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SEC Media Days: A Grizzled Veteran's Prep Guide

Since this will be my third SEC Media Days, I feel like I can give the reader an intimate and deadly accurate picture of the true beast that will be 2010 Media Days.

First, this is a press corps, and they’re going to be locked in a room with laptops clicking away for three days straight with access to caffeine, recirculated air, and in short bursts the coaches and players from each school. Compare this to other conferences and their one day affairs, and you are looking at a herd of people desperate for storylines and action.

Consequently, you may get overblown stories like last year’s single coaches’ vote for Jevan Snead over Tebow (Spurrier, in a clerical error) in the all-SEC preseason rankings. These happen, and in good years are blown out of the way by really fun stories like Phil Fulmer getting subpoenaed in the lobby. In bad years you will have to filter through them and hope a coach provides an entertaining soundbite or two.

Second, the players make for better entertainment than is advertised since coaches bring players with them who are both comfortable in the limelight and able to function well in the public square. Sometimes this is a Tim Tebow performance, a one man soundbite machine who spilled out easy copy effortlessly, and sometimes it’s Dicky Lyons, the Kentucky wide receiver whose long, rambling narrative of a dream he had involving Matthew Stafford and his girlfriend was a surprise hit with stunned reporters.

In the end they’re more fun and often more informative than the coaches, who are mostly there to say little.

Finally, there are obvious storylines going in that some face time can elucidate. Urban Meyer will likely have to have the longest public discussion of his health problems he’s had to this point. Nick Saban will get angry when asked about repeating as national champions, something i regard as a certainty, not a probability. (He will also thank the media, something no other coach does.) Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt’s interim coach, can’t possibly be more boring than his recently resigned predecessor, but that’s what under the table wagers between reporters are for, right? And if Les Miles is a second late, well…there will be laughter whether he likes it or not.