Birmingham—Just wanted to check back with you with a few sights and sounds from what has been a wild and crazy session at SEC Media Days:
**–I think Mark Richt has decided that he has done enough talking about the location of the Georgia-Florida game. The contract, which has kept the game in Jacksonville since 1933 (except for 1994 and 1995) is up for renewal. In the past Richt has said that he wouldn’t mind switching up the rotation and playing the game in Athens or Atlanta.
But when Richt was asked about it today he simply said: “This is what I want to do. I want to focus on winning that game. That’s all I want to focus on when it comes to that game.”
Somebody followed up with the question: “You don’t care where it’s played?”
“I really just want to focus on trying to when that game. That’s my goal from here on in (smiling). That will be my answer from here on in.”
Expect the game to remain in Jacksonville when the new contract is signed.
**–Like him or not, you have to admit there is something different about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. On a day when Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, Houston Nutt, and Nick Saban were in the same location, Tebow drew the largest crowd of autograph seekers here at the Wynfrey Hotel. I asked Tebow if he could believe this would be his last appearance at SEC Media Days. “No,” he said. “I can’t believe where the time has gone.”
**–Alabama coach Nick Saban told me that he is looking forward to coming back to Atlanta on Sept. 5 to play in the Chick-fil-A Classic for the second consecutive year. This time the Crimson Tide will play Virginia Tech, the ACC favorite. Both teams should be in the preseason Top 10. “Last year after we played (and beat) Clemson we had a much better understanding where we were as a football team,” Saban said. “We want to win the game. But even if we don’t, we’ll learn a lot about our team and it will get us ready for the SEC schedule.”
**–Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead dismisses the notion offered by some (this writer included) that the Rebels might have a tough time handling the love they are getting in the preseason. Ole Miss, which has never played in the SEC championship game, has been rated in a lot of top 10s in the preseason. The Sporting News has them ranked as high as No. 5. “I think it has made us work even harder to prove to those people that they are wrong,” said Snead. “It has been a long time since Ole Miss has been in this position. Now we want to take advantage of it.”
**–Why do I get the feeling that the Georgia players have a little chip on their collective shoulder? Whenever anybody brings up the departed Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, the Georgia player tighten their lips a little, wanting to prove that this team can win without No. 7 and No. 24.
“The star of our team this year is our team,” defensive tackle Jeff Owens said. “(Wide receiver) A.J. Green stands out as a star. But this year it’s all about the “team.” Everyone has to be a star to win and be successful.”
SEC Media Days will be completed on Friday.