College Football is back!
Well, almost. SEC Media Days began today at the College Football Hall of Fame. It is a time for Commissioner Sankey, coaches, and specific players to address the media and create hype for the upcoming season. Texas A&M, Kentucky, and LSU took the gauntlet on the first day. Here are the five main takeaways from our SEC media days coverage.
Commissioner Greg Sankey raved on the current state of the conference.
Sankey announced that last season over 350 student-athletes competed with an SEC graduate patch, meaning they had already completed their bachelor’s degree with eligibility remaining. The National Championship featured 38 student-athletes wearing a patch, 3 of which completed their master’s degree.
An SEC school finished first or second in 14 of 21 sports over the last year. Of course, the most memorable being two SEC schools playing each other for the National Championship in football. You might have heard about it.
Don’t expect any schedule changes.
The Commish made it known that the current 6-1-1 model for scheduling will remain. This means each team will play the 6 teams in their division, one permanent crossover from the other division, and one rotating crossover. Many wondered if the SEC would match other conferences like the Big Ten who added a ninth conference game to their respective team’s schedules. It appears Sankey believes there is no competitive advantage to adding a ninth conference game and proved his point by eluding to the conference’s current success.
Howdy, Jimbo is back.
New Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher began his press conference with a loud “Howdy” as the SEC welcomes him back to the conference. Jimbo leaves Florida State to take over for recently departed Kevin Sumlin.
Texas A&M begins the season against Clemson and Alabama in the first four weeks. However, Fisher does not seem bothered.
“Well, I think it gets your attention, I’ll say that. It definitely makes your kids wonder” said Fisher. “I think when you have those kinds of games in the early parts of the season, I think it makes your summer that much better. I think it gets your attention. They understand the competition level and what you come to.”
Benny Snell Jr. is confident.
After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and the departure of “bigger name” backs from the conference, Benny is ready for people to pay attention. When it comes to those that doubt Kentucky football and Snell, the Junior back let those in attendance know he has a chip on his shoulder this season.
“I am very durable. I can get 200+ carries and still be okay for the rest of season without any injury.” Snell said about what separates himself from other running backs “Whether it’s nagging injury, I’m in the training room and I’m going to get it fixed. Whether it’s something to do with pain tolerance, I’m going to play through it. I’m playing through everything.”
Ed Orgeron is convinced this new staff will make a difference.
Orgeron now has 8 out of 10 coaches that he has personally hired. It seems that this team is becoming more of his own than his predecessor, Les Miles’. That can be a good or bad thing depending on how the season goes. Steve Esminger and Jerry Sullivan will run the offense while Dave Aranda will return as the defensive coordinator. LSU will look to name a new QB and even added a grad-transfer in Joe Burrow to the team. One interesting LSU coaching addition is the in-game analysts that help decipher what is going on in game. Orgeron has boosted his analyst staff by five members, a total of ten, from last season.
By: Caleb Johnson