HOOVER, Ala. — The SEC or the OC? Should CBS and ESPN televise conference football games this fall, or should E!?
Here in the 35244, at the Wynfrey Hotel, the drama building between coaches and schools is better fit for the cell phone of a teenage girl. Florida coach Urban Meyer is still, like, so upset at Mark Richt for last year’s all-inclusive celebration, and he wrote about it in his upcoming book.
“That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal,” Meyer wrote. “And it will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. ... We’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.”
OMG, indeed. That episode airs Nov. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Nick Saban will visit LSU and trash-talking Les Miles for the first time as Alabama’s coach. Saban coaches the team that Miles referred to as “(bleeping) Alabama” and recently teased for losing last year to Louisiana-Monroe.
The LSU fans, judging by the T-shirts seen at last season’s Alabama-LSU game in Tuscaloosa, aren’t exactly fond of their former coach. Either that, or a printing company really needs to learn how to spell “Satan” correctly. That episode airs Nov. 8 in Baton Rouge, La.
New Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, if you remember, was part of the clandestine movement in 2003 to replace his former boss, Tommy Tuberville, who is still recovering from those knife wounds to the back.
Tuberville, to his credit, attempted to diffuse the drama Friday at SEC Media Days. But he clearly hasn’t forgotten. The two teams meet Oct. 11 in Auburn.
“Since he’s been head coach there, we’ve talked several times at meetings,” Tuberville said. “It will be a lot of good talk between fans and media. But when it comes to the football teams that really matter in terms of winning or losing, there won’t be any effect.
“You don’t shy away from it. You talk about it. You get it out of the way, but you let your players know it’s not going to be any distraction in terms of your concentration.”
And then there’s Houston Nutt. He left a state, Arkansas, where people made his cell phone records public, revealed e-mails from his wife about the quarterback, accused him of an improper relationship with another woman, flew planes above the stadium calling for his firing and chased him out of town.
Other than that, he had a great time there.
So Nutt said, fine, I’ll go to division rival Ole Miss.
“It wasn’t strange he decided to leave because of everything that was going on,” Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs said, “but when you found out he was going to Ole Miss, man, it was a shock.”
The Razorbacks play Ole Miss, in Arkansas, on Oct. 25. We hope Nutt takes an Ole Miss-issued phone.
So much drama in the SEC. Next thing you know, a conference coach will get a subpoena thrown at him by a process server in a parking lot.
And, in case you forgot, this is already one of the most anticipated SEC seasons in conference history. Never have we seen such a collection of accomplished coaches, immensely talented players and championship-caliber teams assembled in one league.
Georgia might earn a No. 1 ranking at the start of the season, but the Bulldogs weren’t even picked to win their own division Friday. LSU is the defending national champion, but Auburn is the pick to win the SEC West. Five coaches are flaunting national championship rings.
“You know, other than the NFL, there’s no better football league in the world, because we’re pretty much the only ones that play it now that they’ve disbanded NFL Europe,” Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said.
Add the drama of Meyer-Richt, Tuberville-Petrino, Saban-LSU and Nutt-Arkansas, and it’s the perfect storm for anticipation. We’re one month away.
It’s like a reality show, only with more football. And less singing and dancing. Unless, of course, Knowshon Moreno is involved.