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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Rating SEC coaches’ talent at the podium

by Wally Hall | July 17, 2022 at 2:36 a.m.

When SEC Media Days begin Monday in Hotlanta, the news will be flowing like the Amazon River.

This is the 30th such meetings for yours truly, and they are long hard days. While Atlanta rolls out red carpet for the media with some nice receptions, come Thursday everyone will be tired.

Over the years, there have been some funny coaches, like Steve Spurrier, and some boring ones.

So here's one man's opinion of how the current SEC coaches will rank as speakers after this week. It has nothing to do with football, but just a little fun:

1. Lane Kiffin As close to Steve Spurrier as the SEC has anymore. Kiffin has a natural wit and sarcasm, so he'll most likely take a shot at someone or something and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will be watching.

2. Mike Leach It was either going to be No. 14 or No. 2 with Leach. He may take the podium and spend the whole time talking about Saudi Arabia or rocket thrust to the moon. Rolling the dice that he'll be engaging, although he'll being sticking with his Air Raid offense in a league that knows how to defend it.

3. Sam Pittman Always open, friendly and down to earth, Pittman was a bit nervous last year but it was his first media days as a head coach. Probably one of the most popular coaches in SEC because of his sincerity.

4. Shane Beamer Enthusiastic and energetic in his approach to life, Beamer was good at last year's media days. It was his first as a head coach and he surprised many with his openness. Got South Carolina to a bowl game, so he should be in a good mood.

5. Josh Heupel Seems to understand that part of his job is dealing with the media. He got Tennessee into a bowl game in his first season and has 14 starters back, so he should have some confidence.

6. Eli Drinkwitz Will try to be engaging and maybe even funny, but that's not his strong suit. In fact, he probably thinks he should be No. 1.

7. Jimbo Fisher Is a mater-of-fact talker. He's always guarded and with reports of Texas A&M spending $30 million for this recruiting class, his walls will be 20 feet tall.

8. Brian Kelly Another unknown in this mark as the new head coach at LSU, but he will be understandable which was something is predecessor, Ed Orgeron, struggled with. Expect the former Notre Dame coach to think he has coached on this level.

9. Mark Stoops While he has done a remarkable job at Kentucky -- the Wildcats finished in second place last season -- he doesn't seem prone to being warm and fuzzy.

10. Nick Saban Will thank the media for coming and almost sound like he means it. He will be on a mission, though, because he finds ways to use the media to help himself and his program.

11. Kirby Smart The coach of the defending national champions says a lot, but so far Smart has pretty much followed his hero, Nick Saban, when it comes to dealing with the media. He only talks when he has to.

12. Bryan Harsin Going off last year's performance in front of the media, he has no where to go but up and the last thing he needs is any more critics than he already has at Auburn.

13. Billy Napier Probably should have been last since he's an unknown as a first-year head coach in the SEC, and he's got the job of trying to make Florida a contender again instead of a pretender.

14. Clark Lea When you return to your alma mater with great hope and expectations and finish winless in SEC play, you probably only have promises to make -- many of which may not be achievable.

Print Headline: Rating SEC coaches’ talent at the podium


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