Heard In The Halls, Day 1: Hoover spruces it up


Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 11:10 p.m.

HOOVER, Ala. — The SEC Media Days location hasn't changed, but they've spruced things up. The Wynfrey is now a Hyatt with nicer rooms and the ballrooms where the interviews take place is different. For one thing, ESPN College Football Live has set up a studio at one end of the main hallway on the second floor for the first time. ESPNU has another small studio at the other end. And anyone coming up or down the escalator sees the helmets of each SEC team displayed down the middle. That's a first as are the banners hanging from the main hallway ceiling and the new logo “MD13” for the event.

Radio Row just keeps growing. It's located on the first floor in the hallway that runs from the lobby to the Galleria Mall with tables set up on each side. Well, now it runs into the mall. The last three tables on each side actually extend out into the mall's entranceway.

The consensus of the Georgia media is that the Bulldogs could lose their opener and then go on a run. Georgia faces Clemson in the first week and will have some suspensions and a young but talented defense. Big question in the hallway — can running back Todd Gurley win the Heisman Trophy if QB Aaron Murray has a big year? If they both play well, who does Georgia push for the stiff-armed one?

Although we have known for weeks that the Florida-Miami game will be a noon kickoff in Miami Gardens, some of the national media boys were incredulous to find out that the game would be played then. When the tweet went out that the Florida-Toledo game would be played at 12:21, there were a lot of “well, that's a game I won't attend” responses. College football administrators are concerned about diminishing attendance and then they play two games in Florida at noon and 12:21 p.m. to start UF's season. It's TV's world.

The first three weeks of the SEC TV schedule were released Tuesday (Florida is off the third week), but don't look for the 2014 SEC schedule to be released this week. A lot of the media members expected it because of the maximum exposure and the fact that in Destin back in May the media was told it would be a couple of weeks. But according to a source, it's simply not ready because every time they think they have it somebody complains.

The first time a coach comes to SEC Media Days, it's overwhelming but exciting. And by the third or fourth time, it's part of the job that a coach has to do but finds tedious. That would be Will Muschamp in his third tour of the zoo that is SEC Media Days. “I'm ready to go,” Muschamp said after saying the same thing for the 10th time to another set of media types.

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