Top Three Storylines Heading Into SEC Media Days
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As the 2022 SEC Media Days loom this week, there are plenty of topics expected to be discussed. Not surprisingly, Alabama and Nick Saban find themselves at the center of most of them. Here's what to expect the media to focus on when talking to coaches in the coming days.
Possibly the hottest topic to be discussed is Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher's fiery back and forth over NIL laws. Time has mellowed the intensity of the situation, but it is relevant enough of a story to come up frequently at the event. Saban's comments on Texas A&M's use of NIL to recruit were taken personally by Fisher, who spewed personal attacks at Saban the day after.
Both schools sought to control the feud, and Saban released an apology, but it is doubtful Saban and Fisher will be seen exchanging any pleasantries behind the scenes this week. However, it should be expected that both coaches will be flooded with questions from reporters about the tense situation.
Another pertinent topic is the quickly changing landscape of college football conferences. Recently, USC and UCLA announced their intentions to leave the PAC-12 for the Big-10, a major move. Geographical issues aside, the move makes monetary sense, as the PAC-12 has been fading into obscurity for years. With at least Oregon and Washington expected to seek out new conferences as well, college football could be witnessing the imminent demise of a power five conference.
The Big-12 is still trying to regroup and plan for the future after the announced departure of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC last year, and college football conferences as a whole seem to be in a transitional phase. With how quickly things are changing, the sport could look even more different in a few years. Expect reporters to pepper coaches with questions about the PAC-12 shakeup, as well as the shifting landscape of college football.
Finally, a question on the minds of many reporters is parity in the SEC. Can anyone beat Alabama or Georgia? The answer seems to be no, which is somewhat troubling for a conference that prides itself on toughness from top to bottom. Teams like Florida, LSU, Auburn, and Texas A&M have seen limited success in recent years, sometimes struggling to break six or seven wins.
With no clear challenge to the top of the heap, and the relative mediocrity of other programs, many across the country see the SEC as a top-heavy conference. While schools like Ole Miss and Arkansas seem poised for future success, parity comes up time and time again when discussing the strength of the SEC as a whole.
Regardless of what topics are focused on by the media, we should all be in for an interesting and informative few days. Only time will tell if we get to see Saban and Jimbo hugging it out on the stage.
2021 SEC Championship Game Alabama vs. Georgia