Hoover, Ala. – Earlier in the week I’d wondered if the SEC media would, for the first time in memory, pick Georgia above Florida. (Lest we forget, in 2008 the Bulldogs entered the season ranked No. 1 in the land — but had been slotted second behind the Gators in their division.) OK, here’s the answer:
Yes. The assembled SEC media has voted Georgia second in the East behind South Carolina.
Warning: Over time, this body has proved inexact in its forecasts. Only twice since 1991 has the correct league champ been identified during Media Days. (This year’s choice is Alabama.) Still, it’s fascinating to get a sense of how the wind is blowing, at least in the eyes of the SEC press corps.
(Disclaimer: Neither I nor esteemed colleague Chip Towers voted in the poll. The AJC doesn’t allow its writers to participiate in polls or suchlike.)
The balloting for second in the East wasn’t as close as I thought it might be. South Carolina got 114 first-place votes; Georgia drew 38 to Florida’s 12. Four voters picked Georgia to win the SEC. (Rumor has it that their names were Richt, Grantham, Bobo and Crowell. I kid.)
Then again: One voter picked Kentucky to win the East, and two tabbed Ole Miss to win not just the West but the league.
And now I leave you for the moment. Nick Saban is speaking, and he just glared at me because I was typing too loudly. Back soon.
By Mark Bradley