I'm in Destin covering the SEC meetings for my radio station and fightingators.com. My longer form written stuff has to run there, but I can give some quick thoughts here:
1. Derek Dooley was much more media savvy than I anticipated based on what I'd heard out of Tennessee. He's also the only coach to blurt out "bullshit" during his time with us. Not sure, even after hearing him talk for twenty minutes, what exactly Dooley's core football beliefs are other than supposedly being similar to Saban's.
2. Urban Meyer does look much healthier than he did six months ago. We'll see if his efforts to disengage from football 24-7 make a difference in his health this season, but it's definitely helped in the short term.
3. Steve Spurrier is clearly going to continue to ride herd on Stephen Garcia anytime he has a microphone in his vicinity for the next three months. He openly wondered if "maybe this is the best Garcia can play", knowing full well it isn't. At this point if Garcia saved a woman from a burning building Spurrier would praise him but then point out that he hasn't handled success too well in the past. It's up to Garcia to make him change his stance.
4. If Mark Richt is on the hot seat, he didn't seem too anxious about it Tuesday. I don't think he is, but some here emphatically disagree with me.
5. Not too far down the road from Destin is Grayton Beach, home of the Red Bar. Went there with a group of fellow media types last night and had a very good meal. If you're in the area, it's a solid choice.
The coaches and ADs have their meeting today. We'll see what if anything noteworthy comes out of that.
Also meeting this week is the Big 12, with a considerably different vibe. Here everyone is enjoying the still pristine beach (the BP tar balls are on the way) and looking forward to finding out how much money their school will get Friday. In Kansas City, it's all about trying to convince everyone to stick together. Check out this quote from Texas AD DeLoss Dodds....
“We did not start this,” Dodds says. “If we need to finish it, we’ll finish it.”
With people talking like that, it sounds like they should make the meetings available as a pay per view. At minimum there should be some kind of WWE style theme music when schools like Nebraska or Missouri enter the room.
The Sporting News college football preview is out. To me this is the best of the "narrative" style magazines, with Phil Steele's the best for pure information with nothing resembling a paragraph anywhere in it. Having said that, TSN is completely out of their mind with their choice of Miami as the number four team in the country. To be number four, it's safe to say the Canes would need to have no worse than a two loss season. Here's their schedule - you tell me how that's going to happen with road games at Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Clemson in weeks 2 through 4 on the schedule plus the teams coming to them like VT, UNC and FSU.
The sports blog The Big Lead has been sold for a total in the "the low seven figures". I find that somewhat astounding, but congratulations to the site's founder. It'll be interesting to see how much he'll stay involved with the site, if at all, and how much the content shifts with someone from corporate calling the shots. I'm expecting an offer in the "low seven dollars" range for this site any minute now.
Just like yesterday, I'll be tweeting out anything noteworthy from SEC meetings when I get a chance. Follow along @heathradio should you be interested.