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Gus Malzahn puffs his chest at SEC Media Day, loses the plot


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Malzahn sure was a talkin' at Day 1 of the 2015 SEC Media Days.

After crowing about the "man's league" that is the SEC West (2-5 in bowl games, zero New Year's Bowl or playoff wins) and how outsiders just don't understand it, he went one step further, ostensibly when primed by satellite camps and recruiting in general.

"The chances of a team up north coming into our state and a player that us or Alabama wants are slim to none," Malzahn also said.

From a very literal standpoint, absolutely. Though Auburn and Alabama each only took 7 and 6 in-state players in their most recent recruiting classes respectively, the two schools combined to get all but two of the 11 blue chip players the state produced (Louisville and Mississippi State signed the others).

You aren't likely (satellite camp or not) to go in to Alabama and beat either Auburn or the Tide for top in-state kids.

But if you went beyond that, to what actually constitutes the schools' recruiting backyard, it gets harder and harder to turn you nose up at the Michigans and Ohio States of the world. Both of the following had offers from both Alabama and Auburn, and Alabama were finalists for both as well:

5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan

5-star DB Vonn Bell

That's to say nothing of the interest in later Ohio State commit Malik Barrow and former Buckeye Trey Johnson.

While Gus Malzahn's first year as Auburn head coach was certainly an impressive one, the Tigers went 8-5 in his second year, losing to a Barry Alvarez coached Wisconsin team coming off a 59-0 loss in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game. The Tigers were outranked by Ohio State with each of their past two recruiting classes as well.

Opposing coaches (and fans for that matter) can certainly understand why satellite camps rub Malzahn the wrong way, even if he's not worried about the immediate impact. And he may well be right that he doesn't have anything to worry about in terms of their impact on kids all but literally in his backyard staying home to play their college football.

But he might be wise to sure up things on his end a bit more before playing the hyperbole card about things like conference superiority again in the not too distant future given the past season that was.