Pay close attention to these 3

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let the countdown officially begin. With the Southeastern Conference’s football Media Days beginning Wednesday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, an entire region of the country can turn its attention toward what, to many, means more than anything else in the world: college football.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino will take the podium at 1 p.m. Wednesday to kick things off, but, with Petrino being followed by Bobby Johnson of Vanderbilt, Dan Mullen of Mississippi State and Rich Brooks of Kentucky, we’ll have to wait until Thursday for the real fun to begin.

Here, in descending order, are the three most significant questions that will be answered by this year’s Media Days:

3. Will Urban Meyer mention the rumors that have him leaving Florida for Notre Dame at the end of the season? More importantly, how will Meyer address those rumors? Will he look the questioner in the eye while responding or throw up his hands and turn his head away, a sure sign of dishonesty? Will Meyer use the word “never” again, as he did the last time he refuted the rumors? A double never, like a double negative, would actually mean Meyer does intend to leave Gainesville. Unless Wednesday is opposite day. Do you get the impression I find the whole situation silly? Well, I do.

2. Will Lane Kiffin make anyone else mad? The new Tennessee coach, in what he says is an effort to get people talking about the program, has slighted Meyer, Alabama’s Nick Saban and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier. Who could be next? My guess is Georgia’s Mark Richt. And the best way to anger Richt? For Kiffin to show up with neater hair, a better tan and darker sunglasses than Richt—then talk about the cool, penalty-inducing touchdown celebration the Volunteers plan on employing this season.

1. Can Gene Chizik maintain’s Auburn’s momentum? Alabama fans can snicker all they want, but Tiger Prowl, Big Cat Weekend and a billboard marketing campaign have produced results, such as three commitments over the weekend. True or not, the recruiting efforts have seemed to be more about assistant coaches Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper while Chizik has been quiet. He’ll be in the spotlight Friday, and he needs to keep building faith in his competence.