Wed Jul 22 10:01am EDT
• Step right up. In the era of 24/7 coverage, daily interviews, offseason memes and intense media board scrutiny, "media days" are a relic of the newspaper age, when there was still a chance a coach or player might tell reporters something they and their readers didn't know. There is very little chance of that when SEC Media Days kick off this morning in Birmingham, where an unruly throng of beat writers and bloggers alike will endeavor to file a non-stop string of stories and posts along the lines of "Player/Coach X said [we don't read the magazines/we don't listen to the critics/we're working hard and taking it one day at a time/we respect [Opposing Player/Coach X] and know they're working hard]" while resisting the urge to go full-on TMZ on fabulously rich and famous coaches. And no doubt they -- the reporters and bloggers, that is; not so much the coaches -- will love every minute of it, because after all: S-E-C! S-E-C!
After six months of poring over every word out of Urban Meyer's, Lane Kiffin's, Steve Spurrier's and Nick Saban's mouths (and occasionally from their cell phones), no to mention stats and depth charts, I can't imagine what the intrepid pilgrims in attendance might possibly ask that hasn't been asked a half dozen times before. Naturally, I underestimate them. Al.com has you covered from every angle, as does EDBS on the blog front, along with countless others. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.
• He's a superstar. Can't wait to see him practice. Of course, I'm also underestimating Lane Kiffin's ability to say stunning things every time a microphone is in his face, a talent he took for a jog during a Tuesday press conference in which he insisted that yes, in fact, he did vote for Tim Tebow on the All-SEC team, and raised expectations for blockbuster recruit Bryce Brown just a skosh:
"When you walk by Bryce and (see) his presence, he looks like the real deal," UT head coach Lane Kiffin said at Tuesday’s media conference. "He’s 218 pounds right now and he looks like a guy who has been in the NFL for a few years.
"Bryce is built up so well. He’s got that superstar walk and presence to him. There’s a lot to that."
The caveat here is that Kiffin's only direct experience in the pros was with the Raiders, so how would he know what an NFL player looks like, am I right? (Also of note in the same link: Brown, a vegetarian, just ate his first steak at assistant coach Eddie Gran's house. I suppose now he has a taste for blood ...)
• Broncos-Hokies in D.C.? Boise State said it was looking to toughen up its schedule with more profitable road games, and it wasn't kidding: A Richmond, Va., television station reports Boise will open 2010 in a made-for-TV opener against Virginia Tech, possibly at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., where the Hokies last opened up against eventual mythical champion Southern Cal in 2004.
They may claim to be in it for the money, but this is exactly the kind of game the Broncos have to play -- and win -- to make a national impact from the WAC, which simply has way too many cupcakes to take seriously without more formidable skins on the wall.
• An 'A' for effort. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson's Congressional testimony and bold proposals for BCS reform resulted in ... another four years of status quo. But Thompson raised enough of a ruckus without making a fool or spectacle of himself that the conference saw fit to extend his contract through 2012. That's one year short of the BCS' run on ESPN, but it seems like a good bet that Thompson -- who's headed the MWC since its formation in 1998, and overseen its growth into by far the most competitive "mid-major" league -- will still be around for the next fight when the time comes.
Quickly ... Army, fresh off announcing games with Notre Dame and Rutgers in Yankee Stadium in 2010-11, is moving its 2012 home date with Air Force to the Bronx, as well. ... Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, already sitting this fall as a transfer, will be out of practice until October with a torn ACL. ... Penn State, in contrast to the second chances its given most players with legal issues the last few years, has booted receiver James McDonald from the team after his weekend arrest for DUI. ... Prosecutors want to add more charges against ex-Nebraska running back Thunder Collins, who was charged with murder in a drug deal last September. ... Miami lands two commitments from locals who have barely played football. ... Ohio State fans who shelled out $100 for the opportunity to get tickets for the Buckeyes game "at" Toledo in Cleveland could have just waited for the public sale. ... Tony Barnhart comes around on playoffs. ... The Sun Belt wants to stick with the New Orleans Bowl, but may not automatically send its champion there. ... Debating Herschel Walker vs. Tim Tebow. ... And is the Tennessee media guide trying to give Lane Kiffin some kind of hint?