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A sure sign that the season is just around the corner

We've made it.

The dog days of the college football season are almost all the way behind us, and the unofficial start of the 2013 season is a week from today. The Sun Belt kicks off its media days next Monday in New Orleans, and soon after the other nine conferences will follow with their own festivals of overblown quotes, dumb questions and coach-speak. 

Here is the schedule of preseason football hoopla:

Sun Belt
July 15
New Orleans

July 16-18
Hoover, Ala.

July 21-22
Greensboro, N.C.

Big 12
July 22-23

Mountain West
July 22-23
Las Vegas

July 23

Conference USA
July 23-24

Big Ten
July 24-25

July 26
Los Angeles

July 29-30
Newport, R.I. 

As always, the SEC gathering will lead the way in circus-like atmosphere. In addition to the, uh, passionate media outlets that already cover the league, ESPNU will set up shop in Hoover for all three days.

The MAC is taking a page from the SEC's playbook and offering credentials to anyone who wants to come to Ford Field to cover the event or just shake hands with their favorite players. The most significant media days will take place in Newport, R.I., as July 29 and 30 will mark the first official event in American Athletic Conference history.