Holloway: Alabama clear favorite in SEC west
The predicted order of finish in the SEC by reporters who covered the league's media days, with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:
SEC Champion — Alabama (143), Florida (17), Auburn (7), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (2), Georgia (2), LSU (1), South Carolina (1), Kentucky (1).
1. Alabama (157) 1034
2. Arkansas (6) 726
3. Auburn (10) 691
4. LSU (1) 653
5. Mississippi St. 320
6. Mississippi (3) 293
1. Florida (153) 1030
2. Georgia (15) 791
3. South Carolina (8) 790
4. Kentucky 462
5. Tennessee 450
6. Vanderbilt (1) 194
HOOVER, Ala. — The media votes are in — all 177 of them — and it's no surprise the Southeastern Conference predicts Alabama and Florida will face off in the conference title game in Atlanta.
Alabama will win the conference over the Gators and also receive the most first- and second-team All-SEC players with 12, according to the votes. Florida has 10 players selected to an All-SEC team, including Brandon Hicks, a surprise at linebacker, as a first-teamer. S Ahmad Black and C Mike Pouncey also made the first-team list.
The Crimson Tide was on 143 ballots to win the SEC Championship Game and 157 ballots to win the Western Division. Florida was predicted to win the SEC title on 17 ballots, followed by Auburn (seven), Arkansas (three), Ole Miss (two), Georgia (two), LSU (one), South Carolina (one) and Kentucky (one).
Florida received 1,030 total points to take the East crown over Georgia (791) and South Carolina (790). Voters are down on Tennessee (450), which finished fifth in the East behind Kentucky (462) and in front of Vanderbilt (194).
One voter selected Vanderbilt, 0-8 in SEC play a season ago, to win the East. Three voters picked Mississippi to win the West.
Florida second-teamers include: OL Carl Johnson, OL Marcus Gilbert from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, DT Justin Trattou, S Will Hill, CB Janoris Jenkins, P Chas Henry and hybrid athlete Chris Rainey.
SOUTH FLORIDA LOVE: Two former South Florida stars — LSU CB Patrick Peterson from Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely and Auburn LB Josh Bynes from Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson — received first-team All-SEC recognition Friday.
Peterson, a second-team All-American last year, is considered one of the country's best cornerbacks and a probable first-round NFL draft pick. Bynes led Auburn last season with 104 tackles.
Bynes seems more concerned about an SEC title than personal accolades.
"Going into this year, we've got to step up our game," Bynes said. "We can't have games where we give up so many yards."
UF PRESEASON RECOGNITION: The Gators are ranked No. 4 nationally in the national composite rankings.
Alabama is the runaway favorite with top rankings from Sporting News, Lindy's, Athlon, Yahoo and Kickoff. Three of those outlets ranked Florida in the national top five. Florida received a No. 7 ranking from Steele's and No. 5 ranking from Blue Ribbon.
Florida was last year's unanimous preseason No. 1, earning more than 90 percent of the Associated Press preseason votes.
STAYING OUT OF IT: Ole Miss is undergoing a mascot change after Colonel Reb has been missing in action the last seven years because of the sensitivity of his Old South roots.
Ole Miss has narrowed its search to five mascot possibilities — land shark, horse, lion, bear and Hotty and Toddy.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who appeared in his 13th straight SEC Media Days on Friday, is staying neutral.
"We're Ole Miss Rebels and that's what I go by," Nutt said. "I'm gonna let the students handle that."
QUOTE OF NOTE: "The people I run across on a regular basis enjoy me in that position."
—LSU coach Les Miles on whether fans support the job he does in Baton Rouge.