HOOVER – SEC Media Days is a wrap for 2017. Auburn, Ole Miss and South Carolina took their turns speaking with more than 1,000 assembled media today to complete the event. Here’s all our coverage from Day 4 of SEC Media Days.
If you missed anything from the first three days of coverage, you can check out our coverage here:
Here’s our coverage from Thursday:
ASK A DUMB QUESTION
The final day of the event was more about non-answers (from Ole Miss coach Hug
Freeze, who declined to answer questions about an NCAA investigation or about a lawsuit filed by former coach Houston Nutt) than questions, clothing was a big topic with South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Here is a sampling of questions he faced:
Q: How much did you critique what Jake (Bentley, quarterback) and Hayden Hurst, tight end) wore today?
A:They picked it out on their own. I was just with them.
Q:How did you come up with your ensemble?
A:I didn’t buy anything new. This is probably the best suit I got, so i just put it on.
Q: What do you think about what coach (Will) Muschamp is wearing today?
A: I think him and Jake look alike.
Q: Did you give them any suggestions on what to wear?
A: I didn’t give them any suggestions on what to wear. They just went into the store and picked out their own suit.
Q: Where did your sense of fashion come from? Is that something you’ve always been passionate about?
A: Every time my parents give me money, I just go buy clothes.
It was probably an attempt at humor, but Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s first answer swerved after he mentioned that his biggest concern was who will punt for the Tigers.
Q: I was going to ask you who your starting punter was going to be, but I guess I’ll ask you about your quarterback situation. (Jarrett) Stidham, is he the guy?
Malzahn called Stidham, a transfer from Baylor, “a very talented young man,” but didn’t name a starter and talked about depth at the position.
“At the end of the day, we don’t believe in bells and whistles. But recruits do. That’s a fact.”
– South Carolina coach Will Muschamp on facilities
“As head coach of the Auburn Tigers, it’s the first time I can say that we have quality depth in all areas.”
– Gus Malzahn
“I think we are going to take that chip on our shoulder going into the season.”
– Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson on the ongoing NCAA investigation
“I think this has the potential to set up our staff to have our greatest hour.”
– Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on the school’s self-imposed postseason ban
1. The Ole Miss Freeze
With an ongoing NCAA investigation and, now, a lawsuit by former coach Houston Nutt alleging he was part of a “smear campaign” to blame violations on Nutt, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had plenty of things he didn’t want to talk about. In fact, Freeze would have welcomed more questions about last year’s 5-7 record.
Freeze spent more than half his time in the main room on a rambling preamble before taking questions, and then said he wasn’t able to answer some of those.
He did acknowledge responsibility for Ole Miss’ plight, sort of.
“We have to own that,” he said. “And me being in the position I am, I’ve got to stand and look people in the eyes and take that.”
2. Muschamp comedy show
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp showed a lot of wit in his appearance, starting with a joke about not bringing a defensive player to SEC Media Days.
“Honestly, the last time we brought our defensive guys to Birmingham it didn’t go real good.”
South Carolina lost to South Florida, 46-39, in the Birmingham Bowl last year.
He also took friendly shots at a couple of Florida reporters whom he obviously remembered from his stint as head coach of the Gators.
“They could use your voice to torture prisoners of war” was a quip aimed at Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi.
“Pat Dooley, what’s up? You remind me of that Josh Turner song, ‘You Look Like I Need a Drink,’” he said to The Gainesville Sun’s columnist.
3. Confident coach
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn seemed like a guy who was comfortable with himself and confident in his team. He said AU’s biggest concern is punter.