Yo, Mike: Togetherness won’t play in the SEC

Urban Meyer

So let me get this straight: You're going to ask Urban Meyer to play nice with everybody?

Mike Slive stood before the assembled masses the other day and proclaimed, “We’re all in this together.”

Cute. Even if borderline delusional. That would’ve been a great way for Slive to punctuate his remarks if he were trying to inspire a group of Amway salesman instead of some creatures just slightly north of reptilian.

If Slive presided over any conference in the country other than the SEC, he might have a chance at peace, love and understanding. But when you lock Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, Lane Kiffin, Bobby Petrino, Les Miles and Mark Richt into a room, nobody’s coming out the next day holding hands, espousing the virtues of synergies and singing Kumbaya.

Here’s some advice for Mr. Slive: Don’t fight what you have. Market it.

You want togetherness? Go to the ACC. Bobby Bowden, David Cutcliffe, Frank Beamer, Ralph Friedgen and Jim Grobe are a great starting point for a roundtable at Golden Corral.

It’s always an interesting offseason in the SEC. But the usual entertaining recruiting infernos, Spurrier rumors and projections of either 0-13 or 13-0 in Athens have been trumped by several verbal hand grenades by the coaches.

This is Lane Kiffin, the new punk on the block.

This is Tennessee's Lane Kiffin. Nobody knows if he can coach, but he sure has been entertaining.

Lane Kiffin played to the crowd in Knoxville when he was hired, saying Tennessee would beat Florida and he’d “sing Rocky Top all night long.” Then he called Urban Meyer a cheater. On signing day.

Spurrier questioned whether Kiffin had passed the NCAA’s recruiting test.

Kiffin told a recruit, “If you go to South Carolina, you’ll end up pumping gas for a living.”

Meyer criticized Auburn for using a Hummer limo on a recruiting trip. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen then ripped Auburn for the same thing. The only reason that didn’t get much attention was because nobody knew who Dan Mullen was.

Meyer became upset when Spurrier said he would be leaving Florida for Notre Dame. I’m still not sure why. It’s not like he narrowed it down to which day.

Slive again (just for laughs): “We’re all in this together.”

Mike Slive would have fewer headaches if he just realized this isn't a problem.

Mike Slive would have fewer headaches if he just realized this isn

Mike Slive is a nice man. A smart man. He has an Ivy League education and a law degree and has done a solid job as SEC commissioner. But none of this is hurting anybody.

While every other conference is looking for more money, the SEC is looking for a bigger safe. The SEC recently signed a new 15-year contract worth $2 billion – that’s BILLION – with ESPN.

As Slive said at the time: “This agreement makes the SEC the most widely distributed conference in the country.”

“Most Widely Distributed.” That’s code for: “You mean we don’t have to decide between a new library and a practice facility? We can have both?”

The SEC has high-profile, highly successful, egomaniacal, somewhat tyrannical and occasionally obnoxious head coaches. But they sell.

Go with it, Mike.

This isn’t the time to mute anybody or any thing. Slive would be better served overseeing the production of some talking, whining, sniping and maybe even exploding bobble head dolls depicting the conference coaches. Maybe move some of the coaches around to state fairs during bye weeks to wrestle a bear, or each other, maybe in those inflated sumo wrestling outfits.

How about SEC “Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots” with interchangeable heads? Meyer vs. Kiffin goes pay-per-view.

“Maybe if we want to quit talking about it, those guys [Meyer and Kiffin] can go jump in that Ultimate Fighting ring,” Bobby Petrino said. “That would sell some tickets.”

Petrino knows what carnival acts sell. He’s been one for years.

We’re still over three months away from the opening of the college football season. Here’s hoping for something other than peace.

64 comments Add your comment


May 27th, 2009
2:05 pm

Maybe the WWFSEC is the logical evolution.


May 27th, 2009
2:32 pm

Looks like the picture of Slive is post Kiffin

man o man

May 27th, 2009
2:34 pm

Enjoyed the article, Jeff.


May 27th, 2009
3:11 pm

Good article, Jeff. I am one Dawg who likes Urban Myer’s fire. Wish it would rub off on our guy…


May 27th, 2009
3:13 pm

…. and I think Kiffen is a joke. For someone who has not won anything yet to be so cocky, it’s just laughable.


