SEC MEDIA DAYS: THE CONCLUSION
Les goes the extra mile. Attempting to soothe any wounds he might have caused by a bizarre series of off-season statements slamming "f-ing Alabama," several major football conferences and perhaps Desmond Tutu (C&F is looking into those allegations), Les Miles was downright conciliatory Friday as SEC Media Days wrapped up.
"At the end of a recruiting season where there was a lot of hearsay and innuendo, there were some heated exchanges," Miles said. "I can tell you that I did have emotion, and I certainly regret any choice of words that you described that I made.
"No, I am not in any way derogatory towards Alabama. I look forward to competing with them and their coach."
By the way, if you're looking for Nick Saban's name in that statement, you won't find it. You also won't find it in any other account of Miles' comments.
Not that all is well between Miles and ... that other guy.
Wednesday, Saban threw a grenade asserting that a member of his staff at Alabama, C.C. Thompson, had her tires slashed when she went back to Baton Rouge to attend a wedding (Thompson worked for Saban at LSU and in Miami). LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette disputed the story, saying he called Thompson and she told him that she initially thought her tires had been slashed but that someone had merely let the air out of them.
Well. That makes all the difference in the world.
Really. Of his many transgressions...
We're No. 4! We're No. 4! After listening to Steve Spurrier say his team could go to Atlanta, the assembled media paid South Carolina a little more respect. No, they didn't go crazy and put the Gamecocks in first place in the East. Or second. Or third, for that matter.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Gamecocks were picked to finish fourth in the Eastern Division in media voting announced Friday. But USC earned 11 first-place votes, by far the most it has received since division play began in 1992. USC received four first-place votes last year.
Three voters picked South Carolina to be the SEC champion, the most to ever do that. Previously, USC had received four such votes total.
The previous high for championship votes was two, in 2002, one of the seasons of which C&F chooses not to speak.
In other media voting news, Ryan Succop and J-Brink made first-team All-SEC.
The Booming O. Those looking for a soul-shaking vocal performance from Ed Orgeron weren't disappointed. But C&F can't help but wonder if, in posting a story about O's search for a quarterback, the Clarion-Ledger's Web site wasn't trying to send a message.
Fulmer: Ainge like a woman. In trying to draw a comparison between his team and the Lady Vols, Phil Fulmer might very well have said his quarterback is woman-like.
"You have to have a Candace Parker-type player in your program to be able to do that."
Fulmer says senior quarterback Erik Ainge, named the media’s second-team All-SEC quarterback Friday, has the ability to be an impact player in the mold of Parker. ...
"I think Erik Ainge can be that kind of football player that our team rallies around, that takes the bull by the horns and makes the plays that help you win a championship," Fulmer said.
The pressure might getting to Phil. Have a donut or ten, Phil.