HOOVER – Alabama was in the lead-off position for day three of SEC Media Days on Wednesday, followed by Missouri, Kentucky and Texas A&M.
Not a rumor
The Tribune learned Monday of the possibility of SEC Media Days being relocated in 2018. That is not a rumor. According to WHNT-TV in Huntsville, the SEC is taking a serious look at Media Days for next year being in either Nashville, Dallas or Atlanta.
SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the site of the conference championship game, could be a possible site.
A total of 1,000 media members were reported to be in attendance this year, said SEC Network host Laura Rutledge on Wednesday, a day after SEC Media Relations Director Craig Pinkerton would not disclose an actual number when asked by The Tribune.
Media Days has been in existence since 1985. The Tribune has attended Media Days for17 of the last 20 years.
Undefeated streak in season openers to get a serious test
Nick Saban has lost only 13 games while coaching at the University of Alabama. Saban has never experienced defeat in a season opener, undefeated in 10 years, but the 2007 game does not count due to NCAA sanctions.
Saban's string of unbeaten opening day contests will be seriously tested this year by Florida State on Sept. 2 in Atlanta. Alabama has had its share of good competition to kick off each season under Saban and last year tore apart Southern California 52-6 in Arlington.
Missouri hopes home field serves them well in September
All four of Missouri's games in September will be at Faurot Field. The Tigers are looking for a strong start with Missouri State in the opener on the 2nd and the conference opener a week later vs. South Carolina.
Missouri has Purdue coming from the Big Ten Conference the 16th and its rival Auburn will invade Faurot Field the 23rd.
A strong start and the Tigers could match their four-win total from last season in the first month of the 2017 schedule.
True passion in Alabama fans
Something that has become common through the years of Media Days is the gathering of Alabama fans waiting in the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel to see Nick Saban and the players head toward radio row.
Fans are not allowed on the second floor where interviews take place in a variety of rooms.
Many come with items they want Saban and the players to sign and for a chance to say hello.
The Wynfrey now has a portion of the lobby roped off for the fans, so they will not interfere with the media and customers.
The Tribune observed more than 100 fans inside the roped-off section.
The passion ranges from the young to the elderly. A pair of elder gentlemen were dressed as legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. There is no loss for the love of Alabama football, now that Saban has steered it in the same direction as Bryant, who coached the team from 1958 until 1982.
Texas A&M will have the national spotlight to itself for the opener
Texas A&M will receive plenty of national attention in its season opener since the game with UCLA is on a Sunday night on Labor Day weekend. The Aggies and Bruins will play in the legendary Rose Bowl Stadium (UCLA's home) Sept. 3.
The game will be nationally televised by Fox with the Aggies in a position to create a lot of positive noise for themselves by a win, or deal with scrutiny if they can't win on the West Coast. A&M won the game by the score of 31-24 in the 2016 opener that was nationally televised by CBS.
Positive momentum for Kentucky thanks to the win over Louisville
Kentucky and Louisville play for what is known as the Governor's Cup in the Bluegrass State. The trophy had been on Louisville's campus for the past five years until Kentucky ended the run by beating the Cardinals 41-38 in Louisville last November.
It was Mark Stoops’ first win against Bobby Petrino. Stoops said this was huge for the Kentucky fan base. "They have been starving for this for a very long time. Our players paid the price to win this game. This was positive momentum for us."
The hotly contested series is 15-14 in favor of Kentucky. The Wildcats face Louisville at Commonwealth Stadium this year. They are looking to win at home for the first time since a 23-16 victory in 2010.
Look for full coverage of SEC Media Days at www.cullmantribune.com.
Image courtesy of WBRC.
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