07/18 14:52 CDT The Latest: Odom beaten to fashion punch at SEC Media Days
The Latest: Odom beaten to fashion punch at SEC Media Days
ATLANTA (AP) --- The Latest on SEC Media Days (all times local):
As one of the lesser-known coaches in the league, Missouri's Barry Odom was
hoping to make a splash at Southeastern Conference Media Days.
Sorry, it's already been done.
Odom says he planned to wear a pair of custom-made Jordan sneakers to the event
at the College Football Hall of Fame. But Florida's new coach Dan Mullen had
already pulled off that fashion statement during his appearance Tuesday .
So Odum stuck with his boring ol' dress shoes. The way he puts it, "That's
already been done. So you've got to get some new material."
Mullen's shoes have taken on a life of their own at the SEC's annual kickoff
event. When he was coaching at Mississippi State, he showed up in gray Yeezys
along with a suit , a nice little mix of couture and marketing for the Adidas
Now that Mullen is coaching at a Nike school, he switched over to a custom set
of Jumpmans for media days.
When Odum saw that, he left his Jordans at home.
Nick Saban offered up a preemptive no comment to all questions about Alabama's
Actually, make that "still to be determined."
The defending national champion heads into fall practice trying to determine
who will be its No. 1 QB. It will come down to two-year starter Jalen Hurts or
the sophomore-to-be who replaced him in last season's title game, Tua
Saban griped about the quarterback controversy that the media "loves to create,
has already created and will continue to create." The coach only would say
"it's still to be determined who will play quarterback for Alabama."
Tagovailoa served as Hurts' backup through the 2017 season. Then, after the
starter struggled in the first half of the national championship game against
Georgia, Saban made the switch.
It was one of the best decisions of Saban's brilliant career .
Tagovailoa completed 14 of 24 pass for 166 yards and three touchdowns,
including the winning 41-yard strike to Devonta Smith in overtime to earn the
game's offensive MVP award.
Saban offered up no hints about which way he might be leaning. He would only
say "we'll have to see who wins the team in fall camp." He added, "When you ask
me a question about that, I'm going to say, 'We'll see.' So don't get mad at
Tennessee sophomore offensive lineman Trey Smith has been cleared for fall
practice after being held out of spring drills because of an undisclosed
The return of Smith, a second-team All-SEC pick as a freshman in 2017, is big
as Jeremy Pruitt prepares for his first season as the Vols coach. Pruitt said
at the Southeastern Conference Media Days on Wednesday that he "can't wait to
get him back."
Smith was one of 12 players held out of spring practice for medical reasons.
With Smith and others back, Pruitt says, "I think we'll get the best out of
Pruitt, the former defensive coordinator at Alabama, Georgia and Florida State,
was hired to rebuild the Tennessee program. The Vols finished 4-8 and 0-8 in
the SEC last season.
Pruitt says he has found boosters, fans, players and the Tennessee
administration "all running in the same direction and that's all it takes."
Welcome to the South, Joe Moorhead. And pass the bacon.
Moorhead, the new Mississippi State coach, is a Pittsburgh native who most
recently was the Fordham coach from 2012-15 and the Penn State offensive
coordinator the last two years. He's adjusting to the Mississippi weather and
He says stepping out the front door means "being smacked in the face with
humidity." He's also adjusting to having "everything wrapped in bacon."
The Bulldogs finished 9-4 in 2017. Moorhead inherits nine returning starters on
offense, including senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Defensive linemen Montez
Sweat and Jeffery Simmons top the list of eight defensive returning starters.
It's a good talent base, but Moorhead says he knows he's taking over a program
which has never won the SEC championship.
He wants to elevate the team, "which has a very good foundation, from good to
The College Football Playoff is sticking with four teams, at least for now.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, says there
has been no talk about expanding the event.
Hancock at Southeastern Conference Media Days that "there is no talk about
expansion among the university presidents and college commissioners who sit on
This season's national championship game will be played Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa
Clara, California. The semifinals on Dec. 29 at the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.
Nick Saban should feel right at home at the College Football Hall of Fame, the
facility hosting part of this week's SEC Media Days.
The Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta is only a short walk from Mercedes-Benz
Stadium, where six months ago Saban's Alabama team beat Georgia for his sixth
Even in a year Alabama wasn't the SEC champion, the national championship win
over Georgia strengthened Saban's hold as the king of the league.
Alabama is still the team to beat as SEC teams gear up for another season.
Wednesday will be day three of the four-day SEC Media Days.
The annual event brings together coaches and players from the league's 14
schools. This year approximately 1,000 media credentials have been issued.
The event will return to Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, in 2019.
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