SEC Media Days wraps up today with Auburn's Gene Chizik, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, LSU's Les Miles, and Tennessee's Lane Kiffin. I don't know how these things have been scheduled in the past, but I find it amusing that Kiffin's been given the final spot, almost like he's the headliner of a rock concert. In fact, Kiffin says that the league intentionally scheduled him last because of his draw:
They said at the SEC meetings that (the media) would take off early and leave before this year. They said they made sure I was last so everyone would stay, and we’d break the record of having 1,000 people down there.
I don't know if he meant that or, if he did, whether it's true, but it certainly feels in the print/internet room like Kiffin's session is the most anticipated of the three-day event.
Exactly how has Kiffin managed that? In a league with Urban Meyer (the nation's hottest coach), Steve Spurrier (one of the most quotable college coaches of all time), Les Miles (the most unpredictable coach in the nation), and Nick Saban (the coach most likely to be trampled by his own adoring fans), how has Kiffin seized the brightest spotlight for himself?
Is it that he announced his own arrival with boastful quotes worthy of immediate transcription and posting in opposing teams' locker rooms? Is it that he and his staff embarked on a self-congratulatory tour right after National Signing Day, ribbing rivals about stealing their coaches and recruits? Is it that he didn't quit making waves and noise until the point where he's the primary suspect any time something suspicious is afoot, such as when an unnamed coach dares to vote for a QB other than Tim Tebow for first-team All-SEC, triggering a public inquisition by press?
Yes. Yes. And . . . let's see . . . yes.
The first and second floors of the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama have been an absolute circus this week. Nearly 1,000 members of the media, from lowly bloggers to international television personalities to print veterans with decades of experience, have been anxiously awaiting the final session of the final day. In a league brimming with colorful coaches, Lane Kiffin has somehow become the main attraction, and it doesn't seem to matter to him if he's the lead in the awe-inspiring trapeze act or the 300-pound bearded siamese albino dwarf with three cloven hooves and a bonus benign tumor that's shaped like Elvis. If he can feel the warmth of the spotlight, he's good.
It's quite possible that Kiffin has utterly misjudged the spectators and will be walking defenseless into the very nest of fire ants he's been provoking since he arrived in the league. But it's also possible that the crowd has misjudged him and that he understands as well as anyone just how much of a carnival this thing really is and is simply working his way into a starring role.
Today's session won't definitively reveal whether Kiffin's more jester or fool, but it may offer some small clue. And whatever the case, admit it, we're all looking forward to the show, aren't we?