Hoover, Ala. -- The headlining act of Day 2 began his opening statement by talking a little fast-pitch softball. Why yes, of course Les Miles did.
Among the things that were then discussed: Missouri and Texas A&M ("they'll be able to compete" despite "a learning curve"), the LSU strength program, Zach Mettenberger ("a talented guy" who needs to "take it a day at a time"), the offensive line that returns 77 starts and Odell Beckham (a mere sophomore at Media Days). He also talked up other weapons including Sam Montgomery and Eric Reid and company*, the esteemed Brad Wing and even the long snapper, who'll probably score a touchdown this year.
The first question he fielded was about recording that NCAA 13 commercial with the Tigers mascot. "The lines were narrowed so that I could perform them effectively," he said, "but Mike the Tiger stole the show." This is not the sort of question Nick Saban will get to open with.
On whether he's rewatched the national title game, he says he's watched it "a couple of times," but that there weren't all that many offensive plays to review. Speaking of championships, Miles envisions every conference having to have a league title game, all of which will be played on the same weekend. That would equalize strength of schedule concerns somewhat throughout the country, but I don't believe that's been widely proposed at the public level.
There's one really, really big game on the schedule this year. As with everybody else so far at Media Days, it's all eventually about Alabama. Tyrann Mathieu's "verbal squabble" with A.J. McCarron on Twitter shouldn't be characterized as a "rant," says Miles, who points out "no game is won on a Twitter page." As for the rest of the schedule's degree of difficulty, "We play everybody but the Green Bay Packers. And we enjoy it."
But which rival would LSU rather face at the end of that schedule? "I don't know how we can play Arkansas and Texas A&M on the same weekend," he said.
Miles is the first coach so far to acknowledge that A&M's addition will boost the SEC's ability to recruit in Texas. "We've been in Texas pretty routinely. I just think we'll be in Texas even more."
One thing we did learn: Miles's noted affinity for stick-and-ball sports only goes so far:
"Will I be mentioning Stony Brook? No. I won't." - Les Miles
* Miles later defended coordinator John Chavis from a reporter's charge that the D's schemes are "bland," having the questioner repeat the assertion before zeroing in on the "bland" part. A man as spirited as Les Miles might not even know the meaning of the word.
Your updated Recruitedness Power Rankings, in which we rank how recruited we feel to each program after each coach has taken the podium:
- John L. Smith
- Steve Spurrier
- James Franklin
- Les Miles
- Kevin Sumlin
- Will Muschamp
- Dan Mullen
- Joker Phillips
- Gary Pinkel
- Gene Chizik