May 27th, 2009
3:17 pm

Otto, Good one.
Jeff, How did you get a quote from Putrino?


May 27th, 2009
3:18 pm

….. and I think Kiffen is a joke. For someone who hasn’t won anything to be so cocky is just laughable.


May 27th, 2009
3:19 pm

I’m a Dawg fan, and I think Urban gets it. He has taken that talent rich state and made it his and has one hell of a football program. We are going to have to man up in Athens or be happy with 9-3…10-2…

Jeff Schultz

May 27th, 2009
3:23 pm

MAC: Like it. SEC coaches in cage matches.

OTTO: Either that or he just got his Amex bill.

MAN O MAN: Thanks.

JOEY: Thanks. Yeah, I hear that a lot.

HOLLYWOULD: Used a Ouija board and channeled evil spirits.

Ted Striker

May 27th, 2009
3:28 pm

Gene Chizek’s Hummer worked out better than Mike Price’s.


May 27th, 2009
3:43 pm

Hehe, I would agree, but then I remember that these are higher education institutions (not amature sports leagues). Therefore, in the best interests of developing young minds I supose it is better to play and coach with dignity and profesionalism. I love the passion we have in the SEC, but it is a balancing act.


May 27th, 2009
4:06 pm

So many egos, so little time. My money is on Spurrier to win the golf tournament.

Marcel Ledbetter

May 27th, 2009
4:26 pm

I agree with RxDawg. Slive has to stand on the side of sportsmanship because believe it or not those teams in the SEC represent institutions devoted to education.

Bama 1

May 27th, 2009
4:27 pm

WOW Cant wait until the Sabanator jumps in the fray!!!


May 27th, 2009
4:34 pm

Meyer has the “it” factor;
Richt and Miles doesn’t!
Kiffin and Petrino have the “s-hit” factor;
Saban and Spurrior have both!

Jack G.

May 27th, 2009
4:35 pm

Jeff—-your take on the situation makes sense.—-therefore it is dead. Slive could never back down and lose face.

anderson jones

May 27th, 2009
4:48 pm

Rich Brooks doesn’t seem to get much attention…

Michael Scharff

May 27th, 2009
4:56 pm

Jeff, I know CMR caught a TON of flack for the celebration in JAX two years ago. However, I really wish you would not lump him in with the group of characters as you did in the first part of your article. He is 9.9 times out of ten extraordinarily careful to stay away from the shenanigans attributed lately to CSS and CLK.


May 27th, 2009
5:08 pm

Kiffin better be more than entertaining because he has drawn so much attention to himself. It the Tennesse folks ran the beloved great pumpkin out of knoxvegas after 16 years of coaching and playing for the orange, they won’t think twice firing Kiffin.

You can say the same about Auburn too but at least Chizik has kept his mouth shut.


May 27th, 2009
5:25 pm

is this jeff schultz who i use to call schootzy after marge schotts dog who crapped on the stadium playing field.

nice article though, i needed a good honest laugh.

Leon "Pooch-Kick" Trotsky

May 27th, 2009
5:28 pm

Dang that Stalin, he keep snapping ze ball over mine head!


May 27th, 2009
6:06 pm

You can bet ESPN would tell Slive to shut up and let boys be boys. Controversy=ratings…standard television formula. The football is already easily the best in America, and the little zingers being thrown back and forth is the icing on the cake.
No reason for the SEC to become the No Fun League.


May 27th, 2009
6:07 pm

Chop Chick – A Fan’s View of the Atlanta Braves Can one disastrous inning overshadow two great games?
1:04 pm April 9, 2009, One disastrous blog by Chop Chick

Okay, Jeff, I am ready to go. Ask your graphics folks to come up with something really nice for the banner. Chop Chick hasn’t posted since April 9, so I’m guessing she went out with the rest of the staff. Tell Julia she’s making a good call backing the Chop Suey blog and I will make her proud. I’m not sure we can take a Pulitzer the first year but Julia should look for one in the next couple years.

I know this is the obligatory SEC blog but don’t forget the buttons lit up with the Frenchy blog. Keep the pressure on. I remember when Don Baylor tried to teach Andruw to take a pitch. That wasn’t pretty either. Maybe Frenchy can be of service to T. Boone Pickens, always looking for a good windmill.

