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The Alligator Army Weekly Open Thread, Vol. LIII

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“Talkin’ season” is back.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s July, it’s the offseason, and fans are clamoring for any scrap of football related news. So, naturally, SEC Media Days — the annual conglomerating of southeastern conference football teams — begins this week.

As Steve Spurrier once quipped, “talkin’ season” is here. The four-day conference event kicks off today in Hoover, Alabama. The media will hear from Arkansas, LSU, and Tennessee this afternoon.

For the first time since 2009, the Florida Gators will not be taking the stage in the first day of the event. The Gators will appear tomorrow, alongside Vanderbilt, Georgia, and Mississippi State.

Jim McElwain will be flanked by three upperclassmen in senior defensive back Duke Dawson, redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris, and junior offensive lineman Martez Ivey. All three are likely to be in their final seasons with the Gators and will be counted on in starting leadership roles.

There are some topics that McElwain and the Gators will assuredly hear questions about tomorrow. As has been the case since the departure of a certain quarterback named Tim Tebow, the QB position is undecided at Florida, and the addition of Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire has added a new layer to the competition.

McElwain will also almost certainly be asked about wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who generated some offseason headlines with a marijuana possession citation. Inquiring minds will want to know what punishment Callaway will receive for that incident, and whether the Gators’ top target will miss Florida’s opener against Michigan.

The Gators may also field inquiries about their defense, which will be replacing several starters, and whether the offense can finally take off this season. Another scenario that will likely be bandied about is whether Florida can win the SEC East for a third consecutive season, and whether the Gators could defeat Alabama or an SEC West opponent in the championship game — something that no East team has been able to accomplish since Florida last did it in 2008.

While it’s doubtful that any groundbreaking information will be shared by any of the teams at this year’s event, there is always an opportunity to pick up a few extra nuggets about your team. And at this time of year, a little something can often be better than nothing.

The full 2017 SEC Football Media Days schedule can be found here.


As always, this Weekly Open Thread is for any and all comments on any and all topics, with the rules of commenting decorum still in full effect.