Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Every coach at SEC Media Days said Nick Saban and Alabama rule the conference.

Alabama football: SEC Media Days conclude with Alabama firmly on top

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at the early coronation of Alabama at SEC Media Days

Every flight in America might land in Atlanta, but every road to Atlanta runs through Tuscaloosa.

SEC Media Days ran its usual hype-inducing course, with every coach affirming what we already knew: Nick Saban and Alabama are so firmly atop the conference heirarchy that coaches are already declaring the game a “must-win” for their conference title hopes.

In the SEC West, that’s not as earth-shattering as it may seem. Every team has to finish above Alabama to win the division, and you can’t really count on anyone else to beat the Crimson Tide for you, so you might has well do it yourself. That’s what Kevin Sumlin, whose Texas A&M team had Alabama on the ropes last season, and Gus Malzahn, who gets to host Alabama in Auburn, essentially said in their press conferences in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday.

The most affirming quote for Alabama instead comes from the East, where South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, who almost certainly won’t play Alabama this season, described the league’s situation.

“The East isn’t trying to catch up to the West,”  Muschamp said . “We’re all trying to catch up to Alabama.”

ICYMI

Built by Bama

After years plying his trade in smaller promotions, former Alabama linebacker turned MMA fighter Eryk Anders will make his UFC debut in just over a week. Anders is a replacement for the injured Tim Williams (not that Tim Williams), but could use the opportunity to impress the promoters at the sport’s biggest promotion. He’ll take on Rafael Natal (not Nadal) on July 22.

At the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.,  Trey Mullinax is leading the Alabama pack, tied for seventh after a strong 5-under-66 performance, thanks in part to this excellent up-and-down for birdie.

Dickie Pride is 2 under, tied for 37th. Bud Cauley (1 over), Jason Bohn (2 over) and Bobby Wyatt (3 over) are fighting to make the cut on Friday.

At the Women’s U.S. Open in Bedminster, N.J., Lauren Stephenson shot even-par 72, tied for 47th, and Stephanie Meadows is 5 over, tied for 154th, after a rain-shortened first round.

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