As expected, the Georgia Bulldogs were picked to finish first in the SEC East by the media contingent at the 2021 SEC Media Days.
The Bulldogs also received the second most number of votes to win the conference, behind Alabama with 84. Georgia received 45.
Georgia is coming off a season where it did not win the SEC East, as the Florida Gators did so in 2020. The Bulldogs went 8-2, but were able to end the season with a win over Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl.
Voters took notice of the talent on Georgia’s roster, as it brings back the likes of JT Daniels, running back Zamir White, linebacker Nakobe Dean and others.
“The preseason rankings are what they are,” Daniels said when asked about preseason hype on Tuesday. “We don’t have any say over them. It’s cool when they say you’re good. It’s cool when they say you suck. It really doesn’t matter either way. You go out and play football.
Related: JT Daniels comfortable with championship expectations for Georgia football
The Bulldogs also took advantage of the transfer portal, bringing in Arik Gilbert, Derion Kendrick and Tykee Smith. All three have starting experience from previous Power 5 programs.
“I’m excited about them,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said on Tuesday. “They’re the guys that we’ve integrated into our team really smoothly. I think when you talk about players coming into a program, these guys are different because they were already integrated into a program.”
Florida was picked to finish second in the SEC East, followed by Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
In the SEC West, Texas A&M was picked to finish second, with LSU in third, Ole Miss in fourth, Auburn in fifth, Arkansas in sixth and Mississippi State to round things out.
While the media has more often than not been wrong when it comes to picking division champions in the preseason, it did get it right in 2020 when it predicted Florida to win the east, Alabama to win the west and then the league championship.
Georgia’s first SEC game will be on Sept. 18 when the Bulldogs welcome the South Carolina Gamecocks to Sanford Stadium. The first game of the season for Georgia is set for Sept. 4, when Georgia takes on Clemson in Charlotte.
SEC East projected order of finish
- Georgia (124 first-place votes)
- South Carolina(1)
SEC West projected order of finish
- Alabama (130)
- Texas A&M (1)
- LSU (1)
- Ole Miss (1)
- Arkansas (1)
- Mississippi State
SEC Championship votes