SEC Media Days: New Coaches, New Location… New Atmosphere?
The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta is the site for this year's SEC Media Days.
We hit another milestone today. SEC Media Days gets underway this morning at 11:30 am CT. I love the event. It’s uniquely Southern. No other conference has been able to match the atmosphere. However, this year will mark the first time it will be held outside of the Birmingham area since it began in 1985.
The SEC leadership decided a change was needed to grow the event. All eyes will be looking to see if the move to Atlanta affects the excitement that usually surrounds SEC Media Days.
Will the move prove to be a smart one? Will there be the usual circus-like atmosphere that’s been the norm in Hoover? Will Nick Saban fans show up en masse as they have in Hoover? One thing’s for certain, tradition is hard to establish and maintaining success is even more difficult. It’s a lesson Coca Cola learned the hard way a few years ago when they made changes to a winning formula. But it’s a gamble Commissioner Greg Sankey was willing to take.
Coverage will pretty much run all day through Thursday on ESPN and the SEC Network. You can also watch coverage at work on the Watch ESPN app. Gus Malzahn will be the first coach up on the last day followed by interviews with Jarrett Stidham, Dontavius Russell, and Deshaun Davis. AubTigerman posts the entire schedule here.
Six new coaches will make their first appearance at the event, none with more pressure than Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher. It will be interesting to see how the former Florida State coach will do in a league he repeatedly said was not as competitive as the ACC. He takes the podium first today after Sankey’s remarks.
With the possible exception of Clemson, FSU was a big fish in a small pond. Now Fisher will find out not only what it’s like to compete as a head coach in the SEC but in also what many view as the toughest division in college football: the SEC West.
The big question, though, is whom will the media pick as its SEC favorite—not that it matters an iota.
Will it be defending champion Georgia? Or Alabama which beat Georgia in the College Football Playoff? Or could it be the only team that beat both of those two — Auburn?
My guess is the press will find it too enticing not to go with the media darling, Alabama. I don’t know about you, but that’s completely fine with me.