Today is the final day of SEC Media Week, which means it is time to crown a preseason favorite from each division. The media assembled in Hoover, Alabama have crowned Alabama as the SEC favorite this season. South Carolina was tabbed the preseason favorite in the SEC East by the media as well.
Alabama received 154 points from the media as the overall conference favorite. Defending SEC champion Auburn received the second most votes with 75. SEC East favorite South Carolina took 32 votes, followed by Georgia (19) and LSU (nine). Ole Miss (two), Arkansas (one) and Mississippi State (one) each received a vote to win the SEC this season as well. Defending SEC East champion Missouri did not receive any championship votes.
The SEC looks to be a pretty wide-open conference this fall, at least more so compared to past seasons. Alabama running away with the votes is a testament to the recruiting efforts of the Crimson Tide coaching staff over the years. It may be somewhat surprising to see a team filling in a number of holes be such a favorite in the conference, but Nick Saban and his staff have done well to reload time and time again.
On another note, it is interesting to see such a predicted drop by Texas A&M in the post-Johnny Manziel era. The Aggies are picked to finish sixth in the SEC West.
Here is how the divisions have been predicted by the media (courtesy of TideSports.com);
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”