College football is back!
Well, sort of. Tuesday kicks off the 2013 Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala., as many of the nation's best players gather to get hoarded by hundreds upon hundreds of college football writers, reporters and analysts.
Media Days marks the unofficial beginning to the season. Players and head coaches from each of the 14 SEC teams talk hopes for the upcoming year. Bulletin board material is conjured.
And inevitably, offseason stories beckon for responses from coaches and players who can no longer ignore the spotlight.
We've seen some of those come to life in recent weeks.
First, there's the disturbing story from Vanderbilt in which four players were suspended and eventually kicked off the team for an unspecified sex crime.
Commodores head coach James Franklin typically reserves his media appearances for over-confident lauding of his team and badmouthing his in-state rival, but he won't be able to ignore those questions. Expect a lot of "no comment" from Franklin.
Then there's the mess at LSU, where running back Jeremy Hill had his second serious run-in with the law in the wake of an April battery incident.
Hill is suspended indefinitely, but will head coach Les Miles reinstate his troubled player who rushed for 755 yards and 12 touchdowns as a true freshman?
Can Miles deal with the eventual firestorm of ridicule that would come from retaining a player with such a violent past?
It's a decision that not only will affect his legacy, but the Tigers' chances of a national championship in 2013.
Miles may not have the answer now, but he'll be asked ad nauseam.
Also, don't forget about the story that transcended the sports world in June involving former Florida standout Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez was arrested in the presumed killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player. This shocking revelation has resurfaced many run-ins Hernandez had while at Florida.
Assaults, failed drug tests and even being questioned in a shooting all reportedly occurred under Urban Meyer's watch, and it's affected Florida's brand, not just Hernandez.
Meyer has to be ecstatic that he's no longer an SEC coach and will be avoiding this week's circus. However, current
Florida coach Will Muschamp will undoubtedly be deflecting many a question about what the players in his program are able to get away with.
Quite possibly infuriated by the amount of negative publicity surrounding his program recently, I wouldn't be surprised to see the fiery Muschamp make a loud-and-clear claim to the integrity of Florida football.
Last, but certainly most coveted, is the controversial yet entertaining saga forever following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
In a matter of months, the Heisman Trophy gunslinger has gone from a redshirt freshman unable to speak to the media, to quite possibly the most polarizing and scrutinized player in the history of college football.
Known for his partying ways, the 20-year-old has had a busy offseason that rarely featured him working on his game. From courtside seats at NBA games to late-night escapades in a bar he's too young to be in, the spotlight has followed Johnny Football everywhere he's been.
Manziel is coming off the heels of a controversial occurrence at the Manning Passing and Skills Academy, where multiple reports indicated he left the kids camp early with a hangover. This hilarious story was conflicted by a statement from the camp itself, stating Manziel was simply sick, not hungover.
How does he afford to live like a national celebrity as a college football player with no salary? Was it a regular headache or a booze headache that kept him from last weekend's event? Will he be able to avoid more off-the-field controversy, given his superstar status?
Manziel will be asked plenty of these questions, and maybe even a few about football will be sprinkled in.
I've only touched on the tip of the iceberg. Heck, we never even got to Tennessee.
Simply put, this year's SEC Media Days will be chaos jam-packed into three days, and you won't want to miss it.