Media Says Florida is the Pick

HOOVER, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference has released the results of the preseason vote at SEC Media Days, and Florida was deemed the choice to win both the Eastern Division and the conference championship.

The bigger surprise was the voting margin, with Florida doubling Georgia's vote counts 45-23 in the divisional voting and 36-18 in the overall championship. Many had expected the voting to be extremely close, with each team having been selected as the nation's best in multiple college preview magazines.

It has to be noted that media participation in the vote was not stellar. Out of an estimated 850 credentials issued by the conference, only 70 people voted. The breakdown of those who did are not available, so its not clear whether a vote of nine percent of the assembled media really reflects the mindset of observers that well. Media support might not be a blessing for the Gators either - last season was the first time this decade the media had gotten their pick of conference champion correct.

Auburn was selected as the likely Western Division champ, a vote likely impacted substantially by LSU's quarterback situation being so unstable. Tommy Tuberville's team won 48 first place votes to LSU's 21. Auburn was selected to win the conference by 13 voters, while the defending BCS champs had just one voter project them as the conference's best.

The complete order of finish in the Eastern Division was Florida, Georgia, Tennessee (with two first place votes and one overall selection), South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. In the Western Division it was Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss (with one vote to win the division and conference - some guy does it every year and no one knows who it is) and Arkansas bringing up the rear.

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