The SEC Media Days got underway from Hoover, Alabama Monday afternoon and for the first time saw Greg Sankey commence the festivities in the role as commissioner of the SEC. Sankey opened things up by recognizing the changing of the guard, and he did so by quoting Bob Dylan, which resonated very well with a good handful of the media assembled in Hoover this week.
Sankey was not there to show too many cards when it comes to future plans for the conference, but he did establish his position on the growth of the sEC brand compared to other conference’s motives. Sankey embraced the roots of the SEC conference and took a mild jab at the plans of other conferences in expanding their football brand beyond the borders of the United States, if not just its typical geographic footprint. Knowing there has been some criticism about the SEC’s football standing after two seasons without a national champion, Sankey said the SEC “may not win every championship, we will aspire to achieve that goal and we’ll do so with our heads held high.”
“The SEC is a conference that leads, period,” Sankey said later at the desk on SEC Network following his opening address. Sankey’s overall message is the SEC will continue to be a leader in anything going on in collegiate athletics, from cost-of-attendance to autonomy issues and more. In a mild manner, Sankey planted the SEC flag rather firmly without ruffling too many feathers in other conferences.
Sankey was alter asked about his thoughts on the first year of the College Football Playoff, to which he jokingly replied “Four SEC teams would be great.” Sankey said four teams in the playoff was a good start, and the idea of expanding the playoff brings many questions regarding to the regular season, conference championship games and (of course) exams.
One other note dropped by Sankey was the latest update in the short history of the SEC Network. The network, broadcasting its first SEC Media Day after launching last August, has hit the 70 million subscriber mark in just under one full year. The success of the network was rpedicted and expected, although it continues to exceed even some of the most optimistic expectations so soon after launching.
There was no trailer to “Batman v Superman” to unveil to the masses, but Sankey did show off a teaser for “SEC Beyond The Field,” which will highlight a number of selected student-athletes from the SEC gridiron. “I am the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, but they are the SEC,” Sankey said.