HOOVER, Ala. -- Tennessee was picked to finish second in the SEC East Division behind Georgia when the conference announced its preseason poll on the final day of its annual media days here on Thursday.
In an odd twist, Alabama was picked to win the SEC West, but Auburn was the media's choice as the league champion.
The Tigers (96) and Crimson Tide (80) garnered most of the votes to win the SEC title, though 10 different teams, including Mississippi State and Florida, received at least one vote to win the league.
Auburn got 16 more votes to win the West than Alabama did, but the Tigers were picked to finish fourth or worst 26 times, compared to just three for their Iron Bowl rivals.
That explains the disconnect in the points-driven voting system, in which teams get seven points for a first-place vote, six for a second-place vote, five for third and so on.
The Volunteers haven't been picked to finish better than fourth in the SEC's preseason media poll since 2008.
Georgia owned a 166-36 advantage in first-place votes and received 20 votes to win the SEC.
Missouri, the two-time defending division champion, was picked third, followed by South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
LSU was picked to finish third behind Auburn and Alabama in the West, with Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Mississippi State rounding out the division.
All seven SEC West teams received at least two votes to win the division.
Auburn hasn't been picked to win the SEC since 2006, and Alabama has been the pick four of the past five years.
The Tide were the preseason choice as the SEC favorite last year and became just the fifth team to win the title after being picked to do so since the league split into divisions and introduced a championship game in 1992.
The media's preseason All-SEC teams will be released on Friday.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.