By George Somerville

SEC Media days are amongst us again signalling the unofficial start of the 2022 season. Over the course of the week the Touchdown team will bring you all the highlights from the sessions which are sure to be packed full of controversy, chaos and the odd comic moment!


The official start of the SEC year!

So if you are not familiar with college football or indeed the SEC, I am sure you are reading this thinking, what the devil are SEC Media days?

Quite simply, the South Eastern Conference brings together the commissioning body, schools & their football programs and media to reflect on the prior year, discuss current issues and to preview the upcoming season.

With the South Eastern Conference being the de facto largest conference in the country, SEC Media days has become the unofficial start to the 2022 season.

What is the format and who attends?

Image credit: CFP Media

The conference event runs for four days – Monday to Thursday with contributions from all fourteen teams in the conference.

This year the conference will hold it’s event in Atlanta at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Each school makes available its football head coach, along with three student athletes – normally seniors or high profile players such as quarterbacks or team captains.

Head coaches give an introductory speech – some short, some long, which typically cover highlights from the previous season (if applicable), recruiting during the pre season and thoughts (and hopes) for the new season. 

Without doubt the Q&A’s with head coaches is where the most drama will come from. So this is the part that is most eagerly anticipated. 


History of Media Days

Image credit: UGA Athletics Media

The South Eastern Conference commenced Media days in 1985 in Birmingham, Alabama which is where SEC offices are located.

Birmingham is also the location of Legion Field which has historical significance in relation to the Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl was played in Birmingham from 1948 to 1988 – the history of which is the subject matter for a whole piece on its own!

It wasn’t until 2018 that the conference moved it’s Media Days to Atlanta, since which it has moved back and forth between Alabama and Georgia.

This year is the first year that the College Football Hall of Fame will be the host venue.

There is no doubt that the first Media days back in 1985 were a far cry from the showbiz, red carpet event that we now experience.

How to watch and when!

Image credit: Alabama Athletics/ CFP Media

For the past few years the SEC Network has carried the event live over the full four days. So, if you have access to ESPN Player you will be able to watch along in real time.

Failing that, social media will cover the event blow by blow. Following SEC, SEC Network and the individual school’s football twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds will cover breaking news.

The current schedule of events, as issued by the SEC is as follows :

All times are Eastern Time


11:30 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.

SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey

LSU (Brian Kelly, Jack Bech, Mike Jones, BJ Ojulari);

2pm – 5.45pm

OLE MISS (Lane Kiffin, Nick Broeker, Cedric Johnson, Jonathan Mingo)

MISSOURI (Eliah Drinkwitz, Barrett Banister, Martez Manuel, Isaiah McGuire)


8:15a.m. – 9 a.m.

JOHN MCDAID, SEC Coordinator of Football Officials

9:05 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

ALABAMA (Nick Saban, Will Anderson Jr., Jordan Battle, Bryce Young)

VANDERBILT (Clark Lea, Ben Bresnahan, Anfernee Orji, Mike Wright)

1 p.m. 1 – 4:15 p.m.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (Mike Leach, Jaden Crumedy, Nathaniel Watson, Austin Williams)

SOUTH CAROLINA (Shane Beamer, Jovaughn Gwyn, Dakereon Joyner, Zacch Pickens)


8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Football Writers Association of America 

9:05 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

ARKANSAS (Sam Pittman, Jalen Catalon, KJ Jefferson, Bumper Pool)
GEORGIA (Kirby Smart, Stetson Bennett, Nolan Smith, Sedrick Van Pran)

1pm – 4:15 p.m.

FLORIDA (Billy Napier, Richard Gouraige, Ventrell Miller, Anthony Richardson)

KENTUCKY (Mark Stoops, Kenneth Horsey, Will Levis, DeAndre Square)


8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

STEVE HATCHELL, National Football Foundation (CFHOF – Main Media)

9.05 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

AUBURN (Bryan Harsin, Tank Bigsby, Derick Hall, John Samuel Shenker)

TENNESSEE (Josh Heupel, Trevon Flowers, Hendon Hooker, Cedric Tillman)

TEXAS A&M (Jimbo Fisher, Demani Richardson, Layden Robinson, Ainias Smith)

Key stories to watch out for

Image credit: CFP Media/ UGA Athletics

If you have been following college football over the summer you know how tempestuous, chaotic and controversial the storylines have been. Most if not all of these storylines have crossed into or will impact the SEC. These debates are sure to rumble on into next week with the opportunity to get first hand reactions from Head Coaches and student athletes. Juicy stuff.

So what are the likely headlines to watch out for heading into next week?

Saban vs Jimbo will almost certainly be atop the list of topics that media vouyeurs will flock to Atlanta for. This heated exchange started earlier in the year when Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban singled out Texas A&M’s recruiting policies. While both, publicly have said the spat is over – no-one is buying this.

Conference expansion/ realignment has been THE hot topic in recent weeks. It was during last year’s SEC Media days that rumours started of a Texas and Oklahoma move to the SEC. The rumours turned out to be true with both teams expected to move to the SEC maybe as early as next year (but definitely by 2025). However this summer has been dominated by news that USC and UCLA will move into the BIG10. This seismic shock has created havoc across the PAC12 and BIGXII, with schools posturing and positioning for whatever is next. The words on everybody’s lips are super conferences with suggestions that the SEC and BIG10 could move to 20 team conferences. This will be a recurring theme over the four days.

Auburn Head Coach Bryan Harsin has been under pressure, it seems, almost from day one on the job. Harsin survived a number of scares throughout the year but came within a hair of beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl. This seemed to buy Harsin time, however chatter around the Auburn boosters is that they have run out of patience. Sound crazy? It does, but the Auburn boosters are a notoriously fickle bunch. Harsin supporters – including Auburn alumni Charles Barkley – have called for patience. The Auburn sessions are sure to be interesting.

Georgia are defending National Champions. While they are currently top of the mountain, many will be waiting to shoot them down. Quarterback, Stetson Bennett has never been fancied with many saying he could not drive the team to win. This turned out not to be the case, however detractors point to the generational defense that UGA had to bail the substandard offense out. Will Bennett start as QB1? UGA lost out to Texas for wunderkind Arch Manning, meaning Head Coach Kirby Smart is sure to be quizzed on the quarterback position.

Any one of these storylines could fill columns for weeks, so you can see why SEC Media Days are such a rich source of content, more than enough to take us to the opening day of the new season.

Can you tell that I am excited for next week? I sure am. Let the circus begin!

Mock Draft

george somerville

College football writer