Alabama took over Day 3 of SEC Media Days in Hoover while Texas A&M, Kentucky and Missouri also stopped through. Here’s all our coverage from the day. You can check out coverage from Day 2 of SEC Media Days here and Day 1 here.
HOOVER – Gather more than 1,000 media people in front of football coaches and players for four days, and there are going to be some questionable queries. Here is a sample of some of the dumbest questions asked at SEC Media Days on Wednesday:
The other Courtney Love
Kentucky senior linebacker Courtney Love shares a name with a female singer who was married to late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and led the group Hole. So, of course, someone had to ask about that.
Q: How much fun have you had with this Courtney Love singer back and forth, and how much did you know about her growing up?
A: I didn’t know a lot about her growing up. When I was 5 years old a teacher asked me about it. I had no clue, so I had to look it up and ask my parents and I was forced to understand. She tweeted at me and hopefully we can get her to a game.
Bob Holt, a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, asks a lot of questions at the league’s annual preseason gathering. So many, in fact, that coaches know him by name. Missouri coach Barry Odom started an exchange during his opening remarks: “Bob Holt, I know you got plenty to ask later on.”
The first question came from another reporter, who cited Holt: “Before Bob gets started …”
Holt finally got in on the act later during Odom’s time at the podium, but started by declining to follow the league’s protocol of having reporters stand to ask questions.
Odom was ready to keep up his end of the act.
Q: I’m going to stay sitting if that’s OK.
A: You might as well keep the mic on you.
Long games, longer question
Sometimes it’s not what is asked about, but how it is asked, as Kentucky coach Mark Stoops found out.
Q: Coach, this may not be something coaches concern themselves with while the game is going on, but there is an effort in a lot of different sports to shorten game times. And the league said they were going to do some administrative things to try to shorten the window a bit, but they’re not going to do any rule changes such as stopping the clock after first downs.
First of all, do coaches kind of sweat about that possibility in the future and really dread it? And the other thing is, if there were rule changes made, does college football have to be like the NFL in that respect? Do you think you’ve got a game that’s played by a little bit different set of rules that make it unique, and do you want to keep it that way?
Stoops gave a thorough response that was not as long as the question.
1. King Crimson
There’s only so much that Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M can do when stacked up against the University of Alabama on SEC Media Days. The lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel and the headlines around the conference will always belong to Nick Saban when he comes to town.
Players and coaches from around the league have been asked all week what it takes to beat Alabama. The Crimson Tide has won three straight SEC championships and continues to carry the standard for the league.
“If you didn’t beat Alabama, I don’t know how you could answer the question of how to beat Alabama,” defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said.
2. Get Back
College football officials will be prepared to penalize coaches for outrageous conduct on the sidelines this season. That has some coaches more nervous than others. Specifically, officials will enforce a rule that doesn’t allow coaches to go onto the field to protest calls.
“I’m not the only one,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said.
Stoops has a reputation for red-faced fuming during games, but other coaches said they’ll be more aware of their behavior to avoid drawing a penalty. For many programs, that will include designating staffers on the sideline to rein in coaches who venture too far onto the field. They’re called the “get-back men.”
3. Softer Sumlin
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin cracked a joke about not getting a round of applause when he took his turn at the podium. Sumlin has always shown personality in Hoover, but has leaned more towards surly than smiley in some previous years. He gave a joking apology to a writer whom he cut off mid-question five years ago.
“I apologize,” he said. “It’s a newer, kinder me.”
The Aggie coach was ready to loosen up a little bit. When asked a question about his job security, he talked his way into a story about his old Pontiac Fiero as a young coach. After three straight 8-5 seasons, perhaps he decided having some more friends couldn’t hurt his cause.
THEY SAID IT
– Alabama coach Nick Saban, on what it takes to reach longevity in coaching
“When you lose a game like that, you definitely come into the next season with a chip on your shoulder.”
– Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley, on last year’s loss to Clemson in the national championship game
“We try to do things that other people don’t want to do or can’t do.”
– Alabama center Bradley Bozeman on how the program maintains success
“We just had the No. 1 recruiting class, so we always have talent.”
– Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick on how UA stays on top while losing so many players to the NFL Draft