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.
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 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.