At last check, the SEC spring meetings are still on.
This could become an issue this week with Tropical Storm Alberto bearing down on Destin, Florida, the site of one of college football's biggest offseason events.
Thank goodness for the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. (Hey, I didn't pick the venue. I'm only covering the meetings.)
Nevertheless, this will be one of the few times you'll see Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn in the same room. (Just don't get too excited … we aren't allowed anywhere near the meeting rooms.)
On the overall agenda -- left unstated -- is the obvious: How to keep the SEC in its overall position of prominence. Last year's football national championship was its ninth in the last 12 years.
We continue to live through the SEC's greatest run of dominance. Just remember to bring an umbrella.
Here's six things to pay attention to at the SEC spring meetings this week.
1. Transfer issues: Player freedom has arguably been the No. 1 topic of the offseason. The NCAA board has mandated players be given more freedom in transferring schools -- you know, like regular students. A transfer working group is trying to figure out how. The current restrictive year-in-residence model is 122 years old.
What is likely to be passed next month is a rule giving players the ability to "notify" their coaches of a transfer rather than receive "permission" to do so. That would end what is at least a half-century tradition in major-college sports. The SEC is expected to vote this week on a proposal that would allow athletes to transfer from one SEC school to another if the originating school imposes or is penalized with a postseason ban. Call it the Ole Miss Rule considering wide receiver Van Jefferson is still waiting to learn whether he can play immediately at Florida. Less likely to pass is an academic benchmark for that immediate transfer. Commissioner Greg Sankey says the transfer issue is "front and center" this week.
2. You say Tua; I say Jalen: The Alabama quarterback situation looks like it is going to drag into June -- at least. Fresh off a College Football Playoff National Championship comeback for the ages, sophomore Tua Tagovailoa is assumed to be the starter in 2018, replacing Jalen Hurts. Except Saban hasn't named a starter yet. Complicating matters is Tagovailoa's broken hand, which kept him out all of spring practice, though he was recently seen throwing a football. The ideal situation would be for Saban to talk Hurts into staying for 2018 before leaving as a graduate transfer. If not, Alabama's quarterback depth looks thin. Whatever Nick says about the issue will be news.
3. Gambling: SEC coaches practically lost their minds three years ago over the cost of attendance provision. The concept that Auburn might have been able to offer players $100 more per month than Alabama, for example, sent shockwaves through the league. Think what legalized sports gambling will do to a coach's mind. Suddenly, injury reports become way more important. Imagine being asked in the weekly presser about the point spread. It's all in play after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Mississippi seems to be on its way to becoming the first SEC state to legalize single-game sports betting. FYI, Texas Tech is a 1.5-point favorite over Ole Miss in the 2018 opener.
4. The joy of six … new coaches: Counting former interim Matt Luke at Ole Miss, there are six new full-time coaches in the SEC -- almost half the league. Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee) is the only first-timer of the group, but he has plenty of SEC experience. Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M) slides over from Florida State as the SEC's winningest active coach (sixth nationally). Yup, he's slightly ahead of Nick Saban (.783 to .781) in his career. Chad Morris (Arkansas) and Joe Moorhead (Mississippi State) have been head coaches at lesser jobs. Get ready for the big time, fellas. Dan Mullen switched from Mississippi State to Florida. Who has the best chance for success in Year 1? Wait, I just gave myself a column idea.
5. What does Kirby Smart do for an encore?: Georgia's coach got the Dawgs within an overtime heave of winning a national title in his second season. After an SEC crown and impressive run through the CFP, it's safe to say Georgia is back. College football must sit up and take notice at another SEC power awakened. The SEC just got a better, in case you didn't know. The implications are huge with at least 17 current or former head coaches having come from Saban's coaching tree. Georgia should be favored to win the SEC East -- at least -- in Smart's third season.
6. The Calipari Effect: Whether it be the Commission on College Basketball, one-and-dones or the weather, Kentucky's basketball coach will have something to say. With roster certainty an issue until possibly the fall, Kentucky is still ranked fourth in Gary Parrish's latest top 25 (and 1). Yeah, Cal will have lots to say.