When you’re the defending national champions, everyone expects you to defend your title. Even the conference media.
As SEC Football Media Days came to an end today, the media predicted the University of Alabama to not only win the SEC West but reign as conference champions once again. Last year’s playoff winners were picked by a wide margin to win both the West and conference.
The Crimson Tide received 2,220 total votes to win the West, with 246 first-place votes. The Tide received 223 points to finish as conference champion.
Schools were awarded points on a seven to one scale.
The University of Tennessee is picked to win the SEC East with 2,167 total points and 225 first-place votes, but with 29 points, the Volunteers were picked third to finish as SEC champion. Louisiana State University is picked to finish behind Alabama to win the West with 1,984 total points and 76 first-place votes, and as SEC Champions with 59 points.
Defending SEC East champion University of Florida is picked to finish second in the East with 1,891 total points and 57 first-place votes. The Gators were picked fifth with five points to finish as SEC champions.
The University of Georgia is picked to finish third in the east with 1,860 total points and 45 first-place votes. In a strange twist, the Bulldogs were picked fourth with seven points to be SEC champions.
Rounding out the East is the University of Kentucky for fourth place with 933 total points but no first-place votes; Vanderbilt University for fifth place with 810 total points and two first-place votes; University of Missouri for sixth place with 807 total points and no first-place votes; and South Carolina University in last with 800 total points and two first-place votes.
Behind Alabama and LSU in the West is the University of Mississippi, picked to finish third with 1,479 total points and five first place votes; Texas A&M University, picked to finish fourth with 1,130 total points and three first-place votes; University of Arkansas, picked to finish fifth with 1,047 total points and one first-place vote; Auburn University, picked to finish sixth with 890 total points and no first-place votes; and Mississippi State University, picked to finish last with 510 total votes and no first-place votes.
Finishing out the picks for SEC champions is UM with four points and Texas A&M, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas with one point. Mississippi State, Auburn, Kentucky and Missouri received no votes to win the SEC championship.
There is a ray of sunshine for fans who don’t like how the media predicted this season. Only five times—Florida in 1994, 1995 and 2008, LSU in 2007, and Alabama in 2014—in the last 24 years has the media correctly picked the SEC champion.
A record 331 media members in attendance took part in the vote. The preseason All-SEC will be released on Friday.
Eastern Division (first place votes in parentheses)
Tennessee (225) 2167
Florida (57) 1891
Georgia (45) 1860
Vanderbilt (2) 810
South Carolina (2) 800
Western Division (first place votes in parentheses)
Alabama (246) 2220
LSU (76) 1984
Mississippi (5) 1479
Texas A&M (3) 1130
Arkansas (1) 1047
Mississippi State 518
Texas A&M 1
South Carolina 1