HOOVER, Ala. -- History shows that being the preseason media pick to win the SEC is a pretty bad omen. Luckily for Georgia, it was only picked to win its division.
Head coach Mark Richt was taking that as solace.
I hope the media is right, he said Thursday. I was looking at the record of picking the eventual champion. It wasnt real good. But maybe you guys are better at picking the divisional champ anyway. But it would be nice to get back to Atlanta.
Georgia was the first-place pick of 132 of the 222 media members who voted, with South Carolina getting the majority (72) of the other votes. Florida, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky rounded out the predicted order in the East.
Georgia senior receiver Tavarres King was asked if he minded being the division favorite.
It doesnt hurt anything, he said. Really all that matters is if youre there at the end. It doesnt hurt at all if people picked us to be there.
Georgia also received 14 votes to be overall champion. But LSU (129) and Alabama (65) led the way.
LSU, the defending SEC champion, was picked to win the West and repeat as overall champion. But only four times since 1992, when records for the preseason poll begin, has the predicted overall champion ended up winning.
The individual accolades were a little less for Georgia: It had the seventh most players on the preseason All-SEC teams, which went three deep. Two players each were on first team (linebacker Jarvis Jones and safety Bacarri Rambo), second team (quarterback Aaron Murray and nose tackle John Jenkins) and third team (offensive lineman Kenarious Gates and King).
Soaking it in
Georgia defensive end Abry Jones was conspicuously less-dressed than his two teammates Thursday. While King and Jarvis Jones looked dapper and colorful, Abry Jones simply wore a black suit, plain black tie and plain white tie.
Tavarres, hes a skill guy, so theyre always flashy, and Jarvis didnt dress himself (Thursday) morning, so Im not even counting him, Abry Jones said. But me, kinda plain, laid back is just my style. I dont really try to do too much.
For the record, Jarvis Jones said he did select his own nice red tie and navy blue suit.
Abry Jones, a former Northside standout, is not one of the most famous Bulldogs. But Richt elected to take him to Hoover anyway and told the national and SEC media that was because he had quietly become of our better football players. And I think quietly become one of the better football players in the SEC.
Jones was asked what coming to the event meant to him.
One of the things you really dont hear about coming out of high school is SEC Media Days, he said. But once you get here you realize your hard work pays off and your coach decides to bring you along for the ride. It feels good.