Hoover, Ala. — Just by being here, Mark Richt drew into a second-place tie with Philip Fulmer for appearances at SEC Media Days. Richt and Fulmer have done this 15 times. (Steve Spurrier is the leader with 23.) Before we go any further, we must note the asterisks.
There were no Media Days in the days of Bryant and Dooley. Back then, the conference rented a rickety propjet and flew media types to various campuses. (I speak as an alum/survivor of the 1977 SEC Skywriters.)
As for Fullmer: He missed the 2004 convocation because he was afraid of being served with a subpoena if he entered the state of Alabama. (The Albert Means investigation was raging.) So his 15 weren’t consecutive. Spurrier, you’ll recall, didn’t work in the SEC from 2002 through 2004, having taken a flyer on the NFL.) That makes Mark Richt of Georgia …
The all-time leader in consecutive Media Days. Surely he deserves a plaque for that.
Not to say that Richt ever looks frumpy, but he seemed sleeker than usual Thursday. His hair, which has gone through a few hair changes over time (and I know a bit about hair changes), was spectacularly short. “It’s a summer cut that got a little carried away,” said Richt, briefing local and national writers upstairs before meeting the main assemblage.
The Richts, it seems, had gone to the beach. Katharyn Richt suggested to he husband: “Why don’t you just shave that thing? I want to see what your head looks like.”
“This,” Richt said, “is close to three weeks’ growth.”
But enough about hair. This correspondent, having noted the 15 Media Days, asked Richt, who’s 55, how much longer he wanted to keep doing this difficult job (meaning coaching college football). “I’m going to do this as long as the Lord says to do it,” Richt said.
From later Thursday: UGA should win the SEC East. But will it?
From Wednesday: Mizzou’s Pinkel — a coach in the truest sense.
From earlier Wednesday: Bama’s Saban has been reduced to making excuses.
From Tuesday: Could Tennessee’s “defining moment” come against UGA?
From earlier Tuesday: The great Spurrier is surely nearing an end.
From Monday: Auburn-Louisville — the all-time Atlanta hate game.
From earlier Monday: Auburn banks on a big QB with a big arm.