As we anticipate the 2016-17 SEC football season, Media Days give us a sit down with the head coaches and a few players on what to expect and feelings on what's to come. On Monday, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Florida shared their insight on what's going on in their neck of the woods.
This offseason has been a little bit of a challenge for Head Coach Gus Malzahn. From being on the hot seat with a not-so-Auburn-like record last season to trying to keep his players in line after four of them were arrested with possession of marijuana, Malzahn is keeping the faith that his team will conquer all this season, become a better unit and get back to being that football team as the SEC knows them to be.
The starting QB situation is still a hot button issue at Auburn. The head coach for the Tigers left little doubt that it was still open season as the first game approaches, per Josh Vitale of Opelika-Auburn News.
Gus Malzahn's thoughts on the battle for the Auburn QB job: pic.twitter.com/lDDPJKvSBl— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) July 11, 2016
When asked about his four players being arrested for possession of marijuana and not being suspended for the incident, per the Ledger-Enquirer, Malzahn emphasized that the punishment came and that he was confident they would not slip up again.
Auburn have some things to work on offensively because they can't put it all on the defense.
There's not much pressure on Vandy as it is on Auburn. This program is looking to build a good team and reputation to be feared in the SEC. Head Coach Derek Mason is aiming for his team to be just that. Mason stated that even though they didn't get any top-notch recruits to commit, however, he looks at the mentality of a player when he conducts interviews with candidates. Not only do you have physically prepared but also mentally as well.
Coach Mason was asked a question that I thought that was quite interesting to me. He was asked if there's more pressure on him as a black coach. He firmly replied in logical way that he believes his ethnicity is a non-factor.
Derek Mason: my ethnicity has nothing to do with my ability. There's a reason why Vandy hired me. Wasn't because I was African American.— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) July 11, 2016
Vandy is a team to watch, as far as improvement goes from last season.
Coach Jim McElwain made light of his interview and just had some fun with the reporters. After hearing their projected ranking for this season (falling below Georgia and Tennessee after a 10-4 record last season) he stated, "I guess we're not very good is what that's telling me... I'll have a meeting with our guys and see if they want to play those games of forfeit them."
When asked about his QB situation on who will start this season, McElwain jokingly asked reporters what the ideal time would be and if they needed something to write about. I guess timing is not that big of a deal to McElwain, so we'll have to patiently wait until he's ready to make that decision.
Media Day is getting me amped up for fall Saturdays. Is it for you?