The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 18, 2013

Alabama picked to repeat as SEC Champs

By Jonathan Deal

Hoover — HOOVER — Alabama is the overwhelming pick at SEC Media Days to repeat as SEC champions. It was announced Thursday that nearly 75 percent of the 243 media members voting selected the Tide.

The preseason pick has become somewhat of a curse at the annual event. The media has correctly picked the SEC champion only twice in the past 17 years.

Other teams receiving votes are Georgia (38), South Carolina (18), Texas A&M (4) and LSU (1). Georgia is picked to win the East followed by South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky.

Texas A&M is picked behind Alabama in the West followed by LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Arkansas.

Preseason All-SEC

Alabama has the most players selected for preseason All-SEC honors with seven first-team selections. Unlike previous years when the defense was front and center, the Alabama offense is picked to have success this season.

Running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper, both sophomores, were voted to the first team along with offensive lineman Anthony Steen and Cyrus Kouandjio. C.J. Mosley, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Deion Belue were first-team selections on defense.

In total, Alabama has 15 selections on the first, second or third preseason All-SEC team.

Auburn’s Tre Mason, Reese Dismukes, Dee Ford and Cody Parkey are second-team selections. Chris Davis and Steven Clark were chosen to the third-team.

Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron led all second-team votes while teammates Ed Stinson, Jeoffrey Pagan, Adrian Hubbard, Cody Mandell and Vinnie Sunseri received second-team honors.

Trey DePriest and Brian Vogler are third-team selections.