Sideline View by Dale McKee

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Last week, I traveled over to the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover. The event has really changed from the print point of view since my first visit in 1989. The TV guys have taken over just like they have most of the college football game.

The 14 head coaches were all back from last year, and 42 players were in attendance to answer questions, most of which were not in-depth or controversial and didn't require much elaboration by the coaches.

Most of my ol' sportswriter friends that I worked with when I entered the newspaper business are appalled by the simple questions asked by this new breed of writers.

The best part of SEC Media Days was meeting and talking with three legends of the game in Archie Manning, Herschel Walker and Steve Spurrier. Here’s what I learned from these guys:

Archie Who?

Peyton Manning almost went to Michigan out of high school.

The Michigan coach recruiting Peyton was an assistant coach by the name of Les Miles.

Archie Manning’s dad's favorite college player was Auburn’s Tucker Frederickson.

Archie Manning intercepted three passes in a freshman game against Alabama in 1967. He played both safety and quarterback on the Rebel freshman team.

The Old Ball Coach

Steve Spurrier said he almost went to Ole Miss instead of Florida out of high school.

Spurrier was 14-0 as a baseball pitcher in high school.

Spurrier played linebacker in high school until his junior year when he was moved to quarterback at the suggestion of Chicago Bears quarterback Bill Wade.

Three Flips for Georgia

The great Herschel Walker said he flipped a coin three times before deciding to sign with the University of Georgia.

His first flip was between the U.S. Marines and college football. He then flipped between going to Georgia or Clemson. He finally flipped between Georgia and USC. His nickname was Bo in high school, and he didn’t watch football growing up. He watched NWA wrestling with Ric Flair every Saturday.

Mississippi Odds & Ends

Ole Miss has four quarterbacks on their roster and they are all freshmen.

Florida quarterback Fellepe Franks is the tallest SEC quarterback at 6-6 and Ole Miss signal caller Matt Corral is the shortest at 6-1.

There are 11 new coordinators in the SEC. Ole Miss has two in Rich Rodriquez and Mike MacIntyre.

Mississippi State has a quarterback battle between Keytaon Thompson and Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens. Coach Joe Moorhead says whoever throws the ball the best will be the starter.

Coach Moorhead also played quarterback at Central Catholic High Schools in Pittsburgh, where Dan Marino played. He wore jersey number No. 13 like Marino until his senior year when they retired that number. Coach Moorhead was a four-sport athlete in high school.

No formal mention of the Egg Bowl brawl last year in Oxford was brought up. The SEC, with both schools' Athletic Directors present, held a meeting earlier in the spring, but there is no word of the results.

Odds & Ends

S.J. Tuohy, of Blindside Movie Fame, is the director of operations for the Arkansas football team.

LSU will run the spread offense this season.

Arkansas will play only two games in Fayetteville this season.

SEC sportscaster and former Bama quarterback Greg McElroy says Georgia will win a National championship within the next five years.

Since Peyton Manning left Tennessee, the Vols are 16 games under in SEC play.

South Carolina will play Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M this season.

Missouri will be the surprise team of the SEC. They return 16 starters and also play the bottom two projected teams in the West this season in Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com