LITTLE ROCK — Starved for fresh college football morsels, fans could O.D. on the expanded SEC Media Days event that begins Monday in Hoover, Ala. To help ease into the four-day glut of quotes from coaches and players, a 15-point countdown:
—15: The variety of ways coaches will be asked whether the offensive production of Auburn, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and others will persuade some SEC teams to incorporate option and hurry-up for reasons that include recruiting.
—14: Number of coaches who will answer odd questions without embarrassing the person doing the asking. Thirteen have been through this before and first-year coach Derek Mason at Vanderbilt will be properly prepped on protocol.
—13: Questions for Florida coach Will Muschamp that avoid the words “hot seat,” but probe at the importance of this year for his job security. In Muschamp’s third year, the Gators lost to Georgia Southern of the FCS to assure Florida would miss bowl season for the first time since NCAA probation in 1990. Before that, a 0-10-1 record in 1979 was the last time Florida stayed home during the postseason.
—12: Times Alabama coach Nick Saban will be asked about the look of the offense under new coordinator Lane Kiffin. In a speech weeks ago, Kiffin, who bailed on Tennessee and bombed at USC, said Alabama’s offense in spring practice was “kind of a half and half system,” retaining some things and changing others.
—11: People who genuflect when Saban enters the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel on Thursday.
—10: Carrying Waffle House menus, fans who will welcome Gus Malzahn’s arrival at the hotel on Monday with shouts of “you da man.”
—9: Conference games per year, dead for the foreseeable future? The corollary involves strength of schedule and why a one-loss SEC champion will not miss out on the College Football Playoff.
—8: Times Kevin Sumlin will be grilled about his quarterback situation in general and replacing Johnny Manziel in particular. This year, senior Matt Joeckel transferred and dual threat quarterback Kenny Hill was suspended for the first week of spring practice, leaving true freshman Kyle Allen at the top of the depth chart.
—7: Teams that the media will vote for as SEC champion. Alabama will head the list, but Auburn and LSU also will get support from the Western Division. In the Eastern Division, it will be Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, and Florida — the Gators in a lone wolf attempt to hit a home run ala Auburn in 2013. Last year, Alabama led the voting with 182, followed by Georgia 38, South Carolina 18, A&M 4, and LSU 1.
—6: Coaches who will briefly praise their 2013 quarterback and quickly move to express confidence that their 2014 quarterback will do fine with experience. On that list are Sumlin, Saban, Georgia’s Mark Richt, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, LSU’s Les Miles, and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel.
—5: Alabama players on the first unit of the All-SEC preseason team. The group will include wide receiver Amari Cooper, tight end O.J. Howard, safety Landon Collins, linebacker Trey DePriest, and defensive end A’Shawn Robinson. Running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry will split votes, making room on the first team for Georgia’s Todd Gurley and South Carolina’s Mike Davis.
—4: Quarterbacks who will get some support for Second Team All-SEC behind Nick Marshall of Auburn. By name, Missouri’s Maty Mauk, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson, and Mississippi’s Bo Wallace.
—3: Teams least likely to be at least 4-4 in SEC play. Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas. The Wildcats and Razorbacks were a combined 0-16 in conference play last year and the Commodores are starting over at coach and quarterback.
—2: Minimum number of regular-season losses by the Eastern Division champion, whether Georgia, South Carolina or Missouri
—1: The number of states that will produce the SEC champion, either Alabama or Auburn.
—0: Coaches who will be unenthusiastic about their team’s chances this fall.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.