The Maneater

Barry Odom one of the veterans at 2018 SEC Media Days in Atlanta

Six new coaches will highlight Atlanta’s reboot of the SEC Media Days this week while Odom and the Tigers are set to speak Wednesday.

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In 2017, he was Barry Odom, vanquisher of coaches.

His Missouri Tigers were the finishing touch on the tenures of multiple SEC helmsmen. First there was Tennessee’s Butch Jones after a 50-17 beatdown from the Tigers. Then Bret Bielema, who Arkansas apparently couldn’t even wait until off the field to oust following a 48-45 loss to Missouri. Not to mention Jim McElwain, who was let go by Florida preceding its trip to Columbia.

The Tigers were the SEC’s executioners for a portion of the 2017 college football season, although all that late-season splurge of winning might have ultimately saved one coach: Odom.

In its tale of two teams, Missouri turned a 1-5 start into a 7-5 finish in a whirlwind season that ended with a Texas Bowl defeat, a turnaround Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told media he was impressed by on Monday.

“You have no idea how good of a football team that was,” Stoops said. “We beat Missouri last year, and people were acting like it’s no big deal.”

Now, as the 2018 season unofficially kicks off this week with the SEC Media Days in Atlanta, Georgia, Odom is an old hand entering his third year amongst a conference of six new coaches.

Those six are Dan Mullen (Florida), Joe Moorhead (Mullen’s replacement at Mississippi State), Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee), Chad Morris (Arkansas), Matt Luke (Ole Miss) and, most notably, former national champion Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M).

That evens Odom for the role of fifth-longest tenured coach in the league. He will address the swarm of media on Wednesday afternoon along with Missouri’s three player selections to attend the 30-year-old tradition — quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. and linebacker Terez Hall.

This is the first — and apparently last — year that the conference’s annual preseason media circus will be held at the College Football Hall of Fame and Omni Hotel in Atlanta. League commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday it would likely be moved back to its usual home in Hoover, Alabama, next year. For now, it’s minutes away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the site of this year’s SEC Championship game and last season’s national championship (which featured two SEC teams against each other).

Stay tuned for more coverage of Missouri at the SEC Media Days throughout this week.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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