Twas the day before the Music City Bowl.
Players attended the NHL game last night between Nasvhille’s Predators and the LA Kings. The locals won 3-2 in a game that featured three goals scored in the last 10 minutes.
The Titans-Texans game is on the docket for players today. There’s a “battle of the bands” and what is described as the “Hot chicken eating championship” downtown today. Those free events begin at 4.
In other news …
Junior receiver Donte Moncrief says a decision has not been made on his future relative to early entry into the draft.
He continues to say he’ll sit down and talk with Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze after the season.
However, after Friday’s workout at Montgomery Bell Academy, Moncrief sounded like leaving the field after the Music City Bowl will be a difficult thing.
He didn’t say it will be his last game.
The question was, given the fact that you’ve not made an NFL decision, what do you think it will feel like walking off the field?
Moncrief: “It will be a bad feeling, because this is my home, this is my fam. This has been my fam for three years. I love these guys. It will be hard.” …
Here’s the video:
The conference pride thing is usually a topic of some sort during bowl week. In the coaches presser on Saturday Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson gave that more of a ride than most coaches do.
Tech, a charter member of the SEC before leaving in 1962, is in Atlanta, a major market coveted by both the ACC and the SEC.
The SEC has had a strong foothold there with major events, most notably the football championship game. A number of basketball tournaments have been held in Atlanta as well, though the SEC recently signed a deal making Nashville the semi-permanent home through 2015.
Coaches from other conferences can tire of hearing about the SEC. Just ask Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops.
Here’s what Johnson had to say on playing for conference pride in the Music City Bowl:
“It’s a game with two teams that I think had pretty good seasons, coming from two really good conferences. We hear a lot about the SEC. We’re right in the middle of it in Atlanta, Ga. Representing the ACC is a big deal to us. We hear about the SEC a lot.”
Johnson then praised Ole Miss for more than conference affiliation: “We’re playing a good football team if they were from a conference on Mars. You look at the tape and they’re pretty good, and you know that if we don’t play hard and play well we could get pounded.”
Freeze downplayed the conference angle as a motivation point: “Any time you play out of conference there’s an essence of that. It’s talked about more from the fans and in social media than is on our minds as coaches. All that stuff leaves after about the first possession. Then it gets down to which team is going to play the best.”
More from the coaches presser here: