The swirling chaos of SEC Media Days is upon us. Arkansas, LSU, and Tennessee are on the docket for today after opening words from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. Bret Bielema up first? That’s quite the tone setter right there.
As The Trib’s Blake Toppmeyer notes, expect lots of chatter about SEC quarterbacks (and offenses in general).
This time last year, the operating narrative was about the lack of experience at quarterback, with several SEC teams preparing to break in new starting QBs.
Twelve months later, that narrative has flipped. A May story in The Sporting News asked if 2017 would be “The Year of the Quarterback” in the SEC.
Eleven teams return their starting quarterbacks. Four sophomores — Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, Georgia’s Jacob Eason, South Carolina’s Jake Bentley and Mississippi’s Shea Patterson — should be among the league’s best at the position.
LSU’s Danny Etling (22 career starts, including 12 at Purdue) and Missouri’s Drew Lock (20 starts) are the SEC’s most seasoned signal callers.
Oh yeah, and expect lots and lots of manufactured grievances.
Every year, coaches and obliging media cook up a controversy to discuss ad nauseam during the preseason jabber sessions. Pace of play, satellite camps and transfer rules dominated the conversation in years past. The 2017 edition figures to be the early signing date that somehow seemed to catch coaches by surprise when the NCAA’s Collegiate Commissioners Association approved the measure in May. Most coaches, especially those in the five major conferences, have taken a cautious approach toward the 72-hour December window that will allow high school recruits to sign six weeks ahead of the traditional February signing day. Coaches have been more full-throated in their opposition to a new rule that allows recruits to start taking official visits in the spring of their junior year in high school. Expect both measures to come up early and often this week.
Missouri’s not up until Wednesday, but the situation should be far less hectic and dramatic this year for Barry Odom — this time around, he actually has a boss.
At the time, Odom knew that his news conference would quickly turn from questions about his expectations heading into his first season at the helm of his alma mater to questions about former Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades, who had called Odom the night before he was to debut in Hoover to let him know he’d be leaving Columbia to take over the athletic director job at Baylor.
- Part 2 of Dave Matter’s conversation with Kassius Robertson focuses on the newbies.
- It’s cracking me up just how much more attention we’re paying to Mizzou Basketball this year (not that it’s hard to figure out why). The Trib’s Daniel Jones put together a piece about how much Mizzou is paying non-conference foes this year.
- Mini ticket packages on sale today!
- Max Scherzer: NL MVP? There’s a case.
- DeMarre Carroll is a Net.
Playing for #Toronto & having an entire nation behind you is something very special...thank you #WeTheNorth!!! Nothing but love!!! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iyf3g9lBX5— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) July 9, 2017