Live coverage from Birmingham, where SB Nation is taking in the spectacle of SEC Media Days.
Say what you will about Bobby Petrino (and in this part of the country, plenty of people could say plenty), but he's more personable and -- dare I say -- lifelike at this year's Media Days than he's ever been as Arkansas' skipper. Petrino opens his remarks by openly admitting he has trouble saying it's great to be here with a straight face and wishes a happy 26th wedding anniversary to his wife, Becky, and the tone is set for an unusually genial interview session. Highlights follow:
• Tyler Wilson, though he served ably as Ryan Mallett's backup as the Hogs' second-stringer, still doesn't have the official lock on the starting gig. (So quit asking, is the implied followup.)
• Petrino wasn't happy Mallett gave away several of Arkansas' hand signals during his appearance on Jon Gruden's pre-draft TV special, but says Mallett gave him some ideas for new ones. (What exactly those signals involve goes wisely unsaid.)
• Knile Davis is the toast of the weight room this season, hyping up other position groups and generally serving as resident live-in gym rat. Davis will later tell our own Spencer Hall he benched a personal-best 430 pounds last Monday when his strength coach put an Alabama sign in front of him and said, "What're you gonna do when you're on the field with Alabama?" He also characterizes Mississippi State as the hardest-hitting team he played last year.
• Petrino recalls his shock at adjusting his teams to SEC defensive front sevens following his time in the Big East, and still can't quite believe how hard it is to be an offensive lineman in this conference.
• The question we've all been waiting for actually takes a while to get asked, but here you go, Arkansans: Does Petrino count January's Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State as a victory now? From the man himself: "We're 10-2. We had every chance in the world to win that game. We got beat on the field." There you go.