Greetings from Hoover, Ala., where upon opening my laptop at the Wynfrey Hotel, I learned the the mouse clicker is no longer working properly. I swear, my computer waits for Media Days every year to have problems.
Beyond that, the atmosphere is pretty typical. I've always been amused that the lines to pick up your credentials are broken into two categories -- one for people who's employer's name starts with A through R, and one for S through Z. As usual, the A-R line was about five times as long. (Curse you, Savannah Morning News!)
The biggest change you'll notice right off the bat is the ubiquitous presence of ESPN. On a bright note, I ran into my pal Jenny, who handles media relations for the Worldwide Leader. She, no doubt, has her work cut out for her this week. The network's logo is everywhere, including being emblazoned across the front of all the media materials folders right underneath the SEC insignia. Flat-screen TVs are set up near the coffee and soda machines (a high traffic area, as you might imagine) with Colin Cowherd babbling on about something ridiculous (OK, I wasn't really listening, but it's a safe assumption). And of course, for the first time, commissioner Mike Slive's introduction will be followed by a presentation from ESPN, too.
I'm usually pretty down on a lot of what ESPN does, but I can only see this relationship benefiting Georgia and the rest of the SEC. The league was woefully undercovered by ESPN given its immense success, and if there's one thing we know, ESPN never undercovers a product it's in business with.
Anyway, I'll have updates throughout the day -- assuming my laptop remains functional -- so be sure to check back often and follow my Twitter feed. In the meantime, here are some links...
-- The new Georgia media guides are out, and the AJC's Bill King has plenty of info about it. To me, however, the most glaring thing to notice is the cover: No individual players. The star of the team is the team, Mark Richt says, and this year's media guide cover speaks volumes.
-- Georgia landed two more commitments, and the 2010 class is shaping up as very defense heavy. Of course, that led to some problems when the Dawgs rescinded an offer to a Columbus-area quarterback. The story has gotten a lot bigger than Mark Richt probably expected, and while this type of thing happens often, it certainly is a smudge on the otherwise pristine reputation Richt has enjoyed with high school players and coaches.
-- Had that info come about before Paul Finebaum wrote his latest column, I'm sure it would have been one more feather in his cap for why Richt is on the hot seat. T Kyle King manages to put sully that argument before it even gets started though.
-- Of course, the minor recruiting snafu doesn't look like that big of an issue when you put it up against the amazing work Georgia's coaches have done this offseason.
-- Marc Weiszer blogs that Joe Cox has some lofty goals set for himself in 2009.
-- Former UGA player and Auburn coach Hugh Nall is being sued by a former player who claims Nall forced him to participate in excessive workouts that led to injury. (h/t Jim Franklin)
-- A four-star defensive back who was set to go to Florida was dismissed from his high school this week. (h/t Catherine B.)
-- The Senator digs up a healthy dose of Lane Kiffin antics to whet your appetite for the Lanester's Friday throwdown in Hoover.
-- The Birmingham newspaper asked readers to vote for who was the top coach in the SEC, and Nick Saban wasn't the winner. Mark Richt finished third. The Lanester didn't fare so well.
-- For what it's worth, Bleacher Report offers up a preview of the SEC East.
-- And finally, it took me until last night to catch the new "Entourage," and it seemed to me like they went out of their way to take some cheap shots at Seth Rogen. Well, now we know why.