Rabalais: Five items (blow up football scheduling; leave Birmingham) to add to new SEC commissioner Greg Sankey’s to-do list _lowres

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

1. A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Second-year SEC commissioner Greg Sankey gave a mostly serious but strong oratory Monday to open SEC media days, willing to tackle somber issues like the shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas while offering an optimistic tone about the power of sports to heal and bring people together. Agree with Sankey or not, but credit him for being able to talk intelligently about the world at large.

2. CANDID CAMERA

Candidness and SEC media days don’t always mix, but thumbs up to Florida LB Jarrad Davis. Asked about LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Davis said: “As a fan of the game, I love watching him run the ball on TV. Sitting back and watching greatness.”

3. AULD LANG REWIND

Admitting mistakes isn’t popular in sports, but CFP executive director Bill Hancock came close to doing that Monday. He said the CFP is willing to study moving the CFP semifinals in the years they fall on New Year’s Eve after last year’s ratings bath for the Orange and Cotton bowls. What this means for the Sugar and Rose bowls in their non-semifinal years is an open-ended question.

4. REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS?

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn had predictable praise for new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, fresh off a one-year whistle stop at LSU. But does it matter who’s calling the defensive shots for Gus? In his 10 seasons as a college coach, Malzahn’s teams have only finished in the FBS top 50 in total defense once, strongly suggesting that his up-tempo offensive style taxes the defense’s stamina.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​