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Friday, July 22, 2011
A closer look at SEC picks, All-SEC team

By Chris Low

HOOVER, Ala. -- For the fourth time since 1992, Alabama has been picked by the media to win the SEC championship.

That's the good news for Alabama fans.

The bad news is that the Crimson Tide failed to win the title each of the past three times they were picked to win it -- 2010 (fourth in the West), 2000 (tied for fifth in the West) and 1993 (lost in the SEC championship game).

Only four times since league expansion in 1992 has the SEC media days contingent correctly picked the SEC champion -- Florida in 2008, LSU in 2007, Florida in 1995 and Florida in 1994.

Also, with Auburn being picked fifth in the West, it raises an obvious question: When's the last time the defending national champion (or the SEC champion, for that matter) has been picked as low as fifth in its own division?

South Carolina, for the first time in school history, was picked to win the East. The Gamecocks made their first-ever trip to the SEC championship game a season ago.

On the media's All-SEC team, South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery received the most votes (152). It's the third highest vote total in SEC media days history behind Alabama’s Mark Ingram (165) and Dont’a Hightower (158), both from last year.

The other top vote-getters from this year were Alabama offensive guard Barrett Jones (148), Hightower (144), Alabama safety Mark Barron (140) and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (130).

Here's a look at my All-SEC ballot and the way I voted in the league race:

OFFENSE
DEFENSE
SPECIAL TEAMS
EAST
WEST
SEC champion