Keep up the good work, buddy. I’ll drive tomorrow.

Chop Suey

Hillbilly Deluxe

May 27th, 2009
6:39 pm

The athletic programs at these institutions exist to make money but don’t kid yourself that’s the major function of the non-athletic side too, to rake in grant money, etc. Let these guys have at it; it’s show business.


May 27th, 2009
6:59 pm

on a scale 1 to 10 sec is a 10 acc is 4


May 27th, 2009
7:28 pm

Agreed, let them have at it. It’s not Sunday School.

Terrible Truth

May 27th, 2009
7:31 pm

Send Jose Canseco and his ball bat in there to straighten ‘em out.

Jeff Schultz

May 27th, 2009
8:19 pm

Michael Scharff: Richt doesn’t have to be a clown to be grouped in as a competitive guy who knows what happens at Florida doesn’t help Georgia, if you know what I mean.

Trottinhome: Thanks. But that wasn’t me who relived myself on the field, at least not that I can recall.

Ryno: You kiddin’? I’m surprised ESPN didn’t mandate this as a reality show as part of their $2 billion contract?

Chop: I have a meeting at 11:30 with an editor. Let’s meet for lunch afterward to talk story ideas.

Terrible Truth: I think even Rich Brooks could take Canseco.


May 27th, 2009
8:38 pm

Jeff, buddy, with all due respect . . . we can be buds but can never work together. This meteoric rise to the top has gone to my head. I’m having lunch with Doug and Julia. I will put in a good word. Now, about that banner for my new blog . . .

And in baseball . . . the Red Sox are looking at Francoeur. With Big Papi fading maybe they are looking for No pop-i.

Be by in the morning to get you.


May 27th, 2009
9:08 pm

Wow, whoever said rating would be high was right. UT/Florida will draw unreal ratings as will USC/UT.


May 27th, 2009
9:14 pm

I am going to start my blog by asking Frenchy about his favorite chowder. This should be good for a few laughs. If I already had a press pass I’d slip some oyster crackers in Frenchy’s locker. Maybe Jeff will give it a try.


May 27th, 2009
9:46 pm

Spurrier cannot step back and let Kiffen make the headlines. He has to jump in with some smart a$$ remarks. Inspite of his quips and his golf game he can still get the COOTS to a 6 or 7 win season. He is the MAN!


May 27th, 2009
10:25 pm

Kiffin will someday be viewed as the next Jackie Sherill while Tennessee battles the NCAA’s Death Sentence over recruiting. Florida’s Urban ‘renewalproject’ won’t be the one going to South Bend. Charlie Strong or Paul Johnson might.

James S

May 27th, 2009
10:45 pm

I didn’t know jeff schultz liked SEC Football. I always thought he stuck his nose at it. Now he’s writing about it? Hey Jeff, glad you finally swallowed your pride. Or what little of it you had left.


May 27th, 2009
10:54 pm

Typical snoozer article with no substance. Stick to writing about the Braves’ wives


May 27th, 2009
11:06 pm

This is why I hate SEC football. No other sports league in the world allow their coaches to come across as arrogant idiots. If they actually got some sort of logical playoff system then college football might be fun to watch and get involved with but until that happens it just makes Saturday a waste of a day that could be used to show the NFL.

And for the Francoeur to Boston thing has to be a joke. The Red Sox are always about taking pitches and getting guys with high on base percentages. Francouer the exact opposite swing at the first pitch and rock a .280 OBP. I can hear the boos now in Boston for the bust that is Jeff Francoeur.


May 27th, 2009
11:35 pm

Hey scott, there is a football league called the NFL. Ask them about this cat called Jerry Glanville.


May 28th, 2009
12:10 am

The bottom line is that all these head coaches want to win. That is what they are about. Their fans have big time expectations from all 12 schools…. except maybe Vandy. Big time dollars are being shelled out to these coaches for which the universities get the rewards IF that football team makes it to a New Year’s Day bowl game or play in the National Championship. So…. all egos are directed to winning. With major dollars being shlled out, it is going to get nasty and we are going to see how the SEC Commish is going to deal with it. One meeting is not going to get it done.


