Again, we'll try Team Speed Kills Now once more at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT. Call-in information will be provided as part of the post carrying the show.
Despite all the previews of SEC Media and the obvious themes of the coming few days, there are still a few things we don't yet know, and there's likely to be an unanticipated twist or two before the reporters and coaches decamp from Birmingham. A few guesses/questions about what might be.
Will the Golden Tebow take the podium? Last year, the only player to get face time at the coaches' podium -- and thus the undivided attention of the assembled press -- was Tim Tebow, who at that point was "only" a Heism@n Tropy winner and a change-of-pace quarterback on a national title team. Now that he's lead another national champion and is an early favorite to accept more hardware from the Downtown Athletic Club, there's no reason to believe he won't get his glorious reception.
Lane Kiffin vs. the State of Alabama. He might not get the subpoena treatment like his predecessor, but it might be more interesting to see how he's received by the Alabama faithful than how he's quizzed by the press corps. Remember, Boy Wonder is entering the heart of enemy territory; will any Tide fans show up to jeer him as he enters the hotel? On this, there's a little bit of help from the schedule -- Nick Saban is speaking on Thursday and Kiffin on Friday. Bet that Alabama fans will be more interested on receiving their own than showing up to boo the other guy.
Touching St. Nick. Which leads to the interesting question of how Saban himself will be greeted. He'll get a hero's welcome, I've no doubt. But how large will the crowd be? Last year's gathering seemed to be smaller than the sea of humanity that was described ahead of Saban's initial Media Days appearance in 2007 -- but I'm probably not in the best position to compare, since I was only at last year's event. That said, in 2008 Alabama was coming off of an Independence Bowl berth. This year, the Tide are rolling out of an undefeated regular season, SEC Championship Game appearance and some bowl game no one remembers.
Who will get more retirement questions: Rich Brooks or Steve Spurrier? Last year, Brooks got more than his fair share of questions about when he might step aside and let Joker Phillips take the reins of the Wildcats. This year, Internet "buzz" (read: rampant speculation without any supporting evidence) puts Spurrier as among of the most likely coaches to take off for the links, if not the most likely. Not that the Head Ball Coach completely dodged the question in 2008; he was asked why he thought it important to tell reporters in Columbia that he was staying for another four or five years. After Spurrier pointed out that he had been asked how much longer he planned to stay and was simply answering the question, that was that. This year, he's coming off a fourth disappointing season with the Gamecocks, and there are those who think he's not long for the gridiron. Brooks, meanwhile, is quickly approaching his 273rd birthday and might also be ready to hang it up.
Which new coach will give the better performance? We already know that Lane Kiffin will be must-see, but what about Dan Mullen and Gene Chizik. Mullen has been the only one of the three to make his way to his new job without some sturm und drang. Everyone knows about Boy Wonder's hyperkinetic flash and secondary violations show, while the most common response to Gene Chizik's hiring was -- well, we try not to use those kinds of words here on Team Speed Kills. Mullen could steal the show by giving a charming performance -- after all, he looks like the most likely of the three to still be briefing the assembled press four years hence.