This time next week we'll be neck deep in SEC media days, which start Monday. It's the unofficial start of the college football season.
I mentioned to my dad on Wednesday that as many as 1,000 media members could converge in Birmingham, Ala., for the event, and he was incredulous.
"Really? As many as a 1,000?" he asked with the subtle doubt reserved for Southern men of a certain age. "Why in the world? Are they going to split the atom?"
"Nope," I said, "it's the SEC. And it's the time of year. Heck, we're going nuts over soccer right now, that's how sports starved we are."
So the summer marathon is about complete. We are almost to the unofficial start of the game that most of us care a little too much about.
We're ready. We'll have live coverage at every day all next week at timesfreepress.com, and we'll have Press Row on ESPN 105.1 FM live from the event Monday through Thursday of next week.
It should by a ton of fun, and by then hopefully we'll know the answer to several questions that are lingering above the SEC landscape.
With that in mind, let's explore some of the most glaring possible questions for each school in the SEC. Today we'll go over the SEC West today; Friday we'll do the SEC East. We also believe this could be a topic on Press Row for the next couple of days.
Giddy up and Happy Kickoff
Alabama -- Is there anyway Jacob Coker is not the starting quarterback? This will not get an answer from Nick Saban of course because, well, he's NIck Saban and he's a football coach, and Nick Saban loathes the media and coaches loath talking about transfers and newcomers as anointed starters.
Arkansas -- Can the Hogs win an SEC game, and what did Bret Bielema have for lunch? The answers of course are "Doubtful" and "Seconds." Thank you. We'll be there all week.
Auburn -- Could this Tigers be bunch be more talented and have a worse record than last year's darlings of destiny? Absolutely. Auburn's high-powered offense lost only three starters and quarterback Nick Marshall gives coach Gus Malzahn his first returning starter at QB for the first time his college career. Still, it's tough to image the Tigers getting every conceivable break like they did during last year's regular season.
LSU -- Will the Tigers keep reloading or will this actually be a rebuilding year for Les Miles and Co.? LSU has lost 17 underclassmen to the draft the last two years. Wow. Eventually that takes a toll and government do take a bite.
Mississippi -- Are the super sophomores ready to take the next step? We think so. In fact, Ole Miss has the firepower to put up some serious numbers as long as Bo Wallace is the non-Egg Bowl Bo Wallace when he looked more like Mike Wallace than Bo Duke.
Mississippi State -- Poor Mississippi State. They live in Starkville and they play in the SEC West. This bunch of Bulldogs has talent and could be as highly regarded as the No. 2 team in the ACC. Sure, quarterback Dak Prescott is salty, but since they go to Oxford, this year, MSU will likely be an under-Bulldog against every other SEC West team not-named Arkansas.
Texas A&M -- How much will the offense fall off after losing three first-round draft picks, including Johnny Football? It has to hurt on the field, right? No Mike Evans. No Johnny Football. No Jake Matthews. Still, here's believing the distractions that follow Johnny Football will not be missed.
See you tomorrow. Kickoff is almost here.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.