Bryan Harsin’s Biggest Gameday: SEC Media Days
Bryan Harsin has faced adversity that most of us can never comprehend. Coach Harsin has called plays that resulted in some of the greatest moments in college football. The successful self-made coach now faces his biggest challenge, and it's not on the football field. Harsin will take the stand at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama, speaking to the media as part of SEC Media Days.
How tough can talking to the media be for a guy who has defeated some of the most talented defenses in college football? A man who now commands over five million dollars per year in annual salary?
To quote the old Paul Finebaum Radio Show from its old Birmingham, Alabama days, "where legends are made and most college football coaches are fired." (Thanks to Pat Smith for the reminder on that one. You can check out his show here.)
SEC Media days draws hundreds of reporters from across the country. The radio row resembles something you'd see at the Super Bowl. SEC Media Days is the unofficial start of the college football season. Remember the old saying, 'you're either first or last?' Coach Harsin will be the last speaker during the four-day event. His news conference will be the one that will leave an impression on his program and his future.
Harsin has had great reviews from the national and local media so far. However, it only takes one slip up to go viral, and then you're in trouble. The coach has never faced the scrutiny over recruiting, his staff, and how he'll run his program. Auburn fans were so mad over who the university picked for a coach one year they protested the athletic director's plan at the airport. See the clip here.
Harsin has had great reviews from the national and local media so far. However, it only takes one slip up to go viral, and then you're in trouble. The speeches and media questions are televised on ESPN's SEC Network. Once they're off the stage, every coach faces the voice of college football Paul Finebaum whose show is nationally televised and is on nationwide radio.
To quote Pat Webb, the county commissioner speaking to Ace Rothstein in the movie Casino, "this ain't home for you pardner." Now winning will help Harsin keep his salary and his job. However, he's never faced a media that will ask him about his quarterback choices, why his recruiting is ranked at only 75, former Coach Gus Malzahn was fired because he let recruiting slip. Without the elite athletes, you can't compete in the SEC and in the SEC West. (FYI Boise State is currently ranked at 53 nationally.) You can see the entire list of school rankings here.
Coach Harsin has faced many challenges in his life. His journey from the Mountain West will be a testament to his competency and the credibility of the Mountain West. At Boise State, Harsin had the most resources, the highest-paid staff, the best facilities; in other words, he had every advantage against inferior teams like Utah State, New Mexico, and San Jose State. (San Jose State did beat Boise State under Harsin last year for the Mountain West title.) Those advantages are over now that he's in the SEC West.
Harsin will get a chance to prove that the Boise State way works outside of Boise. We'll all be tuning in to find out the results.
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