HOOVER, Ala. — Alabama. Again.
For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide was the SEC media’s preseason selection to win the conference title as the league released its preseason poll and all-conference teams before the final day of this week’s media days began on Thursday morning.
The media has correctly predicted the winner just four times in the 22-year history of the voting, and last season’s title game participants, Auburn and Missouri, were picked to finish fifth and sixth in their respective divisions a year ago.
South Carolina was picked to win the East ahead of Georgia by a fairly narrow margin (1,895 to 1,777).
Tennessee again was picked to finish fifth in the East behind the Gamecocks, Bulldogs, Florida and Missouri and ahead of Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Defending conference champions Auburn were picked to finish second behind the Tide in the West, with LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arkansas rounding out the division’s predicted order.
Alabama was picked by 154 voters to win the SEC, with Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), LSU (9) and Ole Miss (2) also receiving votes to win the league. Mississippi State and Arkansas each received a single vote to win the league.
The Alabama duo of receiver Amari Cooper and tailback T.J. Yeldon and Georgia tailback Todd Gurley were the top vote-getters among the All-SEC teams. The Tide had nine players selected to first-team spots, equaling the record they set in 2011.
Only two Tennessee players — linebacker A.J. Johnson (first) and receiver Marquez North (third) — were named to any All-SEC teams.
Gurley, linebacker Ramik Wilson and kicker Marshall Morgan were Georgia’s first-team selections, receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Jordan Jenkins and cornerback Damian Swann were second-team picks and tailback Keith Marshall, offensive lineman John Theus and defensive end Ray Drew made the third team.
Contact Patrick Brown at email@example.com.
2014 PRESEASON ALL-SEC TEAM
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn (241)
RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama (281)
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (280)
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (282)
WR Sammie Coates, Auburn (207)
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama (188)
OL La’el Collins, LSU (231)
OL Arie Kouandjio, Alabama (188)
OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (183)
OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (174)
C Reese Dismukes, Auburn (226)
QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (118)
RB Mike Davis, South Carolina (240)
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas (126)
WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (182)
WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia (71)
TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (141)
OL A.J. Cann, South Carolina (166)
OL Vadal Alexander, LSU (112)
OL Alex Kozan, Auburn (112)
OL Corey Robinson, South Carolina (107)
C Ryan Kelly, Alabama (126)
QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (94)
RB Corey Grant, Auburn (52)
RB Keith Marshall, Georgia (44)
WR Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (67)
WR Marquez North, Tennessee (66)
TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas (72)
OL Austin Shepherd, Alabama (106)
OL Chad Slade, Auburn (101)
OL John Theus, Georgia (96)
OL Chaz Green, Florida (94)
C Evan Boehm, Missouri (77)
DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (239)
DL Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida (212)
DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (208)
DL Gabe Wright, Auburn (192)
LB Trey DePriest, Alabama (253)
LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (186)
LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia (147)
DB Landon Collins, Alabama (274)
DB Vernon Hargreaves, III, Florida (243)
DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss (210)
DB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M (183)
DL Trey Flowers, Arkansas (181)
DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State (150)
DL Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Kentucky (134)
DL Markus Golden, Missouri (125)
LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State (143)
LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (137)
LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (116)
DB Robenson Therezie, Auburn (144)
DB Tre’Davious White, LSU (141)
DB Damian Swann, Georgia (127)
DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss (116)
DL Ray Drew, Georgia (102)
DL Montravius Adams, Auburn (94)
DL Carl Lawson, Auburn (87)
DL Jermauria Rasco, LSU (79)
LB Kwon Alexander, LSU (112)
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn (82)
LB Serderius Bryant, Ole Miss (76)
DB Jon Mincy, Auburn (99)
DB Corey Thompson, LSU (86)
DB Rashard Robinson, LSU (84)
DB Brison Williams, South Carolina (81)
P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M (221)
PK Marshall Morgan, Georgia (224)
RS Christion Jones, Alabama (262)
AP Christion Jones, Alabama (130)
P Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas (136)
PK Colby Delahoussaye, LSU (142)
RS Andre Debose, Florida (97)
AP Terrence Magee, LSU (111)
P Jamie Keehn, LSU (81)
PK Andrew Baggett, Missouri (103)
RS Marcus Murphy, Missouri (72)
AP Trey Williams, Texas A&M (89)
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...