SEC Media Days is receiving a facelift in 2018, and Mark Stoops’ Kentucky Wildcats will be one of the first to experience the brighter spotlight in Atlanta.
After spending decades at The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama, the unofficial start to SEC football has relocated to the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. Instead of taking the stage in a hotel ballroom, Mark Stoops and the rest of the SEC coaches will be in the middle of the spacious College Football Hall of Fame’s turf field. The players will no longer walk through a crowded lobby, rather the Hall of Fame’s “blue carpet.” There they will find fans and relics from SEC legends, like Tim Couch.
It’s almost impossible to compare the bells and whistles. Take a look at the facade of the hotel in Hoover…
…compared to what you’ll find in Atlanta.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) July 16, 2018
This year you can expect more than before at SEC Media Days, and that includes Kentucky too. Mark Stoops is the second-longest tenured coach in the conference. In his company will be a First Team Preseason All-SEC running back, Benny Snell, and another pair of potential first round draft picks, Josh Allen and C.J. Conrad.
On paper, Kentucky’s roster has not been this impressive in a decade. The Cats only have to replace a handful of contributors on both sides of the ball. Some, like CBS, will see the silver lining and make bold, optimistic predictions about Kentucky’s finish. Others will point to what UK must replace — a quarterback, middle linebacker and top wide receiver — and a difficult schedule to justify another poor preseason prognostication.
When the dust settles, little will change. Regardless of where the pundits predict the Cats to finish, players will continue to feel disrespected and play with a chip on their shoulder. What’s most important is that we’re that much closer to football season. Forty-seven days till kickoff.
All LIVE coverage can be found on the SEC Network beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.
- 11:30 | Greg Sankey takes the stage
- 1:15 | Mark Stoops and Players meet with Local Media
- 2:00 | Mark Stoops in the Main Room
- ~2:40 | UK Players in the Main Room
- 4:40 | Stoops appears on SEC Now set
No Depth Chart
Normally a little news breaks the night before the event begins when the annual media guide is released. This year, UK bucked tradition and did not include a depth chart. Instead, we’ll have to wait until August 27.
A new depth chart probably would not have included much news aside from an “OR” at the quarterback position. What it did include was the addition of Courtney Love as defensive graduate assistant. Even though the Cats lost their defensive captain, he’ll still be on the sideline to ensure Kash Daniel’s transition is smooth (and calm down Jordan Jones from time-to-time).
A Teaser for UK Alumni
Before the Kentucky Wildcats meet with the media, they’ll meet with UK Alumni. Fans in the Atlanta area who can’t make it to the blue carpet at the College Football Hall of Fame can see the Wildcats from 11:30 am–12:30 pm at Hudson Grille, located at 120 Marietta St. NW in downtown Atlanta.
The First to Arrive in the ATL
Josh Allen beat everyone to the punch. Kentucky’s senior star outside linebacker made the trip down I-75 a day early to watch his sister, Myisha Hines-Allen, play for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. Before the game, Allen made a pitstop at the SEC Summer Fanfest where he hung out with some of the conference’s biggest personalities.