‘Bama team to beat’: Crimson Tide gets the nod in pre-season poll

Published 6:54 am Monday, July 25, 2022

Otherwise the annual predictions from those covering SEC Media  Days, didn’t contain a lot of surprises.

Two wit, Alabama was again picked to win the championship.

It comes with the standard disclaimer that it is not an exact science and that, in fact, the media has correctly picked the eventual winner only 9 times in the 29 seasons since 1992.

Even last year’s correct pick of the Tide almost needed an asterisk. The Tide did beat Georgia to win the conference title, but the Bulldogs came back and won the game that really mattered in a rematch for the national championship.

Those two are again the odds-on choice by the media, with the Tide getting 158 of the 181 votes as the champion, with Georgia a very distant second with 18.

South Carolina, although picked to finish fifth in the East, was the only other school to get more than one vote to win it all with three.

Texas A&M and, yes, Vanderbilt got a single vote.

LSU, with Brian Kelly now the head coach after the Tigers finished 6-7 last season, are picked to finish fifth in the West.

Texas A&M was the West’s No. 2 pick, followed by Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Kentucky was second in the East, followed by Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt.

LSU had four selections on the preseason All-SEC team, including two first-teamers in wide receiver Kayshon Boutte and defensive lineman BJ Ojulari.

The other two were also defensive linemen with Ali Gaye making second team and Maason Smith on the third team.

Alabama had the most with 18, including 10 first teamers, three on the second team and five on the third team.


(Media voting)


Georgia (172) – 1254

Kentucky (4) – 932

Tennessee (1) – 929

Florida – 712

South Carolina (3) – 662

Missouri – 383

Vanderbilt (1) – 196


Alabama (177) – 1262

Texas A&M (3)– 968

Arkansas (1) – 844

Ole Miss – 675

LSU – 591

Mississippi State –390

Auburn – 338


Alabama — 158; Georgia — 18; South Carolina — 3; Vanderbilt – 1; Texas A&M — 1.



QB – Bryce Young, Alabama

RB – Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB – Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

WR – Kayshon Boutte, LSU

WR – Jermaine Burton, Alabama

TE – Brock Bowers, Georgia

OL – Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

OL – Warren McClendon, Georgia

OL – O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida

OL – Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

C – Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas


DL – Jalen Carter, Georgia

DL – BJ Ojulari, LSU

DL – Derick Hall, Auburn

DL – Byron Young, Tennessee

LB – Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

LB – Nolan Smith, Georgia

LB – Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama

DB – Jordan Battle, Alabama

DB – Kelee Ringo, Georgia

DB – Eli Ricks, Alabama

DB – Jalen Catalon, Arkansas


P – Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

PK – Will Reichard, Alabama

RS – Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP – Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama



QB – Hendon Hooker, Tennessee; RB – Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky; RB – Devon Achane, Texas A&M; WR – Cedric Tillman, Tennessee; WR – Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss; TE – Cameron Latu, Alabama; OL – Layden Robinson, Texas A&M; OL – Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky; OL – Darnell Wright, Tennessee; OL – Javion Cohen, Alabama; C – Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia.


DL – Zacch Pickens, South Carolina; DL – D.J. Dale, Alabama; DL – Ali Gaye, LSU; DL – Colby Wooden, Auburn; LB – Bumper Pool, Arkansas; LB – Dallas Turner, Alabama; LB – Brenton Cox Jr., Florida; DB – Cam Smith, South Carolina; DB – Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M; DB – Christopher Smith, Georgia; DB – Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State.


P – Oscar Chapman, Auburn; PK – Anders Carlson, Auburn; RS – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M; AP – Devon Achane, Texas A&M



QB – Will Levis, Kentucky; RB – Zach Evans, Ole Miss; RB – Kenny McIntosh, Georgia; WR – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M; WR – Josh Vann, South Carolina; TE – Jaheim Bell, South Carolina; OL – Brady Latham, Arkansas; OL – Tyler Steen, Alabama; OL – Javon Foster, Missouri; *OL – Jeremy James, Ole Miss *OL – Kendall Randolph, Alabama; C – Cooper Mays, Tennessee.


DL – Gervon Dexter, Florida; DL – Justin Eboigbe, Alabama; DL – Maason Smith, LSU; DL – McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M; LB – Owen Pappoe, Auburn; LB – Ventrell Miller, Florida; LB – Jeremy Banks, Tennessee; DB – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama; DB – Trey Dean III, Florida; DB – Trevon Flowers, Tennessee; DB – Malachi Moore, Alabama.


P – Paxton Brooks, Tennessee; PK – Harrison Mevis, Missouri; RS – JoJo Earle, Alabama; AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

* – Indicates a tie