Welcome to the SEC Football Media Days Blog, your online home for the big news, behind-the-scenes notes and quotes and special moments that make this event, held this year in Hoover, Ala., the unofficial start of college football season. Check back for updates each day through Thursday.
The last time we did this, gathering at the hottest time on the calendar in the hottest region in the country to talk some ball, Joe Burrow warned us.
“If I do what I need to do, and we as an offense are who I think we’re going to be, I think we’re going to be tough to beat,” the LSU quarterback predicted in July of 2019. “It’s going to be something that has the potential to be very explosive.”
Fireworks followed, Burrow setting records en route to the Heisman Trophy and LSU lighting up opponents on the way to a national championship.
Then came COVID-19. After 35 straight years as the kickoff of what the legendary Steve Spurrier dubbed “talking season,” SEC Media Days went dark during the summer of 2020. The pandemic appeared to put the playing season in peril as well, but college football, led by stewards of the sport such as SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, adapted and overcame. The SEC played the first 10-game conference-only regular season in its history, and through the most unusual of circumstances, a usual suspect emerged.
Alabama ran the table inside and outside the league to win its sixth national championship under Nick Saban, the coach’s record seventh overall. Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith grabbed the Heisman Trophy, the school’s third. The SEC did its talking on the field again.
And here we are, back in Hoover for a slightly altered SEC Media Days 2021. There will be health and safety precautions, such as moving the spirited fan section from the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel lobby to a designated area outside, but there will be 14 head coaches and 28 student-athletes in the building talking ball.
Saban will be back for his 19th appearance, second only to Spurrier’s 23 visits. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral will return for the second time. Four new head coaches will debut in Auburn’s Bryan Harsin, South Carolina’s Shane Beamer, Tennessee’s Josh Heupel and Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea. Three second-year head coaches (Arkansas’s Sam Pittman, Mississippi State’s Mike Leach and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz) will make their first trip since last year’s event was canceled. Sankey will kick things off today with his State of the SEC address.
Who will turn heads with his words the way Burrow did two years ago? Stay tuned. Refresh this page often. SEC Media Days is back, and this is the place to read all about it.
2021 SEC Football Media Days Blog