We'll keep adding to this list of head coach rundowns as we venture through the four-day event, with a new batch every day. This will include writeups by those we have on the scene (SBNation.com's Steven Godfrey, along with SEC site Team Speed Kills and Texas A&M site Good Bull Hunting) and those covering their teams from afar.
Auburn's Gus Malzahn
Of course, The Big News is Malzahn's decision not to bring starting quarterback Nick Marshall, who was scheduled to attend before being cited for weed days ago. Whether this is an actual punishment is for you to decide, as is whether being cited for weed is a thing deserving of punishment.
Malzahn did announce rising star defensive end Carl Lawson will miss most of the season due to ACL surgery, confirming an offseason worth of concerned rumors.
The defending SEC champion's coach spent most of his time awkwardly trying to sound concerned about the Grave Moral Mistake made by his young man while also trying to not really talk about it.
As they look forward to the 2014 season, the entire group of Auburn Football personnel on hand at SEC Media Days were wearing lapel pins bearing the number 43. The pins are a way for them to honor the past in former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen who passed away on June 29, 2014. Coach Malzahn made it clear how special Lutzenkirchen was to him and the Auburn Tiger family. Auburn is working with the family to honor Philip, and they plan for that to continue for a long time to come.
Another question asked what Malzahn hopes Marshall learned from the experience. "I'm hoping he learns a lesson," Malzahn began. He never specified what he hoped that lesson would be. That was followed by a question on players using marijuana, which Malzahn avoided as if someone were actually trying to hand him a bong on national television.
Florida's Will Muschamp
Is Will Muschamp on the hot seat? He is.
He said so during his opening monologue, a scorcher that topped his own record for delivering deep roster news on seemingly every single scholarship athlete at the University of Florida.
I count a round 50. RT @HKellenbergerCL: Will Muschamp mentioned 49 separate players in his opening statement, by my count.— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) July 14, 2014
As for what portions of that deluge really matter? Alligator Army has the distilled version.
Now, we know Florida's defense will be fine, as long as it stays healthy. What will determine whether Muschamp is back in Hoover next year to go for 51 is his latest new offense, which he says is coming along better than expected.
Will Muschamp spent his time deflecting questions by filibustering with a detailed reading of the Florida media guide. We are now all intensely aware of each player's height, weight, zodiac sign, favorite fast food chain, and preferred Game of Thrones house. Like any good salesman, he pushed specifications at the customer until they couldn't remember any of their concerns about the rusted body panels. All we could think about was that recently rebuilt V8 quarterback under the hood.
Discussion about job security is, indeed, "part of it" when you go 4-8 at Florida with one of the losses coming to Georgia Southern out of the FCS. Generally, coaches try to dodge talking about the likelihood that they'll return for the following year's SEC Media Days. Muschamp talked about it, though.
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen
Godfrey asked Mullen about the World Cup and English Premier League soccer. Do not judge us. Mullen enjoyed talking about it, and therefore it was a good question by a certain standard.
Liverpool traded Suarez to Barcelona. A lot of offensive power gone from Liverpool.
I enjoy watching the World Cup. My mom is a British citizen. She grew up in North Wales. Grew up watching that stuff, watching the soccer.
Believe it or not, as a football coach, some of our downtime is in the spring. I'm a big sports fan. My wife sometimes questions what I'm doing, but I don't mind waking up early Sunday morning and watching the premiership if you have a little bit of the break. Get a workout in, watch that 6 a.m. kick.
But the World Cup is so exciting. You see the passion the fans have, the whole country is on top of it. Unbelievable.
I do think SEC football could be compared to European soccer. The passion our fans have is equal. I'm sure I'll have a lot of European nations very upset, teams throughout the world upset. That is one of the things that makes this league so much fun, is the passion that our fan bases have for football is similar to watching the passion these European soccer teams and followings have, which is a pretty neat deal.
I'm not a big fan of the idea of "sneaking up on people," but when you're talking about a team that isn't used to going to Atlanta -- the Bulldogs have been to the SEC Championship Game once, and they went with an 8-5 record -- ramping up the preseason buzz and shining a bright light on them is maybe the worst thing you can do.
The Bulldogs are also returning 30 players from last year's team who started at least one game, and Coach Mullen thinks that is going to go a long way in helping the confidence of the young guys on the team.
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier
The treasure trove is here. Click it. It's good for you.
Garnet And Black Attack has an entire StoryStream going on Spurrier being great Tuesday.
The thing that sometimes gets overlooked about Spurrier, and part of what gives him the competitive reputation that he's earned, is that the man has a steel-trap memory about his accomplishments and records, as well as those of his team. Without thinking about it, Spurrier recalled correctly that he's 0-5 against Auburn since taking the helm at South Carolina -- and said South Carolina is 1-9 against them in school history. Close; he missed a tie.
There is a different vibe in the media ballroom at SEC Media Days this morning. Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks hit this room like an out-of-control chicken truck crashing into a wine bar.
Tennessee's Butch Jones
I'm not going to lie to you. I don't personally remember anything Butch Jones said. Luckily, Rocky Top Talk listened well.
It's not that Jones predicted doom for Tennessee in 2014; it's that he gave listeners all the information they needed to predict doom and then allowed them to connect the dots.
I like them, despite having not actually spoken to or listened to them. They're good guys.
Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin
Sumlin on Manziel question: "Is this the SEC Media Days? No, that’s a great question — about the Cleveland Browns" #SECMD14— Brandon Larrabee (@TeamSpeedKills) July 15, 2014
A lot of folks in the media are still learning that Coach Sumlin has a very evident love for what he does in the college game. A few folks here have mentioned that Coach Sumlin comes off as arrogant in interviews. They are starting to see it's just his passion for the entire process.
Sumlin almost seems to be doing all he can to check the conventional wisdom of the football press corps -- he brought a punter to the biggest media event of the year. How can you craft a counterintuitive think piece about a punter?
Vanderbilt's Derek Mason
The lone new guy (he says he's the conference's only undefeated head coach, and he's correct) impressed with a -- we can say it -- James Franklin-esque show of confidence totally at odds with the Commodores' long-term football history. A defining moment: Godfrey asked him about losing most of his first recruiting class to Franklin's Penn State*, and Mason found a way to talk up the opportunities for growth provided by that challenge.
On paper, that's unconvincing, but if he can make his players believe that he believes, that's half the battle.
The defensive mind behind Stanford's shutdowns of Oregon nerded out (always a good thing) about the shifting offenses in his old and new conferences, the top two leagues in the sport. Did you ever think you'd see a bunch of SEC writers interested in hearing about Pac-12 offenses?
* Whose exit had one Vandy player spitting fire on Monday.
The similarities between Franklin and Mason don't end with their command of the stage. Mason is going to continue the recruiting pitch that worked so well for Franklin: "getting a world‑class education and playing in the best conference in the country and winning," in Mason's words. And like Franklin, Mason has a sense of conviction when he says it.
Despite having a self pro-claimed team of of "probably no-name young men", the new coach feels like his team has a chance to do something special. The message was clear, "Our time to compete for an SEC East title is now."