HOOVER, Ala.—Let the spectacle begin.
SEC Media Days kicks off about 12:30 p.m. Monday here at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham (“We kindly request that references in articles and on air refer to the property using the Hyatt Regency Birmingham name in place of the Wynfrey name,” says a letter placed on work areas in the big ballroom where coaches will talk).
The Wynfrey is what the hotel in suburban Birmingham was previously called.
There were 1,200 credentialed for the expanded four day event entering the week, according to SEC spokesman Chuck Dunlap, who expects the record of 1,239 to be topped from last year.
That number includes not just media, but school attendees, staff, ESPN folks and bowl partners.
Former Georgia quarterback David Greene said when he was with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks that the media barrage at the Super Bowl was big but wasn’t as big as he thought it would be because he had been to SEC Media Days and thought the crowd was bigger here.
Well, certainly not this year when the Super Bowl was in the media capital of New York.
The NFL said it credentialed about 3,500 for its main media day, but the league does not credential for a single day. There are game day credentials and “Week of Game” credentials, which offers access to media events that week. A total of 6,329 media members were accredited in events in New York and New Jersey, most in Super Bowl history.
The lineup today: SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, Florida coach Will Muschamp and Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason. Georgia’s contingent is on the bill on Thursday.
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, dismissed from Georgia, was scratched from his appearance Monday after his marijuana citation last week.
As I checked into the hotel this morning, I saw someone working for the SEC carrying a big sign through the lobby with Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah’s name on it. He’s the late replacement for Marshall.