Glenn Guilbeau / GANNETT LOUISIANA
BATON ROUGE – World Cup Soccer is finally over. Bring on real American football!
The unofficial kickoff to the 2014 college football season will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., just outside Birmingham when Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive opens four days of football press conferences with all 14 head coaches and 42 players – three from each team. More than 1,200 media members are expected.
LSU head coach Les Miles is scheduled to speak at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday. Tiger players slated for interviews are senior left tackle La’el Collins, who was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy that goes to the nation’s best lineman, senior tailback Terrence Magee, who was second on the team in rushing last season with 626 yards, and senior middle linebacker D.J. Welter, a Crowley native who was second on the team with 80 tackles last season.
In addition to the quarterback battle between sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris, Miles will likely have to address an arrested player for the second consecutive year as starting junior cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested last month for felony battery of a woman and remains suspended indefinitely. Last year, it was tailback Jeremy Hill, who later returned to the team for the start of August practices and is now in the NFL.
Slive is expected to talk a lot about the SEC Network, which just signed with Cox Communications and debuts on Aug. 14. After Slive on Monday, defending SEC champion Auburn and Coach Gus Malzahn will take the podium with players to follow. Auburn senior quarterback Nick Marshall is still listed as one of the players scheduled to appear, though he was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on Friday in Reynolds, Ga.
After Malzahn discusses Marshall and other matters, it will be Florida coach Will Muschamp and players before first-year Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason and players wrap up day one.
South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Tennessee will appear on Tuesday. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and players open up Wednesday morning before Miles, who will be followed by Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and players. Georgia coach Mark Richt and players start it off Thursday, followed by Ole Miss, Alabama and Kentucky.
This will be the 30th year of SEC Media Days.