1. SPEAK SOFTLY, CARRY A BIG LEAGUE
It’s tough to envision SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, who walked into the main media room Monday with toddling granddaughter Abigail in tow, strong-arming anyone. But the most powerful man in college sports again pounded the podium for more autonomy for the NCAA’s big five conferences, including the SEC. If not, Slive threatened to push for the nuclear option: Division IV.
2. THE MARSHALL PLAN
It didn’t top ex-Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer talking at media days once by speaker phone because he feared a subpoena if he showed up, but Auburn QB Nick Marshall’s absence after he was found with marijuana in his car Friday was big news. Marshall likely will be the media pick here as the All-SEC quarterback, but coach Gus Malzahn refused to label his status as anything but in limbo.
3. REPUTATIONS FOLLOW THEM
Between volleys of questions about how Florida is going to rebound from an un-Florida-like 4-8 season, Gators CB Vernon Hargreaves was asked who was the biggest trash-talking receiver in the SEC last year. LSU’s Jarvis Landry won the prize, according to the All-SEC defensive back, who also recently tweeted Landry and fellow former Tiger Odell Beckham Jr. were the best WRs he covered in 2013.
4. AIM HIGH, ANCHOR DOWN
New Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason came to media days carrying stamped metal business cards in his pocket (no, really) and lofty ambitions in his heart, having taken over a program coming off its first ever consecutive nine-win seasons. “Our opportunity to compete for an SEC East title is now,” he said. Swagger in Nashville will take some getting used to.