To get myself excited for the SEC football season, I thought I'd read something very stereotypically - almost annoyingly stereogypically - SEC. I got my hands on a copy of Paul Finebaum's "My Conference Can Beat Up Your Conference," a several-hundred page fluff piece of the Southeastern Conference written by a man who is both simultaneously the pride and ire of the conference's media image, Paul Finebaum.
Written with the jabbing sense of humor you'd come to expect from listening to his show, the book is an autobiography of sorts, chronicling Finebaum's becoming a sports journalist and radio host, eventually becoming one of the more recognizable names in Southern sports media after toiling through miserable work at a handful of now-defunct regional newspapers. It also details his transformation from an avid baseball fan - one who grew up in SEC-country but didn't care much for SEC football - to perhaps the league's most ardent and public champions.
It also details his experiences covering the conference as a part of ESPN's College Gameday and, eventually, the SEC Network as a part of last season. Given that last season culminated in a Florida State BCS title - over Auburn, no less - to end the conference's unprecedented streak of national titles, the book comes off as a response piece of sorts. Maybe it should be titled "My Conference Can STILL Beat Up Your Conference," but either way his point is well made. Florida State might have hoisted the crystal football last year, but Jimbo Fisher used the SEC formula to get there, and that one game doesn't invalidate the facts that the SEC recruits the best players, puts the most players in the NFL, earns the most revenue, has a gigantic media footprint, and has established itself as an international brad of college football excellence.
Nobody can say the same. So Paul Finebaum, while annoying to many as being too pro-SEC/Alabama/Auburn/whomeveryoudislike, isn't exactly wrong at all. The SEC is the best conference in college football, and he's not at all shy about that.
- Pick Six Previews has Ole Miss finishing second in the SEC West this year. I'm sure that'll upset a lot of people.
- ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff has two stories you'd probably be interested in. The first is a look at the Rebels' super sophomores, and what they'll mean to this program. The second is a more in-depth look at one of those sophomores, Robert Nkemdiche. Nkemdiche, it seems, is a bit of a character in his own right. He's particularly interested in skateboarding, which is cool and all, but I don't want our star defensive tackle missing an SEC contest or two because he sprained an ankle trying to pull off a sick ollie (bro) at the Oxford skate park.
- Ole Miss gets just over $2M from Nike as an equipment allowance. Why does that seem low to me?
And, Finally, Some Video:
Fins up, y'all. We're less than two weeks away from actual Ole Miss Rebel football. Get excited.