HOOVER, Ala. — The Georgia Bulldogs want to put the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division back atop the league.
Bulldogs wide receiver Tavarres King says a number of players returned for their senior season because they “had some unfinished business ... winning the big game of the SEC championship.”
Making it back to Atlanta isn’t good enough for the Bulldogs. Georgia is the media’s preseason favorite to repeat in the East, ahead of South Carolina.
LSU hammered the Bulldogs 42-10 in last year’s SEC championship game. Then, all but one of the rising seniors announced they were returning instead of entering the NFL draft.
Coach Mark Richt said at SEC media days Thursday those decisions are part of why he’s optimistic about this year.
The West has won the last three league championship games and national titles.
LSU was picked Thursday to win its second straight Southeastern Conference championship.
The Tigers got the nod in the Western Division over Alabama, the team that beat LSU in the BCS championship game in January. Arkansas was picked to finish third in the West, followed by Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Mississippi in a vote by the 222 media members attending the league’s media days.
Georgia was picked to win the Eastern Division, followed by South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore received the most votes on the first team, followed by LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and Alabama center Barrett Jones.
LSU led the league with seven first-team selections, Alabama had five. The West had 20 of the 26 first-team selections.