2016 SEC Preseason Poll: Alabama No. 1 in poll that's usually wrong

More often than not, the SEC media gets it wrong with their preseason picks. Since 1992, the credentialed media has gotten the preseason champion correct just five times. Only eight times has the preseason pick even made it to the SEC title game. Auburn was the preseason pick to win the league last year, and though Alabama earned more points as the SEC West division favorite it was another loss for the scribes as the Tigers fell well short of another SEC championship.

Here's how the media thinks things will shake out in 2016.

SEC East -- first-place votes in parenthesis

1 Tennessee (225) 2167
2 Florida (57) 1891
3 Georgia (45) 1860
4 Kentucky 933
5 Vanderbilt (2) 810
6 Missouri 807
7 South Carolina (2) 800

Our take: The Tennessee hype train is the story of the division. Dennis Dodd pointed out that you can't win titles in July, but if you could, it sure seems like the Vols have this one wrapped up. Florida and Georgia are wildly talented in certain spots, but have too many question marks to steal first-place votes from even the most cautious Vols fan writer in Hoover.

SEC West -- first-place votes in parenthesis

1 Alabama (246) 2220
2 LSU (76) 1984
3 Ole Miss (5) 1479
4 Texas A&M 1130
5 Arkansas (1) 1047
6 Auburn 890
7 Mississippi State 518

Our take: Alabama is one of the only correct preseason picks from the SEC media in the last two decades, so it's worth considering that Nick Saban's desire for title consumption may exceed the curse placed on the media's pick. The most accurate picture of what we expect in the SEC West comes from the division of first-place votes: Alabama seems like the pick, but if not it's basically LSU or blind luck. With Leonard Fournette back and Les Miles still in place there are high expectations in Baton Rouge.

SEC Champion

Alabama -- 223

LSU -- 59

Tennessee -- 29

Georgia -- 7

Florida -- 5

Ole Miss -- 4

Texa A&M -- 1

South Carolina -- 1

Vanderbilt -- 1

Arkansas -- 1

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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