SEC Media Days: Day 1 Notebook

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Much of the opening part of this year's SEC media days dealt with the league's new television contracts. Their impact will be felt coast to coast, as the "SEC Network" game ESPN is producing in the old Raycom 12:30 window will now be seen far beyond its previous footprint.

The SEC Network games will be seen on over-the-air television in distinctly non-southern places like New York and Los Angeles. Big Ten fans will get an extra weekly dose of SEC football in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Columbus. SEC prominence in Texas gets a boost with the games getting aired in Houston and Dallas. What's generally the SEC's fourth best game each week is still going to be available over the air to more than half the country.

Florida's first two game times have now been set, with the Charleston Southern game a 7:00 p.m. start that will serve as the debut game for the SEC's new FSN package. The Troy game will be a 12:21 kickoff and will benefit from the added exposure given the "SEC Network" game.

LET'S GO BOWLING

The next major item on the SEC agenda will be renewing its bowl contracts. Commissioner Mike Slive said the league has heard proposals from all current partners but is also considering other postseason destinations. According to Slive, the SEC will not consider sharing bowl slots in any way with another conference, a scenario some had suggested might be possible as a way to give conference teams and fans more potential destinations.

There's no firm deadline for the SEC bowl announcements, but Slive expects the decisions to be made well before the end of the season. Slive's personal next priority is his daughter's wedding in two and a half weeks, so don't expect anything to come down in the next month.

ALL A-TWITTER

Certain themes have already emerged in the daily questioning and seem likely to carry over into the next two days as well. One is the thus far fruitless search for the coach who didn't vote for Tim Tebow as the SEC first team all conference quarterback in the preseason poll. All four coaches were asked Wednesday (amazingly enough, Tebow's former position coach Dan Mullen among them) and said it wasn't them.

Another popular topic is the use of Twitter by the coaches for recruiting and reaching out to fans. The first day's coaches were split down the middle, with Dan Mullen and Rich Brooks using the service and Bobby Johnson and Bobby Petrino thus far not on board. Most coaches seem fairly lukewarm toward it, sending out only very tame messages once or twice a week.

WISHFUL THINKING IN KNOXVILLE?

Tennessee and Phillip Fulmer may have parted company, but you wouldn't know it from their media guide. The Volunteer football media guide lists Fulmer's record as coach as being 1992-present.

Fulmer has had a number of interesting moments at media days, including being served legal papers last year as he was arriving at the Wynfrey. This year he's reportedly in Argentina on a fishing and hunting trip.

AND NOW, THE MAIN EVENT

Thursday is the showcase day of this year's Media Days. Florida will be in, with Urban Meyer accompanied by Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes. Georgia and Ole Miss will also be in attendance, and it's time for the annual circus that is Alabama's visit as well.


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