Top 5 Moments From The 2013 SEC Media Days

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2013 SEC Media Days: Top Five Moments

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Christmas has Thanksgiving, and College Football has SEC Media Days! And as most of us are sitting back, trying to take in all that was consumed over the past three days in Hoover, Ala., this guy thinks that it is the perfect time to take a look at the top five moments of the 2013 SEC Media Days.

There was some drama, and there were some great quotes, beginning with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive calling out the NCAA on Tuesday to open the festivities, right down to the Elvis Pressley entrance Nick Saban had Thursday afternoon.

And in the middle, you had some great quotes, some interesting moments and some very spot-on insights from the players and coaches who will make the 2013 SEC football season one to remember.

Now keep in mind a lot was said and a lot happened over the past few days and only the top five things can make the list. With that being said, there was an honorable mention.

You simply cannot have an SEC quotes list and ranking without South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier, who opened up his interview with a lot to say about paying players.

”Okay, that was our little talk about expenses. This is not pay-for-play. Please don't say, Spurrier says pay-for-play. This is just expense money. I saw the other day this year, the NFL rookies, the minimum is $405,000, NFL rookie. And a third-year kid, $630,000. That's pay-for-play. Don't disguise or say $300 for expenses for a game, that's not pay-for-play. Just some expense money for our guys to live a little bit better, and their parents, guardians, whatever. Us coaches, if it was a financial burden for our universities, our coaches all offered to pay for it, all 14. It came up to $270,000, $280,000 a year for the coaches. We'd pay it all. We want our players to get a little bit more than they get.”

Gotta love the Old Ball Coach jumping right out of the gate on a hot topic like supplementing players. What are he and the Gamecocks going to do if the North Carolina Tar Heels upend them to open the season. Can you imagine the quotes then?

But you are here to see who are the five that have made the cut? Click next and read who made the top five moments of the 2013 SEC Media Days.

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No. 5: Jadeveon Clowney - The Destroyer of Quarterbacks

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Jadeveon Clowney minced no words when it came to his ability and greatness on Tuesday. Clowney was primed to let the world know he will be the quarterback destroyer of the 2013 College Football season for his South Carolina Gamecocks.

In short, there is not a quarterback alive who is not terrified of Clowney’s desire to crush them.

“Can I get him,” when reporters asked Clowney about Johnny Manziel. “Yes, I can get him. How do I approach him? Full speed. He gotta make a move. I’m going straight, I make him make a move. I’m going to try to hit him in the mouth.”

Then there was this gem.

“I can tell Tajh Boyd is scared back there,” Clowney added. “He ain't no sitting duck, but you can see in his eyes that he's scared of our D-linemen. We know that coming into the game that we have him shook already. We get a couple hits on him and it changes the whole game. He's scared every time we play them. I know he's probably listening to this right now, but I'm just telling the truth, man.”

Perfection that made Steve Spurrier smile, as he now sees his confidence and swagger personified in Clowney. He even found a way to slam Aaron Murray in his mandate as well.

But can Clowney live up to his threats in 2013?

The answer is most likely yes!

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No. 4: Bret Bielema's Razorback Comedy Tour

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Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the fun-loving, slap-stick jokesters that make up the SEC Media have quite a treat on their hands with Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema.

Let’s just say that when everyone laughed during Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn’s take on Bielema’s disgust of the spread, hurry-up offense, the new man in Fayetteville didn’t take too kindly to it at all.

"He thought it was a joke? I'm not a comedian. Everything I say is things I truly believe in. When I go into a young man's home, when you go to recruit a kid that's 17 years old, move him halfway across the country, you can look a mom and dad in the eye, and you say, I'm going to look out for the personal well-being of your son in everything that I do. It's going to be a game day, a practice, a conditioning session, I am trusting you to give me your son to come play for me.

It's not a joke to me. It's something that I really feel strongly about. It's not rhetoric. I'm not a scientist. You do not want me to walk in with a computer and try to figure things out. But I had a guy email me two weeks ago because he read the articles. He was all about there is statistical evidence that shows that as players become more tired, they become more vulnerable to injury. That's all I'm talking about.

