SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Changing faces in the Southeastern Conference

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM.

I’m starting to sleep better — partially because I’m feeling better physically.

Yes, the small steps I’ve already taken to get healthier are starting to pay off. But my ability to sleep again has more to do with my alma mater, the University of Tennessee, hiring a football coach Friday.

Time will tell whether Butch Jones will return the Vols to their past glory, but for now he has a clean slate.

Tennessee wasn’t the only Southeastern Conference team seeking a new coach these last few weeks. Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky also had fired their coaches and sought the right fit for their school.

Football fans have watched things unfold as Arkansas got former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, Auburn named Gus Malzahn the new coach, Kentucky, Mark Stoops and Tennessee finished off a frantic few weeks with Jones.

We might be in Okaloosa County, Florida, but the Southeastern Conference’s reach and appeal stretches far beyond our county’s borders.

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