HOOVER,Ala.—Georgia has an experienced quarterback, a stout defense loaded with returning starters and an inviting schedule.
Those are some of the compelling reasons to make the Bulldogs’ a favorite to repeat as Southeastern Conference Eastern Division champions.
The Bulldogs are the pick in the East in voting by SEC media that was released this morning.
It’s the first time that’s happened since 2004.
Even in 2008 when Georgia opened as preseason No. 1 nationally, Florida was picked to win the division.
Georgia, coming off a 10-4 season, landed six players on the All-SEC team by the media.
Linebacker Jarvis Jones and safety Bacarri Rambo, both returning All-Americans, are first-team picks like they were with the coaches.
Third-year starting quarterback Aaron Murray and nose guard John Jenkins are on the second team and receiver Tavarres King and offensive lineman Kenarious Gates are third-team selections.
The coaches team released last week had end Abry Jones, linebacker Alec Ogletree and cornerback Sanders Commings and receiver Malcolm Mitchell as third-team selections. King and Gates were not on that team.
The predicted order of finish in the East was Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. In the West, it was LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
A Georgia-LSU SEC title game would be a rematch of last year’s championship game, won by LSU 42-10.
Georgia was the pick to win the East by 132 of 222 voters, ahead of 72 forSouth Carolina. Florida got 12 votes,Tennessee four and Missouri two.
Georgia was picked to win the SEC title by 14 voters.
Only four times has the media correctly picked the conference champions since the league went to divisions in 1992:Florida(1994-95), LSU (2007) andFlorida(2008.
Jones got more votes than any defensive player with 178.South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was next with 140. South Carolinatailback Marcus Lattimore was the leading vote-getter with 201.
Here’s the All-SEC team and predicted order of finish.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer