Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are in the prime of their program under Dan Mullen. Since his take over, the Bulldogs have made regular bowl appearances and even took the reigns as the top ranked college football team in the country for a few weeks in 2014.
In his address to the press, Mullen gave a standard speech about the team, their progress, and where they see themselves at the end of this upcoming season. Like most college football coaches his goals were not out of the ordinary; improve and win. But this year MSU had a little more explaining to do than usual, this time for off the field issues surrounding the team.
Recently, a five-star defensive end recruit, Jeffery Simmons, was suspended from the first game of next season for a videotape of him striking a young woman. This short sentencing of Simmons lead to a swarm of questions for the head coach, who has a wife and daughters at home.
Finally got to ask Mullen: What if your wife or daughter? "I don't think my family would be in that situation." WHAT?!— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_AJC) July 12, 2016
His answers were vague and oddly dismissive of the incident, he states that if anyone got to know Simmons on a personal level, they would see the great character he see's in his recruit. At the end of the day, it all took a very "that would never happen to me" tone.
The Volunteers have a lot of excitement surrounding the orange and white this year, particularly about their offense lead by quarterback Dobbs. The Vols, who went 9-4 last year, are among the favorites to take the top spot in the SEC East this year. Although, many skeptics believe that the team will only see a slight improvement over their mediocre record last season.
When asked about how he felt being seen as the top of the east, head coach Brynn Anderson had this to say, "I love it," Volunteers coach Butch Jones said Tuesday at SEC Media Days, "That's what you work for. You want high expectations. You want high standards. I remember standing up here at the podium three short years ago, and the room was half filled and nobody was talking about Tennessee football. So, I'd rather have this. That's why you coach. That's why you play, is to be in a program like the University of Tennessee where everybody is talking about you. That's what you work for. Now, it's what you do with that opportunity."
Butch talks about expectations more pic.twitter.com/1g4Bhktgoy— Luke Slabaugh (@LukeWBIR) July 12, 2016
It will surely be interesting to see what they do with the opportunity they have to build off a six game win streak they had last season, if the momentum manifests itself into a top spot in the conference, a title run, or nothing at all.
For Georgia, SEC Media Day 2 was all about the state of their tailbacks. Both tailbacks Nick Chubb (torn knee ligaments) and Sony Michel (broken forearm) are both injured and Michel is expected to limited, if able to participate at all on September 3rd.
Chubb, who has accumulated a total of over two thousand yards in the season and a half he played for the Dawgs, is expected to be the most active. "The big thing with Nick is going to be live, full-contact tackling," Smart said. "He'll do pretty much everything in the first part of camp. He'll catch the ball and do drills and a lot of the thud work. The psychological part of going through the first tackling is going to be a big thing for him. We have people working with him on that aspect of it."
Michel on the other hand may, who rushed for over eleven hundred yards and eight touch downs, crashed his ATV, leading to his forearm break. With Sony, the outlook is a little more uncertain, "We don't know," Smart said. "It's an injury they don't have a lot of experience with because it's a non-football injury."
With two big question marks, it may be important for Georgia and SEC fans to look past the media day optimism and realize that this may be a hard road ahead with two big question marks at tailback.
Texas A&M Aggies
Media day for the Aggies was all about their "Knight" in shining armor, Trevor Knight that is. A San Antonio Native and former Oklahoma Sooner, after turning down LSU and Auburn, Knight decided to finish his college career close to home after graduating from OU last year.
This year, in their first year having a prominent quarterback since Johnny Manziel, the Aggies are looking to be able to really test defenses with a leader who has faced the best college football has to offer. The only problem that can be foreseen is Knights lack of consistency. The former Sooner had some consistency issues on and off the field primarily due to injury, but this was something TAMU was willing to look past.
Overall the excitement that surrounds Knight and the Aggies should propel them all the way to opening day where they will have their first test against the powerful UCLA Bruins.