BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - At SEC Media Days, speculation (about anything and everything) was rampant.
Some members of the media had a field day about the absence of LSU Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu. Speculation was that because of Matthieu's incessant twittering, he was left home. His recent war of tweets with Alabama quarterback A. J. McCarron caught plenty of eyes.
In the words of Les Miles himself, "I can tell you that no game is won in a Twitter page."
Mathieu was left home for several reasons. If he isn't here, the St. Augustine alum can't be asked about what he learned from last season's one game suspension for a reported failed drug test.
When he returned to play, a contrite Mathieu made his apology. No need to do it again eight months later in Birmingham.
Also, if Mathieu isn't here, he is a lot less likely to make news.
At SEC Media Days, with one thousand plus media members credentialed, the goal is to make as little news as possible. Miles brought players he could trust.
Eric Reid is not only an outstanding safety, but a team leader.
The message to wide receiver Odell Beckham, a sophomore, is it is time for you to step up .
And then there is quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who was kicked out of the University of Georgia. The junior said all the correct things about his previous "immaturity" and the fact that he didn't play much last season.
Said Mettenberger, "I wanted to play, but coach Miles had other ideas."
At Media Days, way too much attention is paid to things that are truly inane.
What I really want to know is, why so many who report the SEC are allegedly going to pick Florida to the win the East? Maybe they did not watch last year's game against LSU in Baton Rouge, when the Gators were non-competitive.
You would have to go back to the pre-Steve Spurrier years to find a Florida club that was this lacking.
Spurrier, entering his 8th year as South Carolina coach, made headlines as usual with his biting comments. One in particular to raise eyebrows was when he said Alabama coach Nick Saban found out "it was harder to win the SEC than it was to win the national championship."
Good line. Wish I had said it myself.
But the dirty little secret about South Carolina is this: Spurrier finally has the talent to compete at the league's highest levels. In 2011, he booted quarterback Stephen Garcia from the team. Then at mid-season, he lost his best player, sophomore tailback Marcus Lattimore, to a season ending knee injury.
Yet, South Carolina won 11 games.
For those who were actually interested in talking about football, Miles said the deep pass will be an important weapon in the LSU playbook with Mettenberger as his quarterback.
Miles also said he would like to settle on two tailbacks. But that seems unlikely with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue all returning. Terrence Magee and Jeremy Hill are also stallions in LSU's impressive stable of backs.
Whille making the media rounds, Miles answered all the inquiries about what happened in January's loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game. He said that result was in the past. And it is time to move on.
For a guy who lost his last game (badly), Les looked relaxed and confident. He knows that what truly matters is what happens on the field this fall.
Again, against pretty much any foe, the coach at LSU will have a decided advantage.
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