Nothing is like the annual media days for football in the Southeastern Conference. There is no other conference that approaches the buzz that is generated in the SEC when media days roll around in July.
Fans will be cramming into the Wynfrey Hotel in Alabama to wait for a chance to greet the royalty of college football.
Since last year’s SEC Media Days, the world of college football has seen some changes, with the most notable being reform of recruiting. The NCAA is considering reworking rules involving transfers to allow the players transferring to have immediate eligibility if they meet specific academic requirements.
There is also a proposal to expand the regular season to 14 weeks.
While the Alabama Crimson Tide will be the overwhelming favorite to win the West division of the SEC, the East is a tossup. Last year, Tennessee was picked by the media but that did not pan out.
Florida has won the division two straight seasons, but are not a lock to win a third straight East title, despite the fact Malik Zaire has transferred to the Gators from Notre Dame.
Georgia is strong on the defensive side but has not factored into a title race since 2012. Does it really matter? No team from the East has won the SEC championship since 2008 when the Gators were conference champions.
On Thursday, expect Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze to be scrutinized heavily in his press conference due to the pending allegations from the NCAA related to the athletic department and the reports that players from the football program were given improper benefits.
The case will likely be heard in August by the NCAA. Mississippi is serving a bowl ban that was self-imposed for this season, but a longer as well as more damaging sentence could be handed out by the NCAA after their hearing.
Both Steve Spurrier and Les Miles are no longer SEC coaches and that means there is an unknown as to who will take over Media Days with their charisma. Some consider that will go to Brett Bielema at Arkansas or Will Muschamp at South Carolina, but no one is certain until things happen this week.
Regardless, media days in the SEC mark the start of the 2017 college football regular season and those that love the sport will begin counting day the days to the opening kickoff that is just a month and a half away.