The first sign that college football is coming is when the preview magazines start hitting store shelves and arriving in your mailbox. We have crossed that point in our offseason timeline, which means media days are coming quickly. As usual, the SEC will be first out of the batter’s box* for this summer’s media day fun.
This year things will be a little bit different for the SEC Media Day. For starters, there i no more Steve Spurrier there to provide his signature one-liners and zingers, which is a darn shame for everybody. Former Florida head coach and Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will make his return to the podium as a head coach in the SEC for South Carolina. Mark Richt, who served as Georgia’s head coach since 2001, will instead be making an appearance at the ACC’s media days later in July. Kirby Smart is the new head coach at Georgia, and now he gets a chance to visit the event as a head coach. Barry Odom is also making his debut as a head coach at the media day extravaganza, taking over for the retired Gary Pinkel. There will undoubtedly be at least one coach making his final appearance as head coach at this year’s SEC Media Days.
Alabama ended a brief drought of national titles last season, so there will be few questions about the superiority of the conference this time around. Aside from Alabama’s national title run that saw a dominating shutout of the Big Ten champion (Michigan State) and thrilling victory over the previously undefeated ACC champion (Clemson), the SEC is coming off a wildly successful postseason that ended with a 9-2 postseason record (including Alabama’s two victories) with a 8-2 mark against power conference opponents. The strength of the conference will be touted, deservingly so. LSU will show off their Heisman Trophy candidate, running back Leonard Fournette. Tennessee may finally be prepared to generate some excitement that it is able to live up to. Commissioner Greg Sankey will focus on the embarrassment of riches the SEC sits upon with the money-printing SEC Network and terrific ratings across the board. Again, all deserved. And yes, there will be some satellite camp conversation and hot takes. You have been warned.
The SEC is back, if you believe it ever left for whatever reason.
With all of that in mind, lets’ take some time to get an insider’s perspective on what we should be paying attention to throughout the SEC. To do that I asked Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) of Bleacher Report to hop on for a brief discussion about the conference and some storylines he will be paying attention to at SEC Media Days. We also get some grilling advice from Barrett before letting him go for the day. Make sure you stick around for that.
* BYU actually gets everything started on Thursday, June 30, but this is just a minor detail