Love it, hate it or be frightened by its ludicrous magnitude—it doesn't matter. SEC media days are approaching.
Scheduled to take place, as usual, at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama, the new four-day format of the event will run from July 14-17 and once again be our beacon that college football season is near—even if we're all just standing around in suits or in front of the TV watching sunburnt middle-aged men at a podium.
Those dates have been scheduled since the winter, but on Tuesday the SEC Digital Network released the itinerary for the spectacle, which includes the order and times of the featured speakers.
Here is a full look at the schedule (h/t Brandon Marcello of AL.com for the transcription):
MONDAY, JULY 14
Session I: 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Auburn will begin rotation at 11:30 a.m.)
Auburn - Gus Malzahn
Session II: 2:40 p.m. - 5:40 p.m.
Florida - Will Muschamp
Vanderbilt - Derek Mason
TUESDAY, JULY 15
Session I: 9 a.m. - Noon
South Carolina - Steve Spurrier
Miss. State - Dan Mullen
Session II: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Texas A&M - Kevin Sumlin
Tennessee - Butch Jones
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16
Session I: 9 a.m. - Noon
Steve Shaw / Justin Connolly
Missouri - Gary Pinkel
Session II: 1 p.m. - 4 pm
LSU - Les Miles
Arkansas - Bret Bielema
THURSDAY, JULY 17
Session I: 9 am - Noon
Georgia - Mark Richt
Ole Miss - Hugh Freeze
Session II: Noon - 3 p.m.
Alabama - Nick Saban
Kentucky - Mark Stoops
The only real development is the addition of the times. As Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee reminds us, the order of speakers—which is always of intrigue—was released before Tuesday's announcement:
Of the session-by-session pairings, nothing jumps off the page as particularly intriguing. Steve Spurrier will probably come up with some way to troll Mississippi State right before Dan Mullen—another former Florida coach—comes up to the podium.
But let's be honest: He would have found a way to do that to anybody. Mullen is just the unlucky sap who drew the short straw.
The other thing that sticks out is the distance between Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Those two, of course, were involved in a tacit war of words concerning the 10-second run-off rule Saban allegedly proposed to—and saw rejected by—the NCAA rules committee this offseason.
"For a rule to be changed, it has to be under the umbrella of health and safety," Malzahn told Bryan Matthews of Auburn Undercover. "And the fact that there’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions."
Malzahn will speak first and Saban will speak second-to-last among SEC head coaches, but that will not prevent player safety, how it relates to pace of play and the allegedly proposed rule from becoming the dominant storyline at media days.