SEC Network’s weekly pregame show “SEC Nation” is coming to campus Saturday morning before Ole Miss’ matchup with top-ranked Alabama.
SEC Nation features a panel of analysts who preview the conference’s games that day and give insight on coaches and players, much like its parent network ESPN’s “College Gameday.” Members of the SEC Nation panel include high-profile names such as host Laura Rutledge and analysts Paul Finebaum, Marcus Spears and Tim Tebow. Reporter Lauren Sisler and Ryan McGee, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, will make appearances on the show, as well.
According to Kyle Campbell, Ole Miss’ associate athletics director for communications, SEC Nation coming to campus provides a chance for the university and city of Oxford to show off their game day atmosphere.
“SEC Nation provides a great opportunity to showcase the bucket-list experience that is the Grove,” Campbell said. “The exposure for Ole Miss and Oxford is tremendous, and our staff works close(ly) with our partners at the SEC Network to highlight some of the unique things about the university and the community, from elaborate tents to award-winning restaurants to passionate fans.”
According to Campbell, SEC Nation has a selection process that the producers go through to determine which SEC campus to attend every week of the football season.
“In general, the location of SEC Nation is determined on a week-by-week basis,” Campbell said. “For an early season game like this, we knew we were on the radar, but the school doesn’t get final word until about a week out.”
One of the factors that determines which campus SEC Nation will visit is the attractiveness of the football matchup that will be on display that day.
“SEC Network has made it clear they want to be at a marquee game every week,” Campbell said. “But, there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to be in the same place as College Gameday. And obviously, they want to visit as many (SEC) schools as possible.”
SEC Nation airs from 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays, so fans that show up in the Grove for this week’s installment of the show will have to wait a while between the end of the program and the 6 p.m. kickoff between the Rebels and the Crimson Tide. Although the show airs in the morning, Campbell encourages fans to come out and be a part of the program’s background on Saturday morning.
“As is the case with this week’s game, SEC Nation’s air time doesn’t always line up with the game time,” Campbell said. “So we encourage fans to come to the Grove (on) Saturday morning and give us a loud and energetic crowd for the cameras. With the wild signs and opportunity to be on television, I believe those that have come out for Nation in the Grove in the past have had a great time.”
Along with hosting SEC Nation this week, the Grove will also be the site of Friday’s installment of The Paul Finebaum Show, which also airs on SEC Network. Finebaum’s show will air from 2-6 p.m. on Friday, and fans are welcome to watch the show live from the Grove on Friday evening.