Georgia picked to win SEC over Alabama, LSU

Georgia is the clear favorite to win the SEC once again according to the conference media poll, which was released Friday.

The Bulldogs, who are coming off back-to-back national championships, received 62.2% of all first-place votes (181).

Alabama (62) and LSU (31) were the only other teams to receive double-digit first-place votes.

Alabama was also picked ahead of LSU to win the West — despite LSU winning the division and beating Alabama last season.

In the 31-year history of the poll, only nine times has the media correctly predicted the champion of the conference.

Eleven Tigers were named to the preseason All-SEC team, including first-team picks quarterback Jayden Daniels, wide receiver Malik Nabers, offensive tackle Will Campbell, linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. and defensive linemen Mekhi Wingo and Maason Smith.

The Crimson Tide had 16 players make the All-SEC team, with six first-team selections: offensive guard JC Latham, outside linebacker Dallas Turner, kicker Will Reichard, long-snapper Kneeland Hibbett and Kool-Aid McKinstry, who was selected at both cornerback and return specialist.

Georgia had the most first-team selections of anyone in the conference: receiver Ladd McConkey, tight end Brock Bowers, center Sedrick Van Pran, offensive linemen Amarius Mims and Tate Ratledge, defensive linemen Mykel Williams and Nazir Stackhouse, linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson and defensive backs Malaki Starks, Kamari Lassiter and Javon Bullard.

At SEC media days Tuesday, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said everyone talks about, “How do you top an undefeated season?”

“The threat for us,” he said, “is complacency.”

Georgia, which opens the season with back-to-back home games against UT Martin (Sept. 2) and Ball State (Sept. 9), has not named a starting quarterback.

This week, Smart told ESPN that junior Carson Beck is the front-runner to replace Stetson Bennett at the position but he “hasn’t done enough to say he’s the starter.”

Redshirt sophomore Brock Vandagriff and redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton are also in competition.

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