Georgia Bulldogs a runaway favorite in SEC Media Days voting

NASHVILLE , Tenn. — The Georgia Bulldogs were the overwhelming pick to win the SEC championship by reporters attending SEC Football Media Days here at the Grand Hyatt Nashville this week.
The back-to-back defending national champions received 181 votes to be crowned SEC champion Dec. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama was second with 62 votes. Georgia is the defending conference champion, while the Crimson Tide won in 2021.
Accordingly, the Bulldogs also placed 16 players on the all-conference team, including a league-high 11 on the first team.
It’s the second time in the history of media days that the Bulldogs have been the league’s preseason pick to win it all. The only other time came in 2004, when Georgia tied for first in the Eastern Division but lost the chance to play in the championship game by tiebreaker.
The Bulldogs were the runaway pick to win the Eastern Division this year with 2,011 points, including an overwhelming 265 first-place votes. The Bulldogs have won the Eastern Division five of the past six seasons and are the defending SEC champions.
Tennessee was picked second in the East with 1,682 points and 14 votes to win the division. South Carolina was third with 1,254 points and three votes to win. Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.
This season, Georgia will be looking to become the first three-in-a-row national champion since the 1930s. The Bulldogs have been picked No. 1 already in numerous preseason rankings. Minnesota was the last two do it 1934-36.
“We have not addressed that with (the team),” coach Kirby Smart said in his Media Days appearance Tuesday. “We’ve certainly looked at some ‘three-peat’ scenarios of teams like the (Chicago) Bulls and different sports teams that (the players) might actually know about. No offense to the Minnesota 1935 team, but I don’t know if it’s going to resonate with my audience. (But) we’re going to try to.”
Alabama had been the media’s preseason selection in each of the past seven years. The Crimson Tide were picked to win the West, narrowly edging LSU (1,838 points) and Texas A&M (1,144).
Only nine times since the league went to divisions in 1992 has the predicted champion from SEC Media Days proceeded to win the SEC Championship game.
Getting first-team all-conference nods from Georgia were junior tight end Brock Bowers, junior receiver Ladd McConkey, junior tackle Amarius Mims, redshirt sophomore guard Tate Ratledge and junior Sedrick Van Pran on the offense and sophomore defensive end Mykel Williams, senior lineman Nazir Stackhouse, junior linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson, sophomore safety Malaki Starks, junior defensive back Kamari Lassiter and junior defensive back Javon Bullard.
Second-team Bulldogs included senior running back Kendall Milton, senior guard Xavier Truss, junior linebacker Smael Mondon. Linebacker Jalon Walker and senior snapper William Mote concluded Georgia’s selections after being voted to the third team.
The Bulldogs start their 2023 campaign at home versus Tennessee-Martin in Sanford Stadium on Sept. 2.
School, Points
Georgia, 181
Alabama, 62
LSU, 31
Tennessee, 5
Vanderbilt, 5
Arkansas, 2
Auburn, 2
Texas A&M, 1
Mississippi State, 1
South Carolina, 1
School (first-place votes), Points
Georgia (265), 2,011
Tennessee (14), 1,682
South Carolina (3), 1,254
Kentucky (1), 1,204
Florida, 911
Missouri, 658
Vanderbilt (8), 428
School (first-place votes), Points
Alabama (165), 1,899
LSU (117), 1,838
Texas A&M (1), 1,144
Ole Miss, 1128
Arkansas (3), 958
Auburn (4), 685
Mississippi State (1), 496
First team
QB- Jayden Daniels, LSU
RB- Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss
RB- Raheim Sanders, Arkansas
WR- Malik Nabers, LSU
WR- Ladd McConkey, Georgia
TE- Brock Bowers, Georgia
OL- JC Latham, Alabama
OL- Amarius Mims, Georgia
OL- Tate Ratledge, Georgia
OL- Will Campbell, LSU
C- Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
Second team
QB- KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
RB- Jase McClellan, Alabama
RB- Kendall Milton, Georgia
WR- Antwane Wells, South Carolina
*WR- Bru McCoy, Tennessee
*WR- Ja’Corey Brooks, Alabama
TE- Mason Taylor, LSU
OL- Tyler Booker, Alabama
OL- Brady Latham, Arkansas
OL- Javon Foster, Missouri
OL- Xavier Truss, Georgia
C- Seth McLaughlin, Alabama
Third team
*QB- Joe Milton III, Tennessee
*QB- Will Rogers, Mississippi State
RB- Jarquez Hunter, Auburn
RB- Trevor Etienne, Florida
WR- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
WR- Jermaine Burton, Alabama
TE- Trey Knox, South Carolina
OL- Emery Jones, LSU
OL- Eli Cox, Kentucky
OL- Javontez Spraggins, Tennessee
OL- Layden Robinson, Texas A&M
C- Cooper Mays, Tennessee
First team
DL- Mekhi Wingo, LSU
DL- Mykel Williams, Georgia
DL- Maason Smith, LSU
DL- Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia
LB- Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB- Harold Perkins, LSU
LB- Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
DB- Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
DB- Malaki Starks, Georgia
DB- Kamari Lassiter, Georgia
DB- Javon Bullard, Georgia
Second team
DL- Jaheim Oatis, Alabama
DL- McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M
DL- Justin Eboigbe, Alabama
DL- Deone Walker, Kentucky
LB- Smael Mondon, Georgia
LB- Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State
LB- Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri
DB- Malachi Moore, Alabama
DB- Dwight McGlothern, Arkansas
DB- Demani Richardson, Texas A&M
DB- Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri
Third team
DL - Princely Umanmielen, Florida
DL- Tonka Hemingway, South Carolina
DL- Tim Smith, Alabama
DL- Darius Robinson, Missouri
LB- Chris Braswell, Alabama
LB- Jalon Walker, Georgia
LB- JJ Weaver, Kentucky
DB- Major Burns, LSU
DB- D.J. James, Auburn
DB- Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn
DB- Jason Marshall Jr., Florida
First team
P- Kai Kroeger, South Carolina
PK- Will Reichard, Alabama
LS- Kneeland Hibbett, Alabama
KOS- Mitch Jeter, South Carolina
RS - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
AP- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
Second team
P- Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M
PK- Harrison Mevis, Missouri
LS- Slade Roy, LSU
KOS- Nathan Dibert, LSU
RS- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
AP- Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State
Third team
P- Oscar Chapman, Auburn
PK- Alex McPherson, Auburn
LS- William Mote, Georgia
RS- Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State
AP- Dakereon Joyner, South Carolina
*- Indicates a tie

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