If you want to play hurry-up offense, play it. I'll play you, I don't care. But it doesn't mean that I cannot try to protect my players offensively and defensively. I have just as many offensive players as I have defensive players. That's the facts. I do think I'm funny at times, though. I will say that (smiling)."

Remember, the 1 p.m. show is completely different from the 8 p.m. event when it comes to coach Bielema. Although he does have some points and you have to love his concern for his players, it should be interesting to watch the Razorbacks and the Tigers this fall.

But it’s probably going to be more fun to watch Bielema boil over with a question from the media.

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No. 3: Aaron Murray Simply Gets No Respect

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Fate is a very funny thing.

And no one knows this more than Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray.

If one play and five yards would have played out differently on a December night last season, the king of SEC Media Days would have been Murray.

But instead, you have a kid who’s only good enough to be voted third-string All-SEC. Murray is pretty ticked about it and ready to prove the world otherwise.

“Oh, here we go. Let’s just get this knocked out of the way. You know, I think the word ‘fear’ was misused for ‘respect.’ I definitely have a lot of respect for him. He’s definitely one of, if not the best, player in the country. Definitely not scared but respect for what he’s able to do on the field. I respect him. That’s the big difference. He’s an unbelievable athlete, probably the best player in the country. You have to have a special game plan for him. He’s a guy you have to make a different game plan for.”

A very interesting and confident statement by Murray to say the least. There is no doubt Murray will set all kinds of SEC career marks this season, but there is one task at hand above all else: he must defeat Clowney and Steve Spurrier if he ever wants to gain the respect of the SEC Media and Bulldogs fans.

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No. 2: Johnny Football's Cir de Self

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Wednesday was hyped as "Johnny Manziel Day," as the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was set to make his SEC Media Day debut.

So much to talk about in his celebrity life, as well as the real reason why he left the Manning Camp a day early.

There were reports flying around on Tuesday that Manziel was going to skip the Media Day festivities, but thank goodness, the man, the myth and the legend show up to grace us all with his presence.

The theme of his discussion was entitled: “I’m just a 20-year-old sophomore in college.”

Well, actually, when you sit courtside at the NBA Finals and do the things you do to make yourself the first ever real celebrity College Football has ever had, there is a greater calling of maturity. You can’t just use the "I’m a kid" card.

For the record, if Manziel is a redshirt sophomore, shouldn’t he actually be a junior when it comes to his studies?

Anyway, the real madness to his circus was that there was nothing really important he had to say. He didn’t really talk about football in specific details nor did he highlight any of his teammates. It was simply another appearance for a few hours before hopping on a plane and taking off to the ESPYS Award Show.

Let’s just get the football season here so we can all fall in love with the Manziel on the field again. Because his off-the-field show is boring.

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No. 1: Johnny Manziel Versus A.J. McCarron

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Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Believe what you want, but the SEC Media Days were just another moment of proof that A.J. McCarron is the anti-quarterback and arch nemesis of Johnny Manziel.

Yes, something is definitely not right between these two to say the least.

First of all, McCarron was Manziel’s roommate at the Manning Camp. I don’t know about your man code with your buds, but in this guy’s world, you don’t let your wingman miss anything important. Anything.

Reports are flying one way, saying it is an all-out feud, while other statements are saying it’s just the media hyping up the Sept. 14 battle.

But even though McCarron didn’t mention Manziel by name, he did have this to say.

“I’ve never brought any type of negative spotlight on my last name or my university, my head coach, my teammates. I’ve always done the right thing. I’ve always done it how it’s supposed to be done. That’s the way I want to be remembered. I don’t want to be remembered as some off-the-wall type guy doing all this crazy stuff. That’s not me.”

So, as you have the image of McCarron sitting high on the podium with his Breast Cancer Awareness bowtie on, saying yes sir and ma’am, playing the perfect role of the All-American southern gentleman set against the scene of thousands of media folks looking down on a the modern-day gunslinger in Manziel, who do you like and trust more?

It’s a toss up to be honest. There is no doubt McCarron is a little bit salty with the man who is "Johnny Football," and it probably drives him even more crazy because Manziel could care less about what he or anyone else thinks of him.

But an interesting sideshow to watch for sure. Something isn’t right between these two, and let’s hope the Gary Busey of College Football can bring McCarron out to crazyland with him.

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M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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