By Glenn Guilbeau / GANNETT LOUISIANA
HOOVER, Ala. – For the fourth time in the last five years, Alabama has been picked by reporters covering the Southeastern Conference Media Days to win the SEC overall championship in votes tabulated Thursday morning.
The Crimson Tide, however, has never won the SEC title after being predicted to do so since 1992 at the SEC Media Days. The Tide was voted as winners in 2010, 2011 and 2013, but Auburn, LSU and Auburn won the league in those seasons, respectively. Alabama was also picked to win in 1993 and 2000, but Florida won it both of those years. Alabama won the SEC championship in 1992, 1999, 2009 and 2012 after other teams – Florida, Tennessee, Florida and LSU - were picked to win it in those years.
Media covering SEC Media Days have a dismal 4-18 record at picking the league champion. So the election results may be good news for LSU, which was picked to finish third in the SEC West behind Alabama and Auburn and in front of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arkansas. South Carolina was selected to win the SEC East with Georgia No. 2 and ahead of Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
“Obviously what’s important is what happens at the end of the year, but I’m not happy being named No. 2,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said to open the fourth and final day of SEC Media Days Thursday morning. “I’m not going to start cheering, ‘We’re No. 2.’ I think in the end it will be Georgia.”
When told of the media’s trouble at predicting winners, Richt said, “That’s good we were picked No. 2, now that I think about it.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban was scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon following Ole Miss. Kentucky will close the 30th SEC Media Days.
Alabama also led the way with nine selections to the All-SEC first team, including tailback T.J. Yeldon, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Sammie Coates and safety Landon Collins, who went to Dutchtown High in Geismar just outside of Baton Rouge.
LSU placed just one player on the first team in left tackle La’el Collins. Tigers who were voted to the second team of the All-SEC pre-season team were offensive guard Vadal Alexander, cornerback Tre’Davious White of Shreveport and kicker Colby Delahoussaye of New Iberia. Third team Tigers were defensive end Jermauria Rasco of Shreveport, linebacker Kwon Alexander, safety Corey Thompson, cornerback Rashard Robinson and punter Jamie Keehn.