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SEC well represented in coaches' poll

The ESPN/USA Today coaches' preseason poll has debuted, and the SEC led all conferences with eight teams making the Top 25.

The Big 12 and Big Ten both tied for second with five teams each.

What should have come as no surprise to most was that Alabama came in at No. 2, behind Oklahoma. Feel free to congratulate our Big 12 brothers on their temporary win over the SEC, here.

Alabama received 13 of 59 first-place votes, second, of course, to Oklahoma's 42. LSU, who came in at No. 4, received two first-place votes, along with the Tigers' week one opponent, No. 3 Oregon.

Here is a complete look at the poll, and here is where each SEC team was ranked:

2. Alabama (13)

4. LSU (2)

12. South Carolina

14. Arkansas

19. Auburn

20. Mississippi State

22. Georgia

23. Florida

The only other team to receive any votes for the Top 25 was Tennessee (7).

Here are the six SEC coaches who made up part of the 59 voters:

  • Nick Saban, Alabama

  • Gene Chizik, Auburn

  • Mark Richt, Georgia

  • Les Miles, LSU

  • Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

  • James Franklin, Vanderbilt

My thoughts:

  • Arkansas is a few spots lower than I expected the Hogs to be, and I wouldn't have put them lower than South Carolina, either. The Razorbacks do have to replace three starters on the offensive line, but return most of the parts to the SEC's most high-powered offense, including three of the top receivers in the league. Plus, the defense is expected to be much improved. I would have had them in the top 10.

  • Auburn's placement in the Top 25 isn't a surprise, but putting the Tigers as high as 19 is. I understand and respect the code of always ranking the defending national champion, but even some Auburn fans have to agree that 19 is a bit high, right? Well, maybe not, but putting the Tigers between 20-25 makes more sense with all that youth and the plethora of holes to fill.

  • Georgia probably would have been much higher on this list if not for all that offensive movement during the offseason. Georgia still has a talented bunch and will lean on its youngsters, but issues at offensive line and running back are the main concerns.

  • Finally, watch out for Mississippi State. There is a lot of hype in Starkville, and the Bulldogs probably won't sneak up on anyone this season, but that offense should be fun to watch. Three linebackers have to be replaced, but the secondary is strong and Brandon Maye should have an instant impact in the middle.