With a record 243 media members voting at SEC Media Days, the Crimson Tide was the heavy favorite in 2013. Alabama received 225 first-place votes to win the SEC West Division and 182 votes to finish as kings of the SEC for the second consecutive year.
Problem is, no team has won back-to-back SEC championships during the Bowl Championship Series era (since 1998).
In the West, Texas A&M (11 first-place votes) finished second, while LSU (7) was picked third. Ole Miss was fourth, Auburn fifth, Mississippi State sixth and Arkansas seventh.
Georgia (149) was selected to repeat as SEC East champs, while South Carolina (75) and Florida (19) were picked second and third, respectively. They were followed by Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky.
Another bright spot for the Tide was having 16 players on the Preseason Media Days All-SEC Team, including four offensive and three defensive players on the first team.
On offense, running back T.J. Yeldon, wide receiver Amari Cooper and offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio and Anthony Steen earned first-team honors.
Defensively, linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive backs Haha Clinton-Dix and Deion Belue were selected.
The second team included quarterback AJ McCarron, punter Cody Mandell and five defensive players --- defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan, Xzavier Dickson and Ed Stinson, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and safety Vinnie Sunseri. Tight end Brian Vogler and linebacker Trey DePriest were selected to the third team.
Auburn got six All-SEC picks, none on the first team. The second team included running back Tre Mason, center Reese Dismukes, defensive end Dee Ford and kicker Cody Parkey. Cornerback Chris Davis and punter Steven Clark made the third team.
Marq Burnett covers University of Alabama sports for The Star. On Twitter, @Marq_Burnett.