Live coverage from Birmingham, where SB Nation is taking in the spectacle of SEC Media Days.
Les Miles, the last coach to address the gargantuan throng of reporters in the main media room of SEC Media Days, mounts the dais and takes a comfortable seat ... in the moderator's chair. When told he should stand at the podium, he looks mildly bemused, as though he's never been here before. It's Les Miles, so it's entirely possible he doesn't know he has. This won't stop him from winning ten games this year.
"Summer is over. the youth baseball and basketball and walks on the beach with my wife have passed." Miles will break Gene Chizik's Thursday record for longest opening statement, clocking in just shy of eight minutes, which turns out to be a good way to fill the time, because with the ongoing NCAA investigation nobody can ask him about Will Lyles, and interesting questions trail off short of the appointed quitting time. What he does say, in brief, is remarkable:
• "We lost Patrick Peterson, but frankly I think we'll be fine."
• On what it might be like to sample the grass at the Georgia Dome: "I don't know if sweet's actually the adjective you'll wanna use there." Thoughtfully, as though he would characterize the plastic turf as more of an umami taste.
• "The addition of Steve Kragthorpe has helped Jordan Jefferson." We've checked this sentence for typos.
• On message boards and message boarders: "Those people that sign their name Slick Willie don't necessarily have good opinions."
• On the video of him dunking over his seven-year-old daughher: "We took an afternoon and displayed my basketball ability very honestly. [...] I didn't think this was gonna be as big a deal." A smile. "Kinda like eating grass."