Alabama draws vast majority of media picks to win third straight SEC title

Alabama is the runaway favorite to win the SEC for a third straight year, according to a media poll released Friday.

The Crimson Tide received 158 out of 181 votes to win the conference title. Georgia was closest with 18 votes, South Carolina received three votes, and Vanderbilt and Texas A&M each had one vote.

Friday marked the seventh straight year that Alabama was selected to win the SEC championship, though the media has only correctly predicted the champion nine times since 1992.

Georgia, selected to win in the East, lost to Alabama in the SEC title game last season but won the rematch in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January.

At this week’s SEC media days, Georgia coach Kirby Smart insisted the program was designed for sustained success.

“People ask the question: How does it feel to be the hunted?” Said Smart. “We’re not being hunted at the University of Georgia, I can promise you that. The hunt we do will go the other way from us. We will not sit back and be passive.”

Led by first-team picks in tight end Brock Bowers, offense lineman Warren McClendon, defensive lineman Jalen Carter, linebacker Nolan Smith, and defensive back Kelee Ringo, Georgia had a total of nine players on the preseason All-SEC team.

Alabama led all teams with 19 Preseason All-SEC selections, including quarterback Bryce Young, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, wide receiver Jermaine Burton, offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr., cornerback Eli Ricks, safety Jordan Battle, and linebackers Henry To’oTo ‘o and Will Anderson Jr. as first team picks.

Young, who threw for 47 touchdowns last season, is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Anderson led the country in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5) and won the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the best defensive player in college football.

“Having two players who make such a big impact on our team like these two guys, I can’t remember ever experiencing a circumstance like that,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday. “We had some great players, but never one on offense, one on defense of that caliber.”

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/34280339/alabama-draws-vast-majority-media-picks-win-third-straight-sec-title Alabama draws vast majority of media picks to win third straight SEC title

Emma Bowman

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