Brent Venables and crew set to attend OU's first SEC Football Media Days next week


Many consider Media Days (you pick the conference) to be the unofficial start to the college football. This would ordinarily have been the week in July that Sooner head coach Brent Venables and two or three of his players would be participating in Big 12 Media Days.

But things are different this year because Oklahoma is no longer a part of the Big 12. So instead of being in Las Vegas with the four new member schools of the Big 12, the Sooners, ironically, will be headed to Dallas, where the Big 12 has typically held its annual preseason preview for the media, as part of SEC Media Days July 15-18.

Dallas is a new location for SEC Media Days, and it marks only the fourth time that the event has been held outside of Birmingham, Alabama. It will be the first time for former Big 12 schools Oklahoma and Texas and also the first time in 23 years that former Alabama and LSU head coach Nick Saban won't be in attendance. Saban spend five seasons at LSU (2000-04) and the last 17 at Alabama.

It will also the first year for Saban's replacement at Alabama, Kalen DeBoer, who previously coached at Washington. Two other first-timers are former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who is the new head coach at Mississippi State, and Mike Elko at Texas A&M.

SEC Media Days will take place over four days at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. Oklahoma's day in the spotlight will be Tuesday, July 16. The Sooners will share the attention on that day with Kirby Smart of Georgia, Eliah Drinkwitz of Missouri and former OU player and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.

Three Oklahoma players -- QB Jackson Arnold, LB Danny Stutsman and S Billy Bowman -- will accompany Brent Venables to SEC Media Days and be available for interviews with the media.