1. Welcoming the new faces: It doesn't matter where a head coach has been before, the first time he goes through the SEC Media Days experience is always eye-opening. This year, the conference welcomes four new head coaches as Arkansas' Bret Bielema, Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Kentucky's Mark Stoops and Tennessee's Butch Jones make their first trips into The Wynfrey Hotel for the event.
Every coach makes a different first impression. From the impressive debuts of Vanderbilt coach James Franklin or Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin to the hilarious debut of former Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell, it's always different and interesting to see how each head coach handles the podium in front of a massive ballroom with every seat filled.
2. Different year for Muschamp: Last year, Florida head coach Will Muschamp strolled through the lobby of The Wynfrey Hotel without much fanfare and plenty of questions surrounding whether or not he was the right man for the job in Gainesville. This year will likely be different. After completing an 11-2 season and one of two SEC teams to play in a BCS bowl, Muschamp is now starting to build his own reputation.With the event taking place in Alabama, Muschamp has always faced questions from local writers about his mentor and current Alabama coach Nick Saban. That was usually the focal point of Muschamp's interviews. With his team having success of its own last year, the Saban questions will likely disappear and turn into questions about the Gators success last year and how they can build on it in 2013.
3. Johnny Football hype: Johnny Manziel was in the headlines last fall when he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. This offseason, it has been for different reasons. Manziel makes no effort in keeping his personal life a secret, choosing to celebrate his 2012 season in a way that has turned him into a polarizing figure.Manziel's recent issue came when he was reportedly sent home early from the Manning Camp, a quarterback camp for college quarterbacks, including Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel. According to reports, Manziel slept through meetings and time partying while at the camp and was asked to leave. Manziel is on the list of players expected to attend SEC Media Days, and this will certainly be a topic of conversation among for him and Sumlin.
4. Feeling the heat:The hot seat always has a way of bringing out interesting questions in Hoover. This year, the hottest seats are Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. The Tigers faced a brutal welcome to the SEC and went 2-6 in conference play last season. Plenty of questions continue to build around whether or not Pinkel is the right coach to lead them to a respectable spot in the SEC.Mullen built the optimism in Starkville with a 7-0 record, working the program to the No. 13 in the country during the 2011 season. he followed that up with a 2012 season that saw the Bulldogs lost five of their last six games. Mullen likely won't be fired this season, but the heat is starting to build.
5. Alabama, Auburn energy: This will be my fourth SEC Media Days in a row, and the feeling around the days Alabama and Auburn are in town will always be different. Their fans crowd into the lobby area at the base of the escalator that leads to the media rooms where interviews take place and wait to see a glimpse of their team's players of coaches.The two coaches will be a reason to go for both fan bases this year. Alabama fans will always wait in a crowded group to see Nick Saban, even if only to be a part of the seconds he walks by. Auburn fans weren't seen as much last year with Gene Chizik on the hot seat, but with the fan-favorite Malzahn taking over the reigns of the program, Tiger fans will once again flood the lobby of The Wynfrey.