In & Around SEC Media Days

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

The 2013 college football season unofficially began last week when the Southeastern Conference held Media Days in Hoover.

The event hosted representatives from all 14 schools, as well as over 1,000 members of the media. Coaches and players from each school were asked numerous questions throughout the day, with topics varying from expectations for the upcoming season to off-the-field issues.

Some of the more notable characters from the three-day event included South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney, Arkansas’s Bret Bielema, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and LSU’s Les Miles.

Spurrier addressed several topics, including players receiving $300 stipends from the NCAA for expenses.

With the league’s massive new television deal, Spurrier believes that players should be allocated a small portion of that revenue.

Spurrier also took shots at Notre Dame’s status as an independent, and said that Georgia and Alabama reached the 2012 SEC title game due to the easiness of their schedules. He added that only divisional games should count towards winning the division title. Under this format, Texas A&M would have met Georgia for the SEC championship.

Another heavily debated topic was player safety, specifically whether fast-paced offenses were hazardous for defenders. The main argument took place between Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Arkansas’s Bret Bielema. Malzahn’s Tigers will run an up-tempo offense, while Biele-ma’s Razorbacks will play at a much slower pace.

Alabama’s Nick Saban sided with Bielema, while Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin sided with Malzahn. Bielema and Saban believe that by running more plays, players are susceptible to more injuries.

Malzahn countered that argument by stating that it’s the players’ responsibility to be in better shape.

2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel attracted the most attention during his appearance on Wednesday.

Due to his eccentric lifestyle off the field, the Texas A&M sophomore quarterback has been the subject of controversy throughout the entire offseason.

Shortly before Media Days began, Manziel was asked to leave the prestigious Manning Passing Academy for oversleeping one morning. Manziel and Sumlin both said that he would be ready and focused before the season started.

Preseason Predictions
East Division
    1. Georgia
    2. South Carolina
    3. Florida
    4. Vanderbilt
    5. Tennessee
    6. Missouri
    7. Kentucky

    1. Alabama
    2. Texas A&M
    3. LSU  
    4. Ole Miss
    5. Auburn
    6. Mississippi State
    7. Arkansas

SEC Champion
    1. Alabama
    2. Georgia
    3. South Carolina
    4. Texas A&M
    5. LSU

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