teams in the east and Georgia did not play the three top teams in the west. Scheduling does make a difference. How to make it fair, we’re not all exactly sure how to do it.” He added: The Big 12, they all play each other. 10 teams, they all play each other. That’s pretty doggone fair…..We would like to see the most fair way for determining the champion. If you only count the division games, that team should be the division champ, but it could go the other way.

5) On QB Connor Shaw: “Missing spring I think may help Connor a little bit. He had a stress fracture in his back that healed up completely. Then he had surgery on his foot, another stress fracture, they did surgery on. So he’s ready to go.

6) On Hugh Freeze: “Hugh and I have a lot in common. We both play golf. We both wear visors. We call the plays. How could you not like a guy like Hugh Freeze?

WILL MUSCHAMP – THE QUOTABLE PARTS

1) On losing the Sugar Bowl to Louisville: “I blame myself. We got away from our formula

2) On having a good running game: “Mike Gillislee was our first thousand-yard rusher since 2003. That’s not going to be the exception any more at Florida, that’s going to be the norm.

3) On Bob Stoops and his comments about SEC-bias: ” I never went to a Big 12 media day. If I was Bob, I probably would have said the same thing.”

4) On Jadeveon Clowney: “Number One” (Draft Pick? In his life?)

5) On off-the-field behaviour: “You’re a hundred percent responsible for the young man. Everything that happens. I can’t possibly know everything that happens every single night with our football team. You also can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay either.

6) On not having to come from behind: “My wife wants us to give better talks before the game instead of halftime. I don’t think that’s it….. I’d love to have some 40-point wins. At the end of the day I worry about one stat, and that’s winning, and it doesn’t matter how you do it.

Amen, Coach Muschamp.

HUGH FREEZE- THE QUOTABLE BITS

Before he started, Hugh Freeze said about Will Muschamp’s press conference: “I was going to try to do it with less breaths that he took, but that’s impossible. That guy can go.

Anyway…

1) On QB Bo Wallace’s recovery from injury: “He feels very good about where he’s at in his progress. They’ve released him about four weeks ago to start tossing. Last week he began throwing full go. He’s had some soreness, of course.

2) On playing the first four games on the schedule away from Oxford: “I don’t think it’s ideal….I know that for our fans it’s not ideal. Then we get into October. I don’t think we leave the state of Mississippi.

3) On squad thinness: “Number one, still offensive line. We had quite a few post-season surgeries at a lot of places. We haven’t talked a lot about that. One of the things that keep me awake at night is how will everyone, the C.J. Johnsons, Patrick Junens, Aaron Morrises, and so forth and so on, come back, and Bo Wallace, Charles Sawyer, come back from these surgeries. All of those guys are very key to us. How will they prepare to come back and how will they be when camp starts is an unknown. Offensive line is definitely a concern. I think receiver-wise, we’ve addressed that issues with LaQuan Treadwell, Quincy “Atta Boy” Joe. They’re young. We’ve got to bring them along very, very fast because we need them. Defensive line-wise we’re a little thin at defensive end….Corners and safeties, we’re still thin…..On the depth issue, we’re still terribly thin at tight end

4) On Steve Spurrier: “When I was a high school coach, I wanted to be like Steve Spurrier. That’s the truth. Ever since then, Steve and I have become really good friends. He liked that story. He calls me his visor guy.

And last but not least, GARY PINKEL, the under-fire coach of MISSOURI

1) On injuries to QBs James Franklin: “James had more injuries than I think any I’ve ever had combined.

2) On worries about getting fired: “I’ve been a head football coach 23 years. This isn’t the first time this has happened. You don’t like it, but certainly you learn to deal with it…..We’re used to winning.

3) On Dorial Green-Beckham : “The more he touches the football, the better team we’re going to be.

4) On the SEC: “Honestly, I think any good football team in college football, that’s where it starts. I don’t care what league it is. The really good teams are best up front. The difference in the SEC is there’s so many good football teams. That’s why it’s such a great, great league.

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