The SEC stands for the Southeastern Conference, after their media days it should stand for Some Entertaining Comedy.
The big bad SEC, the conference that is considered the best in the biz has had what you would call an interesting offseason with four of their flagship schools investigated for off the field incidents including arrests, dismissals and possible rules violations.
(No LSU hasn’t been involved in any of these, but don’t be shocked if Les Miles isn’t updating his resume just in case that Michigan job opens up again and he can bolt Baton Rouge ASAP.)
Among the offenders are Florida and the possibility of former standout center Maurkice Pouncey receiving $100,000 from and agent before the Sugar Bowl, and Alabama defensive end Marcell Daerus might or might not have went to an agent party in Miami which angered coach Nick Saban to the point that he called agents Vultures (also various South Carolina players and Georgia wide out A.J. Green went to the party, though Green denies it saying that he’s “Never been to Miami.” Yeah, sure.).
Let’s not forget the arrests and pending fallout from incidents involving Georgia players and Tennessee players. Makes you wonder if maybe Lane Kiffin wasn’t the problem with conduct in Knoxville.
This has nothing to do with football, but everything to do with football at the same time. The constant off the field issues are the only thing that can derail the SEC machine because as we’ve seen in the last six or seven years no one from any conference can mess with the big boys on the field. (Except for Utah and West Virginia.)
The SEC’s constant penchant for thuggish behavior from its players, and incidents like the Pouncey inquiry, will eventually lead to the kind of treatment that USC is currently going through. While the conference has the greatest talent pool of any conference that we’ve seen in a long time, it’s also getting them more bad headlines than good. It has even extended itself into the NFL where JaMarcus Russell’s run-in with the law has brought up some questions dating back to his LSU days. (That sound you hear in the background is Miles updating his resume in real time.)
It’s all taking away from what the media days should be about down south—football. The SEC has won four straight national titles from three different schools and it hasn’t been close. This year the big dog is Alabama with LSU, Georgia and Florida following close behind with Auburn and Arkansas in toe. It could make for a crazy year even by SEC standards.
Yet here we are listening to Nick Saban call agents “Pimps”, listening to Urban Mayer tip-toe around the Pouncey issue and watch Mark Richt look like he’s been through this Georgia over and over again, because he has.
My message for the SEC is this; every great empire that falls normally has its foundation broke from within. You can’t watch your players 24-7, but you can figure a way to bring the right ones into your program and make it fly straight. The last thing the SEC wants is 5 years from now when 4 of their schools are on postseason bans and watching the new Big Ten or Pac 10 standing in their spot.
For their sake let’s hope that this is just a minor hiccup for all parties involved. However, it is making for some great TV. We haven’t gotten to the Ol’ Ball Coach Steve Spurrier. That’s unintentional comedy at its finest.