HOOVER, Ala. — A day after SEC’s annual Football Media Days ended, on Friday the sun rose from the east and was a heavy favorite to set in the west.
In related news, almost as startling, Alabama was the overwhelming choice by the media to win the SEC championship.
The Crimson Tide got 203 of the 260 votes cast to easily top Georgia (49 votes) as the runaway chocice.
LSU, which was picked to finish second to Alabama in the SEC West, was the only other school with more than one vote (3) to win the overall title.
It will also be a shocker if Alabama’s opponent in the SEC championship game isn’t a rematch with Georgia as the Bulldogs were the overwhelming choice in the East division.
The media has been wrong before — famously, only seven times since 1992 have the reporters tabbed the eventual champion in advance.
But it’s gotten easier lately to pencil in the Tide.
It’s worked three of the last five years and the only two times in the last seven years that the Tide wasn’t the preseason choice — LSU in 2012, Auburn in 2015 — Bama won it in the end.
LSU, which was picked fifth last year, was deemed Bama’s biggest rival in West, getting the nod over Texas A&M as the West runner-up.
Not that it’s expected to be close. The Tigers got five votes to win the West while Bama got 253.
Not surprisingly, it appears Bama also has the best players — the Tide put a record 12 players on the media’s preseason All-SEC first team.
LSU had eight overall picks, including three on the first team.
Center Lloyd Cushenberry was the top pick at center, while two Tiger defenders were on the first team — safety Grant Delpit and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence.
Notable, however, was LSU’s Joe Burrow, who was the third team quarterback.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia Jake Fromm were the obvious choices for first and second team.
But Burrow got the third spot in a year that is considered particularly deep at the all-important position in the conference.
LSU had two second-teamers, with Damien Lewis the choice at offensive guard and Kristian Fulton on defense at cornerback.
LSU’s other on the third team were wide receiver Justin Jefferson and linebacker Jacob Phillips.