Georgia Bulldogs a runaway favorite in SEC Media Days voting

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart walks off of the stage after speaking during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (Jason Getz /


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Georgia head coach Kirby Smart walks off of the stage after speaking during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (Jason Getz /


NASHVILLE , Tenn. — The Georgia Bulldogs were the overwhelming pick to win the SEC championship by reporters attending SEC Football Media Days here at the Grand Hyatt Nashville this week.

The back-to-back defending national champions received 181 votes to be crowned SEC champion Dec. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama was second with 62 votes. Georgia is the defending conference champion, while the Crimson Tide won in 2021.

Accordingly, the Bulldogs also placed 16 players on the all-conference team, including a league-high 11 on the first team.

It’s the second time in the history of media days that the Bulldogs have been the league’s preseason pick to win it all. The only other time came in 2004, when Georgia tied for first in the Eastern Division but lost the chance to play in the championship game by tiebreaker.

The Bulldogs were the runaway pick to win the Eastern Division this year with 2,011 points, including an overwhelming 265 first-place votes. The Bulldogs have won the Eastern Division five of the past six seasons and are the defending SEC champions.

Tennessee was picked second in the East with 1,682 points and 14 votes to win the division. South Carolina was third with 1,254 points and three votes to win. Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.

This season, Georgia will be looking to become the first three-in-a-row national champion since the 1930s. The Bulldogs have been picked No. 1 already in numerous preseason rankings. Minnesota was the last two do it 1934-36.

“We have not addressed that with (the team),” coach Kirby Smart said in his Media Days appearance Tuesday. “We’ve certainly looked at some ‘three-peat’ scenarios of teams like the (Chicago) Bulls and different sports teams that (the players) might actually know about. No offense to the Minnesota 1935 team, but I don’t know if it’s going to resonate with my audience. (But) we’re going to try to.”

Alabama had been the media’s preseason selection in each of the past seven years. The Crimson Tide were picked to win the West, narrowly edging LSU (1,838 points) and Texas A&M (1,144).

Only nine times since the league went to divisions in 1992 has the predicted champion from SEC Media Days proceeded to win the SEC Championship game.

Getting first-team all-conference nods from Georgia were junior tight end Brock Bowers, junior receiver Ladd McConkey, junior tackle Amarius Mims, redshirt sophomore guard Tate Ratledge and junior Sedrick Van Pran on the offense and sophomore defensive end Mykel Williams, senior lineman Nazir Stackhouse, junior linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson, sophomore safety Malaki Starks, junior defensive back Kamari Lassiter and junior defensive back Javon Bullard.

Second-team Bulldogs included senior running back Kendall Milton, senior guard Xavier Truss, junior linebacker Smael Mondon. Linebacker Jalon Walker and senior snapper William Mote concluded Georgia’s selections after being voted to the third team.

The Bulldogs start their 2023 campaign at home versus Tennessee-Martin in Sanford Stadium on Sept. 2.



School, Points

Georgia, 181

Alabama, 62

LSU, 31

Tennessee, 5

Vanderbilt, 5

Arkansas, 2

Auburn, 2

Texas A&M, 1

Mississippi State, 1

South Carolina, 1


School (first-place votes), Points

Georgia (265), 2,011

Tennessee (14), 1,682

South Carolina (3), 1,254

Kentucky (1), 1,204

Florida, 911

Missouri, 658

Vanderbilt (8), 428


School (first-place votes), Points

Alabama (165), 1,899

LSU (117), 1,838

Texas A&M (1), 1,144

Ole Miss, 1128

Arkansas (3), 958

Auburn (4), 685

Mississippi State (1), 496



First team

QB- Jayden Daniels, LSU

RB- Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss

RB- Raheim Sanders, Arkansas

WR- Malik Nabers, LSU

WR- Ladd McConkey, Georgia

TE- Brock Bowers, Georgia

OL- JC Latham, Alabama

OL- Amarius Mims, Georgia

OL- Tate Ratledge, Georgia

OL- Will Campbell, LSU

C- Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia

Second team

QB- KJ Jefferson, Arkansas

RB- Jase McClellan, Alabama

RB- Kendall Milton, Georgia

WR- Antwane Wells, South Carolina

*WR- Bru McCoy, Tennessee

*WR- Ja’Corey Brooks, Alabama

TE- Mason Taylor, LSU

OL- Tyler Booker, Alabama

OL- Brady Latham, Arkansas

OL- Javon Foster, Missouri

OL- Xavier Truss, Georgia

C- Seth McLaughlin, Alabama

Third team

*QB- Joe Milton III, Tennessee

*QB- Will Rogers, Mississippi State

RB- Jarquez Hunter, Auburn

RB- Trevor Etienne, Florida

WR- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR- Jermaine Burton, Alabama

TE- Trey Knox, South Carolina

OL- Emery Jones, LSU

OL- Eli Cox, Kentucky

OL- Javontez Spraggins, Tennessee

OL- Layden Robinson, Texas A&M

C- Cooper Mays, Tennessee


First team

DL- Mekhi Wingo, LSU

DL- Mykel Williams, Georgia

DL- Maason Smith, LSU

DL- Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia

LB- Dallas Turner, Alabama

LB- Harold Perkins, LSU

LB- Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia

DB- Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

DB- Malaki Starks, Georgia

DB- Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

DB- Javon Bullard, Georgia

Second team

DL- Jaheim Oatis, Alabama

DL- McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

DL- Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

DL- Deone Walker, Kentucky

LB- Smael Mondon, Georgia

LB- Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State

LB- Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri

DB- Malachi Moore, Alabama

DB- Dwight McGlothern, Arkansas

DB- Demani Richardson, Texas A&M

DB- Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri

Third team

DL - Princely Umanmielen, Florida

DL- Tonka Hemingway, South Carolina

DL- Tim Smith, Alabama

DL- Darius Robinson, Missouri

LB- Chris Braswell, Alabama

LB- Jalon Walker, Georgia

LB- JJ Weaver, Kentucky

DB- Major Burns, LSU

DB- D.J. James, Auburn

DB- Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn

DB- Jason Marshall Jr., Florida


First team

P- Kai Kroeger, South Carolina

PK- Will Reichard, Alabama

LS- Kneeland Hibbett, Alabama

KOS- Mitch Jeter, South Carolina

RS - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

AP- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

Second team

P- Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

PK- Harrison Mevis, Missouri

LS- Slade Roy, LSU

KOS- Nathan Dibert, LSU

RS- Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP- Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State

Third team

P- Oscar Chapman, Auburn

PK- Alex McPherson, Auburn

LS- William Mote, Georgia

RS- Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State

AP- Dakereon Joyner, South Carolina

*- Indicates a tie

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