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BARNEStorming: Thoughts on the 2022 SEC Media Days

BARNEStorming: Thoughts on the 2022 SEC Media Days

ATLANTA – There have been many great comedy duos in history – Steven Martin and John Candy, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, to name a few.

There could be a new comedy team if they choose to go that way, Lane Kiffin and Paul Finebaum.

The Ole Miss head coach and the SEC Network personality got together at SEC Media Days for a segment on Finebaum’s show. The pair did not disappoint.

Unlike his relationship with other coaches, Finebaum seems to pull out the humor in Kiffin’s personality. Not only do they put out information, but the banter they have naturally is far more entertaining than most duos that appear at an open mic night.

Here the two are after the SEC Meetings in Destin in June.

A NEW FAVORITE PLAYER

How could anyone not fall in love with Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright?

Not only can the kid play, not only is he intelligent (how many of us could get into Vandy?), but as he proved Wednesday, he can captivate a room.

Appearing in his hometown, Wright represented his teammates, his school and himself well. He entertained the media by performing a semi-infomercial about the designer of his suit, the exceptional strength of the Hercules beetle, and how his sense of style would entice him to wear a three-piece suit to Waffle House.

But the coolest thing is he is such a competitor he will not even mention the name of the Commodores’ archrival. It is not “that school east of us,” nor “those other guys.” That place is known to Wright as “the orange school.”

How deep is that ingrained into Wright’s mind? His parents are Tennessee graduates, but he still will only call it “the orange school.”

Cool kid. It will be hard not to root for him when “that orange school,” heads to Nashville Nov. 26 to take on Vandy.

SPEED THRILLS

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was asked a question Thursday that could only have been answered in a Jimbo Fisher manner.

A reporter from AL.com, who has the tedious task of transcribing coaches’ comments for his website, asked how Fisher could continually talk so fast.

Fisher giggled, but then provided two answers – in a quick manner.

First, he said he only has 20 hours a week with his players, so he has to talk fast to relay all the information he needs to get to them.

But the better answer was when he claimed that when he talks fast, he can get the reporters in and out of press conferences instead of drawing them out with boring stuff. He also said that fact should make him a reporter’s best friend.

NOT REALLY THE NEW KID IN TOWN

Billy Napier is the new head coach at Florida after bringing the University of Louisiana to prominence. But he is not a stranger to the SEC. He played his college ball at Furman, which is not too far from the University of South Carolina.

He also worked at Alabama and has a couple of national championship rings.

But there is one thing that is going to be very familiar to Napier in Gainesville – The Swamp. In fact, Napier has had more games in The Swamp than most coaches. Way before Steve Spurrier dubbed the Florida Field with that nickname, the stadium at Louisiana was called “The Swamp.”

The one in Lafayette, La., makes more sense. That stadium is three feet below sea level and the campus features an actual swamp with real gators.

OH, COME ON COACH

Georgia’s Kirby Smart said he would like the annual Georgia-Florida game moved from Jacksonville to become an on-campus event.

Sure, it would be huge in Gainesville and Athens, but that is not the reason Smart gave for wanting the rivalry to move from Jacksonville.

He said the neutral site hurts his recruiting.

So, playing the game away from Athens drops Georgia’s recruiting class from No.3 to No. 6?

HE MUST HAVE GREAT BAR-B-QUES

Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman mentioned on a few occasions the yard decorations he has at his Fayetteville, Ark. lake house. He has a pair of hog statues that serve as fountains, but not in the traditional way.

These two hogs do not spout water upwards. Instead, they slobber water into the lake. That alone is enough to make people drool with hunger.

And Pittman is an old offensive line coach. He must know how to grill.

WHY ARE WE PLAYING AGAIN? 

According to the stats provided by the SEC Network, we may as well give Alabama and Georgia a pass to the SEC Championship Game.

The percentage chances of winning the SEC East: Georgia 90 percent, Kentucky six, Florida two, Tennessee one while South Carolina, Missouri, and Vanderbilt have less than a one percent chance to win the division.

In the west: Alabama is at 87 percent, LSU five, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Auburn two and Mississippi State less than one percent.

So why do we even play? Oh yeah, any given Saturday anything can happen, especially in the SEC.

That is why we love it and we are ready for the new season.

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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