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July 15, 2014
Spurrier highlights day two in Hoover
Day two of Southeastern Conference Media Days is in the books, as South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Tennessee, filtered through the conference rooms of The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. ITG takes a look at some of the day's most notable comments.
- Steve Spurrier has been known to take playful jabs at Nick Saban, especially at SEC Media Days. In the past he has picked on Saban for winning a national championship despite not winning the conference and working too hard. But Tuesday, Spurrier had nothing but respect to show for Alabama's coach.
"They've had five No. 1 recruiting classes out of the last six years, which has got to make him the greatest recruiter in the history of college football," Spurrier said. "Arguably, they've got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team. … So they're the favorites. They're the favorites. There's no question about that. As long as they can recruit like that, they're always going to be the favorites."
- Addressing his decision to go to South Carolina now that he is heading into his 10th year in Columbia, Spurrier said he made the decision because he didn't want to "go out a loser" after a brief stint in the National Football League.
"When I left Florida after 12 years, I thought I was going to coach NFL five or six years and retire to the beach and play golf a bunch and travel around," he said. "But that was a bad plan."
The biggest difference between building the Gators to what they became and the Gamecocks to what they are?
"When I got to Florida in 1990, the team was already there. There was no recruiting to be done for about two years. So the first two years we finished first in SEC, won it. Weren't eligible the first year, but the team was there. They were ready to play, offense, defense."
- Former Florida offensive coordinator and current Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen didn't shy away from the lofty expectations - at least by Bulldogs standards - that are being placed on his team in 2014.
"We've talked to them about it, embrace all those expectations. Our expectations are to find a way to get to Atlanta. That's what we can control and compete for that SEC championship this year," Mullen said. "When you embrace that expectation early on as a program, when you embrace that for this year's team, all those guys, that's what they're working for from day one."
- Replacing Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel was not at the top of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin's wish list Tuesday. He immediately told gathered media he does not have an answer in who will be the Aggies' starting quarterback in 2014 - between freshman Kyle Allen and sophomore Kenny Hill.
When asked about Manziel's latest round of party photos, Sumlin reminded the inquiring reporter he was at SEC Media Days. "That's a great question … about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else have any?"
- Tennessee coach Butch Jones was adamant about his confidence in the big picture of the Volunteers. He stated emphatically, "it is only a matter of time before Tennessee is back."
The obvious issue in 2014 will be both lines of scrimmage. Jones pointed out the fact Tennessee is the only team in the country that will have to replace every starter along both lines of scrimmage this season.
- Jones was asked about this year's game between Tennessee and Florida. He said he expects the Gators to be "an exceptionally good football team this year."