He is the most interesting man in the SEC


I don't always rip off television commercial shtick. But when I do, I think Dos Equis.

The Most Interesting Man in the World "lives vicariously through himself."

"He is a lover not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas."

"His reputation is expanding faster than the universe."

Such is the college football criteria.

For naming The Most Interesting Man ...

--In the SEC: Tennessee head coach "Fast" Lane Kiffin. Darned if the young pup hasn't already ticked off Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt, and assembled a stellar coaching staff. Minor NCAA violations. Major controversies. Maybe Al Davis was right. Remember, Clemson danced with this guy.

--In the ACC: Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner. Doubles as The Most Accurate Passer in ACC History. The Deacons are rebuilding a defense but have a veteran offensive line, and a crafty leader.

--On the Clemson schedule: Paul Johnson, head coach, Georgia Tech. You think he enjoyed having his run-happy option game pummeled by LSU, 38-3, in a Chick-fil-A Bowl humiliation? He plans to show the entire nation the retro-offense still works during a Thursday night showcase Sept. 10.

--On the South Carolina schedule: Russell Wilson, quarterback, N.C. State. On Sept. 3, Gamecock fans get to see why Wilson last season was the first freshman quarterback ever to make the All-ACC first team.

More onions, less Ralph

The Most Interesting Man ...

--Under the radar (SEC): Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, a spread scheme scientist likely to boom big or bust ugly.

--Under the radar (ACC): Ralph Friedgen's tailor. The Maryland head coach has lost nearly 100 pounds since last October.

--On the upswing (ACC): Miami head coach Randy Shannon. Eight starters back on offense, eight on defense and some very nice recruiting classes.

--On the upswing (SEC): Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead. He was playing as well as all but a couple college quarterbacks by the end of last season. Due in Columbia on Sept. 24.

--On the South Carolina roster: Quarterback Stephen Garcia. Someone left the Bloomin' Onion out in the sun at the Outback Bowl and it still stinks, but Garcia has climbed out of deeper adversity pits. Keep thinking about last year's win at Kentucky, and a tastier Outback Bowl.

--On the Clemson roster: Quarterback Kyle Parker. He hits with power and came through in the clutch against Oklahoma State and baseball isn't his only sport.

No awkward Tebow

The Most Interesting Man ...

--In the South Carolina freshman class: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore. A real-deal starter.

--In the Clemson freshman class: Versatile offensive lineman J.K. Jay, a throwback gamer.

--On defense (SEC): Florida junior pass rusher Carlos Dunlap (Fort Dorchester High School) was Defensive MVP of the Gators' BCS National Championship Game victory over Oklahoma. He led the SEC with 9 1/2 sacks last season and might have that many after Florida's first two games against Charleston Southern and Troy.

--On defense (ACC): Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. Had a mere one (1) sack as a

freshman last season but really came on against Nebraska in the Gator Bowl, where he was named Clemson's MVP. Would you believe a Dunlap-like sophomore surge?

--On the Clemson coaching staff: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Big-time experience with some dramatic ups and downs and ups again.

--On the South Carolina coach staff: Recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer. Nothing but solid progress for the son of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer.

--In all of college football, maybe all of college football history: Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback, world traveler, Heisman winner, humanitarian, two-time national champion and goodwill ambassador.

Reportedly, he's never had an awkward moment.

Stay thirsty, my friends. And Lane Kiffin's enemies.

Reach Gene Sapakoff at gsapakoff@postandcourier.com or 937-5593.