The annual preseason poll of writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the conference was released with Florida and Alabama as preseason favorites in the Eastern and Western divisions.
Defending national champion Florida was a unanimous pick in the Eastern Division, the first time that’s happened in either division. The Gators received 63 of 64 votes to win the overall championship. Ole Miss received the other vote.
Mississippi State was picked sixth in the West.
The third-place projection was the Rebels’ highest since 2004, when they were also picked third. The highest preseason projection for Ole Miss since the league split into divisions was second in 1993.
Alabama was first in the West on 33 ballots, compared to 16 for Ole Miss and 15 for LSU. The Tigers were above Ole Miss on enough ballots to finish second in the preseason poll. Ole Miss was followed by Arkansas, Auburn and MSU.
Ole Miss placed two players on the preseason All-SEC first team, offensive tackle John Jerry and defensive end Greg Hardy. Quarterback Jevan Snead, wide receiver Dexter McCluster and kicker Joshua Shene made the second team.
MSU had second-team selections in running back Anthony Dixon and linebacker Jamar Chaney.
Florida led all schools with 12 selections on the All-SEC team.