The SEC is also a college football Heaven of sorts, a land of champions and the full cartoon that surrounds them.
“They also have prettier girls, the air is fresher, the toilet paper is thicker,” he joked Tuesday, the first of three SEC Media Days.
That gem was part of a performance that aired Moe’s inner Larry and Curly and won him applause from reporters gathered around his table, but the dripping sarcasm was telling.
It gave the sense that Missouri and Texas A&M camps are tired of questions about their readiness to face life in the SEC, and that sense dripped from others from during Tuesday’s media rollout for the league’s two newest members.
Yeah, they know.
The SEC has won the past six national championships.
College football’s most powerful conference and all, and we’re just talkin’ ‘bout the West Division.
Oh, and they play defense in the SEC, not like’em other leagues.
Mizzou and A&M? You’re sooooo in for a terrible awakening. They call it a country, ahem, whuppin’ ‘round these parts, ya know?
OK, so maybe the Tigers and Aggies didn’t exactly dominate the Big 12, and there’s some truth in all of that stuff about the SEC. Why else would a record 1,110-plus media members show up for this annual rite of July we call SEC Media Days?
“It’s intense,” Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter said. “There’s a lot of people out there, and you are all asking a lot of different questions. It’s different. I’ve never done anything like this before.”
Even Porter’s new head coach admitted some sense of awe in his first go-round in the SEC.
“I tell you what made it real to me, which is quicker than a lot of people, was when we had our first head-coaches meeting back in March of February,” Kevin Sumlin said. “When you walk in a room with 13 other head coaches in the SEC and (Commissioner) Mike Slive? They close that door behind you? It’s just you guys in there?
“That’s when you know it’s real.”
Then again, Sumlin just came up from Houston, a Conference USA school. That’s not exactly the Big 12.
The Big 12 finished last season ranked as the No. 2 conference, closely behind the SEC. USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin had the Big 12 at No. 1.
So, that first coaches meeting in the SEC was nothing to a Big 12 veteran like Pinkel.
“For me, I know two-thirds of those coaches sitting in that meeting. They’re friends,” he said. “I was in the Big 12. It was, ‘How are you guys doing? Let’s go to work.’”
No one expects the SEC’s two newcomers to compete for championships right away. Some pundits question whether they ever will, but c’mon.
It’s not like they just jumped up from Football Championship Subdivision, or so they seem to be saying.
“You get a lot of, ‘We’re playing in the SEC now, this great league,’” Pinkel said. “It’s like some people — around the summer, I’ve got a place down in Florida, go down there sometimes — people act like we’ve been playing a bunch of high school teams.
“We’ve played in a pretty good league.”
But what about all of that speed in the SEC?
“I think we stack up well, speed wise,” Porter said. “We have a lot of athletic guys on our team and a lot of really fast guys on our team. I think we’ll make some plays in the SEC.”
And for those who do, those prettier girls, that fresher air and that thicker toilet paper sure make for nice rewards.
Joe Medley is The Star’s sports columnist. He can be reached at 256-235-3576 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @jmedley_star.