SEC Media Days, otherwise known as the largest circus the state of Alabama sees all year long, are upon us, starting tomorrow.
As you could probably tell from my writer profile, I mostly keep my work to that covering the Alabama Crimson Tide and Major League Baseball, but since I will be in on the festivities with another media outlet, why not give the Gamecock Nation an update on their team, right?
With that, here are a few things that I am looking for as the Gamecocks take the stage this year.
Steve Spurrier and His Proposed Changes to the Conference
Coach Spurrier, you're more experienced than any coach in your conference, which just so happens to be the best conference in college football, possibly ever. I thought you would know not to bite the hand that feeds you.
Spurrier doesn't like the fact that non-division games count towards a team's standing in their respective half of the conference, and thus, their chances at making the SEC Championship Game.
Here's the thing about this conference: They don't like being bad-mouthed. And they will make you pay for it when you do it.
Spurrier is no exception, as his Gamecocks will have to travel to Death Valley (one of two trips to stadiums named as such) against LSU, a game sandwiched in between incredibly important SEC East games against Georgia and Florida.
What is your prediction for this season for the Gamecocks?
Then, South Carolina gets the joy of meeting Arkansas as the fifth of five straight conference games that would make non-SEC coaches (and some in the SEC) cry hysterically.
I have a feeling that Spurrier, if reminded about this year's ludicrously difficult schedule, would produce a very compelling quote or two about the status quo in the Southeastern Conference.
Connor Shaw: Is it Hot in Here to You?
Sympathy has to be exacted for any young guy that is thrown into a situation like SEC Media Days. Much less when he's taking over as the starting quarterback in the nation's toughest conference while succeeding a man who won many fans in the Upset of the Century at home versus Alabama before being removed from the team in 12 months or so.
There's a lot of off-the-field pressure that comes with being a quarterback in the SEC (see: Nick Saban and keeping AJ McCarron out of the media until the national championship game), and Shaw being able to handle that in Hoover will be bigger than the everyday fan may think.
Connor Shaw: How's Your Workhorse Behind You Feeling?
The two best running backs in the conference are coming into the 2012 season in a rebound effort from a major knee injury, and South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore.
Since Lattimore will not be in Hoover for questioning (raising question marks in and of itself), why not ask the guy that's going to hand the ball to him hundreds of times this year?
Stupid Question Alert: Trash Talk
FS D.J. Swearinger, who made the preseason All-SEC Second-Team defense, as voted on by the coaches, will be there. His secondary mate, Akeem Auguste, is on the third team. I can't wait to hear what's being said in the locker room between those two.
Actually, it might be better if they don't care and throw a little jab at whoever asks that question, just because they're tired of answering them. That's the good thing about it; you get good stuff either way.
The beauty of SEC Media Days....right?