College football is serious business. That's a side effect of millions of dollars being at stake each and every season.
Media days, however, should be fun. They're supposed to be relaxed. In the immortal words of former Missouri wideout T.J. Moe, a former media days star himself: Don't take everything so seriously. After all, the season hasn't even started yet. Everyone's undefeated. Act like it and have some fun for a change.
With that in mind, we've recapped the five best things to happen from the first day of SEC Media Days. Don't worry, we've skipped the boring stuff, like how every team worked hard in the offseason with the strength and conditioning coach, and how every team has tremendous leaders, and how this is an exciting time to be at [insert program here], and how ...
You get the point.
From fashion statements to bold statements, here are all the things you really need to know from SEC Media Days: Day 1.
1. The SEC unveiled a new, extremely vague, motto that should fuel plenty of jokes. The Big 12 boasts "One True Champion," which is still not technically accurate. There can be two champions, or even three, at which point tiebreaker rules take effect. But we're not concerned about the Big 12 here, not when the SEC has come up with an equally perplexing tag line: It Just Means More.
Give the SEC credit, they've piqued some interest, that's for sure. More of what, exactly? More money? More championships? More television exposure? More Waffle House? More Bojangles? Oh my, please let it be more Bojangles.
It looks as though this mystery won't be solved anytime soon, however. All commissioner Greg Sankey did was hammer home the motto. It just means more. And "more" is best left to interpretation.
SEC commish Greg Sankey hammering home the SEC's new motto: "It just means more."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 11, 2016
2. Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis threw serious shade at Tennessee. I'm all for trash talk, especially when it's the offseason variety. It's fun and it makes the sports world go 'round. No one cares if you have respect for your opponents. In fact, it's the opposite that's true: people care -- significantly -- when you don't have respect for your opponents.
So when Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis took a direct shot at the Gators' annual game vs. Tennessee, it got people talking:
Florida LB Jarrad Davis on UF's domination vs. Tennessee: "It's one of funnest games every year. Because we win - you can go ahead & say it"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 11, 2016
Of course, it's not like Davis is, you know, wrong. It's been 11 years since Tennessee has defeated Florida. When you've been that dominant, you've earned the right to talk. Then again, the Vols are favored to win the SEC East this year -- and they're 11-point favorites over the Gators in their annual matchup. Wth Davis' words as bulletin board material, Tennessee might finally get over the Florida hump ...
... or they'll just lose again in another crushing manner.
3. Strong sock(-less) game. Every year, someone at media days makes a fashion statement. This usually means bold colors or patterns. It's all about standing out. Not Florida coach Jim McElwain, though. His fashion statement is more subtle -- and depending on your proximity, perhaps more ... "fragrant."
In short, McElwain is not a sock man. That's his fire take, and he stands by it. Apparently, not even his daughter's wedding is good enough for socks.
BREAKING: Jim McElwain says even his daughter's wedding will not force him to put on socks.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) July 11, 2016
Working in this industry, I'll be the first to admit we're not a kind to be criticizing fashion choices. If you only saw the number of sports writers wearing wrinkled khakis paired with basketball sneakers and oversized collared shirts, you'd cringe.
McElwain is not about socks, and I'm not about to give him grief for it. I'm just not going to be located anywhere near his feet anytime soon.
However, if you are looking for a strong sock game, let us recommend taking a look at Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
Derek Mason was asked if there was any added pressure being an African American coach in the SEC. "I don't wear that cape."— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) July 11, 2016
4. Derek Mason stole the fashion show, again. Speaking of fashion statements, let's hear it for Vanderbilt's coach. Don't let the hard-nosed, defensive-minded coach fool you; he's all about style. Though he's usually one to sport a bow tie, Mason went all-in this year with a gold jacket featuring some Commodore art on the inside:
To be sure, Mason is the early leader for best dressed at media days. And it's a solid effort for someone else to overcome.
5. Mason also gave us the most quotable, potentially NSFW line of the day. Frankly, the first day of SEC Media Days was bland from a soundbyte perspective -- save for Davis talking smack about the Vols. Thankfully, though, Mason picked up at least some of the slack.
Here's Mason talking about "stimuli." You don't need to know the context, only that Arkansas coach Bret Bielema better bring it with the Freudian slips this week.
"There's a lot of stimuli going on" - Derek Mason, out of context. #sensualfootball— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 11, 2016
BONUS: Here's Dan Mullen catching some waves sporting some ridiculous swim trunks.
Enjoying some final waves this summer. pic.twitter.com/GyVCe787fn— Dan Mullen™ (@CoachDanMullen) July 11, 2016
Here's betting he'll be asked about said swim trunks during his round at media days.