- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
SEC media days begin on Tuesday and Texas A&M takes its turn in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday. In addition to head coach Kevin Sumlin, the Aggies are sending quarterback Johnny Manziel, offensive tackle Jake Matthews and defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. Before it all begins, here are five storylines to keep an eye on:
1. Manziel mania
Alabama coach Nick Saban normally creates the most notable buzz at media days, but that could change this year with Manziel's appearance. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner made headlines throughout the offseason, whether it was with his social media accounts, celebrities he hung out with or destinations he traveled to. Most recently, he made an early exit from the Manning Passing Academy. Expect the questions to be plentiful and wide-ranging when Manziel meets with the media.
2. New expectations, new questions
Last year at the event, Sumlin and the Aggies fielded several questions that appeared to intimate that Texas A&M would struggle dealing with the increased level of competition in the SEC, which is considered by many to be the premier league in college football, or how the Aggies' spread, uptempo offense would adapt to a line-of-scrimmage conference. After an 11-2 season and a No. 5 ranking, the focus could shift to how the Aggies will deal with increased expectations or the pressure on Manziel to repeat his magical season.
3. Talking Tide
The Aggies are the only team with the distinction of beating reigning BCS champion Alabama last year. The meeting between the two teams this year on Sept. 14 will be one of the most anticipated games of the season. Expect many questions about the rematch with Alabama and how the Aggies intend to repeat the feat.
4. A defense in flux
Whether the Aggies defense could hold up in the SEC was a popular question last season. Questions about the defense will be asked again with the departure of linebackers Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart via graduation and defensive end Damontre Moore early to the NFL. There's a lot of youth and inexperience in the front seven. Also, the status of defensive backs Deshazor Everett and Floyd Raven and defensive tackle Kirby Ennis in relation to offseason arrests could be a topic of discussion.
5. New faces on offense
Three receivers from the 2012 squad graduated, making room for some new blood, and two transfer running backs (Tra Carson and Brandon Williams) enter the offensive backfield. There's a new left tackle (Jake Matthews) and right tackle (Cedric Ogbuehi), a new offensive coordinator (Clarence McKinney) and a new quarterbacks coach (Jake Spavital). Whether the Aggies can repeat their offensive success -- or even improve on it -- is another talking point.
3dSam Khan Jr.
5dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough