ATLANTA — Day One of SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame went just like most expected on Monday.
Lane Kiffin dropped a reference to Kirby Smart and Nick Saban.
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New LSU coach Brian Kelly appeared with all the pomp and confidence one might expect from the winningest coach in Notre Dame history.
Greg Sankey gave an impressive state of the union and checked all the boxes updating SEC expansion talk, CFP playoff models, league scheduling and NIL.
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And then Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz, after missing on getting JT Daniels in the transfer portal, played a supporting role in talking about other powerhouse programs.
Programs like defending national champ Georgia.
“Obviously, Kirby has done a tremendous job of establishing the culture,” Drinkwitz said on the SEC Network.
“You can see it throughout his program, you can see it in how he recruits, you can see it in how he plays the game, you can see it how his phases of the game complement each other, you can see in the fourth quarter as they figured out a way to really outplay Alabama down the stretch of the championship game.
“So kudos to him and that program, and now it’s our challenge for us to get to that level.”
That won’t happen this season for Missouri, and Drinkwitz could find himself on the hot seat by the start of the 2023 season.
As for Kiffin’s reference to Alabama and Smart, there’s a reason why so many coaches find themselves answering questions about the Tide.
Alabama has, after all, won six national titles under Saban and three of the past four SEC title games.
Here’s a way-too-early prediction of how the SEC season plays out in 2022: