The Media Days Milquetoast Queen sash and tiara still belong to Petrino, but just barely: For a guy who so forcefully reminds us of THE GOON every time we lay eyes on him*, Chizik made a valiantly mild run at saying less than nothing in his 35 minutes on the mic. He looks like he ought to talk like he's gargling gravel, but never does sound fiercer than Charlie Brown's teacher on a physician-approved course of throat 'roids. On with the show, such as it is:
• IN A CLEAR ATTEMPT TO IMITATE THE GREAT NICK SABAN [initiate Bammer/Barner threadjack protocols to boost Friday traffic GO GO], Chizzy opens by graciously addressing the reporters: "I wanna thank you guys for the positive spin that you put on the players." If we were to print the next sentence, it would become clear to the reader that he's just thanking us for what we're doing to boost the league's public profile, but where's the fun in that?
• Typical smoothly-delivered patter about the comforts of continuity for a second-year coaching regime is the abiding thesis this morning. They need consistency on offense. Lots of pressure on last year's defense. &c.
• Auburn's president is name-dropped. Twice. Prop bet?
• We do get a relatively interesting answer from the oft-asked question about the effects of changing recruiting rules to prohibit contacting recruits before their senior year, in which Chizzy points out the innate weirdness of talking up a 15-year-old recruit, in this age of itchy-triggered coaching hires and fires, about what on earth he expects this team to look like three years down the road.
• Zac Etheridge, we are all pleased to learn, is making excellent progress in his recovery.
• "The league is challenging itself." You heard it here first. On July 23, 2010, at 9:42 a.m. EDT, the SEC became sentient.
• Aairon Savage is your unassailable sartorial leader with this getup.
• Lee Ziemba is here, but it took me a minute to recognize him without seeing him go for some guy's knees.
Programming note: For those of you wanting a mite more respectability with your morning cubicle-slacking, Fearless Leader's coverage at the mothership lies thisaway.
*Speaking of appearances: Coachbro has clearly shed some pounds, and looks less like a limo-driving tough than we've ever seen him. AUBURN TALKING POINT: He is clearly fit and rested and ready for a wildly successful season! ALABAMA TALKING POINT: The stress of competing in the same state as Nick Saban is clearly getting to him! Go with God, y'all.