2012 College Football Media Days, From Best to Most All-Out Painful

A few years ago, ESPN anointed the various college football media days as the unofficial start to the season.

We get it. Folks are starved for some mutha-effing football so placing an artificial start date on the season and posting previews and interviews is going to get media outlets a hell of a lot of online hits fans pumped for the upcoming campaign.

As a radio jock, Matt Jackson, co-host of The Big Show on KBME SportsTalk 790 AM, has found college football media days to be a swell thing.

"I think they're useful for getting people excited and talking about your upcoming season standpoint," says Jackson, who has attended a couple of Big 12 Conference media days. "Probably more useful to talk radio than the average fan."

With the Southeastern Conference media days in full effect this week and a majority of the other conferences' slated to start next week, we rank the media days in terms of interesting storylines and host cities.

1. Southeastern Conference July 17 through July 19 at the Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover, Alabama

Yes, it's in a Birmingham suburb and you'll have to deal with Texas A&M thinking they're good or something, but you'll likely speak to the head coach of the 2012-2013 National Champion (no, not Kevin Sumlin) as well as all sorts of future first-round picks. Or, if you want to be banned from all sports journalism in the Deep South, pose the following question to Alabama head coach Nick Saban: "Yo, Nick. What's up with your daughter's O.O.C. emotional problems?"

2. Big Ten July 26 and 27, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois

Will Michigan QB Denard Robinson win the Heisman? Can Wisconsin take the conference crown without the departed Russell Wilson? How hard will the NCAA come down on Penn State for its child sex abuse fiasco? Who cares! You're in freaking Chicago, a.k.a. the best city in the world during the summer. The Cubs are off on July 26, but they play host to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 27 at Wrigley at 1:20 p.m. Oh, and Big Freedia plays that night at the Empty Bottle. Have fun, Bueller.

3. Pac-12 July 24 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles

One day of work to rap with Matt Barkley, the USC quarterback who may pilot his team to a runner-up finish, as well as snake-in-the-grass head coach Todd Graham, formerly of Rice and currently with the Arizona State Sun Devils. Easy breezy.

4. Big 12 July 23 and 24 at Westin Galleria, Dallas, Texas

2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin won't be around, but the debut of West Virginia and the TCU "Stoned" Frogs should be fairly exciting and make for a good story for the Longhorn Network (though it's unlikely that anyone will see it).

54a. Atlantic Coast Conference July 22 and 23 at The Grandover Resort, Greensboro, North Carolina

Poor reporters who have been assigned to this thing. How can you file a story to your editor when all there is to write in your notepad is "[blank]"?

54b. Big East July 30 and 31 in Newport, Rhode Island

Who the hell is in this conference again?

-80. Conference USA July 25 in Irving, Texas

Valhalla > Rice Football.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen