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Crimson Tide photos / Alabama has been picked to win this season's Southeastern Conference championship, which would be the eighth for Nick Saban during his time in Tuscaloosa.

Even after losing 10 players to the NFL draft, including six first-round selections, Alabama is still viewed as the team to beat in Southeastern Conference football.

The Crimson Tide have been pegged to win the league championship in a vote of SEC Media Days attendees earlier this week in Hoover, Alabama. Should the projection released Friday prove accurate — which has occurred only eight times since the league went to divisional play in 1992 — it would mark Nick Saban's eighth SEC title in his 15 seasons in Tuscaloosa.

That's no misprint.

Eight times in 15 seasons, and it also would be eight of the last 13 with Auburn (2010), LSU (2011), Auburn (2013), Georgia (2017) and LSU (2019) comprising the exceptions. The Crimson Tide still managed to win national titles in 2011 and 2017.

Alabama received 84 votes to emerge victorious inside Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium in early December, while Georgia was second with 45 votes. No other team received multiple votes to win the league, as Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and South Carolina each received a single tally.

Given that the Gamecocks went 2-8 last season and enter this year on a six-game losing streak, the seriousness of that vote certainly could be questioned.

Alabama was picked to win the Western Division, with the Tide followed by Texas A&M, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Eastern ballot had Georgia trailed by Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

The Crimson Tide also dominated the preseason All-SEC team with 16 representatives on the first, second and third units. Georgia had 10 representatives, though it's unknown whether second-team receiver George Pickens will be able to return from an ACL injury in March.

Tennessee had three representatives on the three teams — offensive lineman Cade Mays (first team), punter Paxton Brooks (second team) and defensive back Alontae Taylor (third team).

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

 

SEC PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

First place votes in parenthesis

 

EASTERN DIVISION

Georgia (124) 923

Florida (7) 784

Kentucky (2) 624

Missouri 555

Tennessee 362

South Carolina (1) 355

Vanderbilt 149

 

WESTERN DIVISION

Alabama (130) 932

Texas A&M (1) 760

LSU (1) 633

Ole Miss (1) 529

Auburn 440

Arkansas (1) 241

Mississippi State 217

 

SEC CHAMPION

Alabama 84

Georgia 45

Ole Miss 1

Texas A&M 1

Florida 1

Kentucky 1

South Carolina 1

 

2021 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

OFFENSE

First-Team

QB – Matt Corral, Ole Miss

RB - Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB – Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

WR - John Metchie III, Alabama

WR - Treylon Burks, Arkansas

TE - Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

OL - Evan Neal, Alabama

OL - Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

OL - Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

OL - Cade Mays, Tennessee

C - Nick Brahms, Auburn

Second-Team

QB – JT Daniels, Georgia

RB - Kevin Harris, South Carolina

RB - Zamir White, Georgia

WR - Kayshon Boutte, LSU

WR - George Pickens, Georgia

TE - Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

OL - Jamaree Salyer, Georgia

OL - Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

OL - Ed Ingram, LSU

OL - Austin Deculus, LSU

C - Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Third-Team

QB – Bo Nix, Auburn

RB - Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

RB - Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

WR - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR - Jacob Copeland, Florida

TE - Nick Muse, South Carolina

OL - Charles Cross, Mississippi State

OL - Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

OL - Myron Cunningham, Arkansas

OL - Luke Fortner, Kentucky

*C - Michael Maietti, Missouri

*C - Ben Brown, Ole Miss

 

DEFENSE

First-Team

DL - Jordan Davis, Georgia

DL - Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

DL - Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

*DL - Zachary Carter, Florida

*DL - DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

LB - Henry To'o To'o, Alabama

LB - Christian Harris, Alabama

LB - Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

DB - Derek Stingley, LSU

DB - Josh Jobe, Alabama

DB - Malachi Moore, Alabama

DB - Kaiir Elam, Florida

Second-Team

DL - Josh Paschal, Kentucky

DL - LaBryan Ray, Alabama

DL - Ali Gaye, LSU

DL - Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri

LB - Grant Morgan, Arkansas

LB - Ventrell Miller, Florida

LB - Zakoby McClain, Auburn

DB - Smoke Monday, Auburn

DB - Jordan Battle, Alabama

DB - Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

DB - Elias Ricks, LSU

Third-Team

DL - DJ Dale, Alabama

DL - Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M

DL - Travon Walker, Georgia

DL - Derick Hall, Auburn

LB - Owen Pappoe, Auburn

LB - Nakobe Dean, Georgia

LB - Christopher Allen, Alabama

DB - Roger McCreary, Auburn

DB - Lewis Cine, Georgia

DB - Alontae Taylor, Tennessee

DB - Yusuf Corker, Kentucky

 

SPECIALISTS

First-Team

P - Jake Camarda, Georgia

PK - Cade York, LSU

RS - Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

AP - Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

Second-Team

P - Paxton Brooks, Tennessee

PK - Will Reichard, Alabama

RS - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP - Tank Bigsby, Auburn

Third-Team

P - Mac Brown, Ole Miss

PK - Anders Carlson, Auburn

RS - Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP - Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

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