SEC Media Days: Alabama's Saban the veteran, Vols' Heupel one of the newbies

AP photo by Lynne Sladky / Alabama coach Nick Saban leaves the field after his Crimson Tide beat Ohio State in the College Football Playoff national title game this past January. Saban's Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs are expected to be picked to win their divisions at SEC Media Days next week in Hoover, Ala.

Once the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, Wimbledon and the British Open were canceled last year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Southeastern Conference's annual preseason media event for football never stood a chance.

SEC Media Days is returning next week at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama, after a one-year absence, but the continuing pandemic has resulted in limitations. Each of the 14 programs will bring two players instead of the usual three, and no fans will be allowed in the Wynfrey lobby, which should make for a strange and silent scene when Alabama coach Nick Saban enters on the heels of his sixth national championship with the Crimson Tide.

All 14 coaches might be 0-0 at this point of the calendar year, but they will take their turns at the podium from very different vantage points.