The dawn of the 2014 college season is upon us. No games, won’t start for another a month and a half, but the unofficial launch of the new season is at hand. Just as the Southeastern Conference has dominated the college football landscape for a larger part of the past decade, its annual Football Media Days event has turned into one of college football’s premier events.
Fresh off their visits to the lake, family cookouts and fireworks, fans across the country are hungry for college football. So in the middle of July in a hotel on the outskirts of Birmingham, more than one thousand media members, coaches, student-athletes and other guests gather in a labyrinth of hotel ballrooms and corridors to help feed that insatiable appetite.
So beginning on Monday, college football’s most entertaining and expanded pre-season parade begins. For the first time, SEC Football Media Days will be played out over four days. For the passionate, dedicated and curious, the four-day extravaganza will once again be televised live nationally on ESPNU accompanied by plenty of analysis.
After a long run escorting three University of Arkansas coaches and countless Razorback student-athletes through the media days’ gauntlet, a few years ago the SEC asked me to serve in a different role. I am honored once again to serve as the press conference moderator in the print media room which plays home to all 14 SEC head football coaches, 42 student-athletes and a host of other compelling speakers. It provides a birds-eye view of one of the most fascinating lineups in sports.
It all begins with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive late Monday morning and then it is on to the coaches and student-athletes of Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt to complete day one. What storylines will emerge from this week and what will SEC fans be talking about when the four days of relentless interviews come to an end on Thursday afternoon? Just like the games themselves, there is no way to predict. And that is what makes SEC Football Media Days a must-see event.
It is time to talk football. So get ready for the tailored suits, the unbridled optimism and excitement of SEC Football Media Days. It is time to kick if off!
On Tap for Monday (All Times Central)
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – SEC Commissioner Mike Slive
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Auburn (Head Coach Gus Malzahn, Reese Dismukes, Nick Marshall, Gabe Wright)
2:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m. – Florida (Coach Will Muschamp, Jeff Driskel, Dante Fowler, Vernon Hargreaves III)
2:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m. – Vanderbilt (Coach Derek Mason, Adam Butler, Steven Scheu, Andrew Williamson)
ESPNU (11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
For the fourth consecutive year, University of Arkansas Associate Athletic Director for Public Relations Kevin Trainor is serving as the press conference moderator in the main print media room at SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala. Throughout the week, Trainor will share some highlights and observations from this year’s event.