UT picked 3rd in East

The first of the preseason football publications has hit the newsstands, and it says Tennessee will finish third in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division this season.

Larry Phipps, a South Carolina-based SEC football expert, has just published "Phipps 2006 SEC Football Preview" issue. It is available on-line (phippsfootballandcharity.com) for $7 and at Books-A-Million locations.

Phipps' magazine features opinion and analysis from football writers throughout the Southeast. This year's cast of football analysts rates Urban Meyer's Florida Gators the team to beat in the SEC East. Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs are projected second with Phil Fulmer's Vols third.

Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks are projected as the fourth-best team in the East, followed by Rich Brooks' Kentucky Wildcats. Bobby Johnson's Vanderbilt Commodores, now facing life after Jay Cutler, are pegged for last place.

Phipps' publication tabs Tommy Tuberville's Auburn Tigers as the favorites in the SEC West. Houston Nutt's Arkansas Razorbacks are second, followed by Les Miles' LSU Tigers. Mike Shula's Alabama Crimson Tide is pegged for fourth, followed by Sylvester Croom's Mississippi State Bulldogs and Ed Orgeron's Ole Miss Rebels.

To promote the magazine, Phipps' on-line service offers his first- and second-team All-SEC offense picks. Vol senior Arron Sears is a first-team offensive lineman. No Vols made the second-team offense.

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