May 28th, 2009
12:28 am

Jeff, please explain to me, that out of all of these coaches (besides Mark Richt and Houston Nutt, of course), how the hell is it that the most despicable man in football, Bobby Puke-trino, comes off as the most sane and intelligent ?

I mean seriously, how the hell does that happen? We all know he’s a class-1 a-hole, but for some reason, next to the complete joke that is Lame Kiffen and the constant whining and moaning from Urban Crier, Puke-trino is the guy that comes off best.

I just made a long distance call to Hades, where I spoke with Howard Cossell, and he told me, in his way, that when he walked outside, he needed his winter jacket.


May 28th, 2009
12:29 am

Jeff, please explain to me, that out of all of these coaches (besides Mark Richt and Houston Nutt, of course), how the hell is it that the most despicable man in football, Bobby Puke-trino, comes off as the most sane and intelligent ?

I mean seriously, how the hell does that happen? We all know he’s a class-1 a-hole, but for some reason, next to the complete joke that is Lame Kiffen and the constant whining and moaning from Urban Crier, Puke-trino is the guy that comes off best.

I just made a long distance call to Hades, where I spoke with Howard Cossell, and he told me, in his way, that when he walked outside he needed his winter jacket.

[...] Jeff Schultz | ajc.com – [...]


May 28th, 2009
6:42 am

please don’t throw richt in there with the ego kings meyer, saban et al. he is a lot of things, but egomaniacal isn’t one of them.

Randy Savage

May 28th, 2009
7:34 am

I wanna know when Mike Slive’s gonna team up with Vince McMahon for a New Year’s Day WWE vs. SEC card. Oooooohhh yeeaahhhhh!

Gen Neyland

May 28th, 2009
7:36 am

So many prophecies from so many prophets. This much is for certain. What we’re losing touch with is the ACCPD Moped Task Force and their commitment to excellence…


May 28th, 2009
8:36 am



May 28th, 2009
9:01 am

Jeff- loved the ACC coaches/Golden Coral reference!

The SEC hands down has the best collection of coaches in all of college football.
Meyer, Saban, Miles, Spurrier – All have won National Championships as head coaches
Richt, Kiffin, Mullen – have coached as assistants on National Championship teams
Houston Nutt- great coach who got Arkansas to 2 SEC title games and is turning Ole Miss around
Add Bobby Johnson and Rich Brooks – would love to see what these two could do with top talent.
Petrino will have the Arkansas offense high flying in a couple of years like his Louisville teams.
Chezick – Huge “?” – not really worth mentioning, considering the competition he’s facing and his struggles at Iowa St, he’s probably in way over his head
Then the fact that many of these coaches flat out don’t like each other just adds to the excitement. No wonder ESPN and CBS are shelling out big $$$ to broadcast the games. No other conference even comes close.

The Dawg

May 28th, 2009
9:34 am

Hey Jeff,

Why don’t you start a blog or just write an article about where to play the UGA-FL game each year. We haven’t heard much about that in, oh, ten or fifteen minutes. It would give you something to do, and create a larger advertising number for the paper. There would probably be 8 or10 people who are experts, that would blog about why it should be played elsewhere.


May 28th, 2009
9:36 am

The SEC has had the best football for most of the last 50 years, and presently is way out front. Love it. The ACC is a great collection of high caliber academic schools, several with impressive research programs. Remember a few years ago when the Big 8 finished with the #1, 2, and 3 ranked teams? Sustained excellence in football can be a tough hat to wear (just ask ND or Mich), but academic excellence tends to be a core value. All the feudin’ amongst the cousins is fun; just remember….it won’t stay the same. (Oh, and Kiffin is just in over his head).


May 28th, 2009
10:19 am

Ain’t it something that the ole’ ball coach is having to rankle the new kid in town to make headlines anymore?! Don’t kid yourself that Kiffin doesn’t know EXACTLY what he is doing and don’t believe for a second the other coaches involved aren’t playing it for all it’s worth too. Even Slimey, he’s loving the circus. Everybody loves the circus! The SEC has got more press out of Kiffin then they could have dreamed possible. It helps us, it helps the whole conference. It’s all about recruiting (for the coaches) and all about the big bucks (for the conference). And it’s all about gay male attraction for Lee Corso.

[...] bundle of SEC Meetings-related coverage:Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes Mike Slive is wasting his time trying to get guys like Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban to get along and [...]