By Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu
This is the week when the assembled SEC media gets an opportunity to be bold and take chances.
When the votes are tallied, we pretty much know the two teams at the top of their respective divisions. Alabama and Georgia just played for the national title in January and bolstered their rosters after the NFL picked them over with top-notch recruiting classes.
But after those two, its gets really interesting.
And why should you wait until Thursday to find out who we will pick this week in Atlanta? Here are the ballots of your two intrepid reporters that we will turn in at SEC Media Days:
1. Alabama: It hasn’t been a great offseason for the Tide and the coaching staff is an interesting subplot, but it’s still the best team.
2. Texas A&M: I have a feeling that Jimbo Fisher is going to make things interesting in the West.
3. Auburn: The taste of last year’s finish stays with you.
4. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs are talented enough to win some Power 5 divisions, just not this one.
5. Ole Miss: The Rebels might have the best offense in the SEC.
6. LSU: You can hear the rumblings of an explosion coming.
7. Arkansas: It’s going to take awhile to build the Razorbacks into a decent club.
1. Alabama: The Tide looked a little vulnerable at times last season. Nick Saban will fix that.
2. Auburn: The Tigers showed last season they have the talent to compete with, and beat, Alabama.
3. Mississippi State: Joe Moorhead should thank Dan Mullen for all the talent he left him.
4. Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher will make the Aggies more entertaining, but they’re not ready to challenge in the tough West.
5. LSU: If the Tigers get off to a slow start, Ed Orgeron will go straight to the hot seat.
6. Ole Miss: The Rebels will score a bunch of points, but give up a whole lot more.
7. Arkansas: It will be a tough first year for Chad Morris, who has many holes to fill.
1. Georgia: Dogs might be a unanimous pick, but there are reasons to be concerned on defense.
2. South Carolina: Week 2 is going to say a lot about this team when it hosts Georgia. A loss might take the wind out of the sails.
3. Florida: The Gators have a decent schedule, but probably aren’t ready to win the division.
4. Kentucky: Mark Stoops has slowly built this into a solid program.
5. Missouri: As fast as the Tigers finished, still not sold on them in the long haul.
6. Tennessee: You have to hit the bottom before you can climb back to the top.
7. Vanderbilt: It’s always easy to pick the Commodores here, but there is nothing to excite you about this team.
1. Georgia: With some questions on defense, this is the year to get the ‘Dogs. But no one will in the East.
2. South Carolina: Will Muschamp has done a great job turning USC into a serious contender.
3. Florida: It’s the same old story. The Gators have a big ? at quarterback.
4. Missouri: The hot streak the Tigers got on late last season will continue.
5. Kentucky: The ‘Cats will be tough again, but this is a program that hasn’t found a way to break through.
6. Tennessee: Jeremy Pruitt is facing a major rebuilding job that’s going to take time and patience.
7. Vanderbilt: The Commodores will be more competitive, but that doesn’t mean more wins.