HOOVER, Ala. - Georgia is picked to finish second in the East, behind South Carolina, in the media vote announced on Thursday morning.
Head coach Mark Richt was asked if that sounded about right.
"No. I'd have us first," Richt said.
That was an uncharacteristically brash answer from Richt. He was asked if he was being flip or serious.
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"That's our expectation. To win the East," Richt said. "I'm not gonna say, 'Oh we're happy about being second.' That's not even close."
That was what Richt said during a small interview session with local writers. Asked in the main media room the same question, Richt was again confident.
"I'm not gonna be happy about being picked to finish second. I'm not gonna be up cheering, we're No. 2," Richt said. "I think in the end it's gonna be Georgia."
The vote was close: South Carolina had 1,895 points, and Georgia had 1,777. Florida was picked to finish third with 1,362 points, followed by Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
Later, Richt drew a comparison with 2005, when he recalled his team being picked fourth or fifth, and D.J. Shockley was stepping in as the starting quarterback for David Greene.
"Almost comes back to your quarterback thing, D.J. left, so Georgia's quarterback situation is probably going to drop off. Murray is leaving, it's probably going to drop off. That's what people think," Richt said. "When D.J. came in, he played great. Our quarterback situation was SEC‑championship caliber. I'm hoping the same with Hutson."
Alabama was picked to win the West, and to be the SEC champion. The predicted order in the West after Alabama was Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&m and Arkansas.
Georgia did receive 19 votes, out of 294, to be the SEC champion.
Tailback Todd Gurley, kicker Marshall Morgan and linebacker Ramik Wilson were on the preseason All-SEC first team.
Receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Jordan Jenkins and cornerback Damian Swann were on the second team.
Tailback Keith Marshall, tackle John Theus and defensive end Ray Drew made the third team.