COLUMBIA, S.C. — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Defending Southeastern Conference champion Alabama is the favorite to once again beat Georgia in the title game in a preseason media poll. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Gamecocks are projected to finish in the middle of the pack.
The Crimson Tide was selected by 203 of 260 voters this week at SEC media days in results released Friday. Georgia, which lost to Alabama in the championship game last season, received 49 first-place votes.
Eight teams were picked as the SEC champion on at least one ballot.
The predicted order of finish in the West was Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Mississippi State, Mississippi and Arkansas.
Georgia was picked first in the East, followed by Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. South Carolina got one vote as SEC champion.
Alabama also led the way with a record 12 first-team preseason All-SEC picks, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and linebacker Dylan Moses.
Gamecocks receiver Bryan Edwards made the All-SEC third team offense, while Javon Kinlaw made the second-team defense.