'Bama dominates preseason team, individual voting with SEC media
The SEC announced its individual and team choices for preseason media awards on Thursday, with representatives from Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia receiving the lion's share of accolades.
Receiver T.J. Yeldon (left -- Alabama), quarterback Nick Marshall (middle -- Auburn) and Crimson Tide tailback T.J. Yeldon (right) were all easy media choices for the preseason All-SEC team.
John David Mercer/John Reed/Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports
By Jay Clemons
HOOVER, Ala. -- The SEC announced its individual and team choices for preseason media awards on Thursday, with representatives from Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia receiving the lion's share of accolades.
And to no one's surprise, the Crimson Tide were tabbed as the clear favorite to win the SEC West title and subsequent conference championship.
For divisional votes, Alabama (1,915 votes) easily outdistanced Auburn (1,735), LSU (1,453), Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas in the West.
And in the East, South Carolina (1,895 votes) edged Georgia (1,777), Florida (1,362), Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
For what it's worth, Alabama and Georgia were the preseason media picks to caputure the West and East titles last year, respectively. But Auburn (0-8 in 2012) and Missouri (2-6 in 2012) both staged tremendous turnarounds in 2013, advancing to the SEC title game in Atlanta (won by Auburn).
The Tigers used that championship (and two miracle wins over Georgia and Alabama) as a springboard for reaching the BCS title game, eventually falling to Florida State in the final minute.
From an individuals standpoint, Alabama notched nine players on the SEC first teams (offense/defense/special teams) -- tying the Crimson Tide's previous conference high from the 2011 season. The current list of first-teamers include: running back T.J. Yeldon, receiver Amari Cooper, tight end O.J. Howard, offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, punt/kick returner Christion Jones, defensive end A'Shawn Robinson, linebacker Trey DePriest and safety Landon Collins.
Perception-wise, the SEC doesn't have the star power of previous years, especially at quarterback, in the wake of Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger moving on to the pros. But there was some uniformity with this year's media picks, with Amari Cooper (media-high 282 votes), T.J. Yeldon (281) and Todd Gurley (280) all repeating their nods as first-team selections.
During this century, Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden (2005-07) is the only unanimous selection to the SEC Media Days Team.
ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama RB Todd Gurley, Georgia WR Amari Cooper, Alabama WR Sammie Coates, Auburn TE O.J. Howard, Alabama OL La'el Collins, LSU OL Arie Kouandjio, Alabama OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M C Reese Dismukes, Auburn DEFENSE
DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss DL Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida DL A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama DL Gabe Wright, Auburn LB Trey DePriest, Alabama LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia DB Landon Collins, Alabama DB Vernon Hargreaves, III, Florida DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss DB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M
DL Trey Flowers, Arkansas DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State DL Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Kentucky DL Markus Golden, Missouri LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss DB Robenson Therezie, Auburn DB Tre'Davious White, LSU DB Damian Swann, Georgia DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss