SEC Football Media – not as smart as we think we are
Media members who regularly (and irregularly) cover Southeastern Conference football have gathered in Birmingham for the annual rite known as Media Days. Coaches and players take their turns before print, TV and radio journalists, as well as bloggers, to explain that everyone on their respective team is bigger, faster, stronger, and want it more than ever before.
Virtually every player will explain that chemistry is better this year, that “we’re more of a team.” Even the players on the defending Alabama Crimson Tide squad will say that. Why? Because by virtue of the fact that they’ve been selected to attend this meeting, each player feels more ownership of his respective team, more like a leader. Anyone who gets more meaningful playing time thinks chemistry is better because HE is happier.
Included in this three-day pageant is voting by the media on the pre-season All-SEC team, as well as predictions on which teams will win the East and West divisions, as well as the conference championship. You might think the people who are hip-deep in this beat might know a little something when it comes to forecasting the SEC team champion.
Not so fast, my friend.
Since the conference went to divisions in 1992, only four times have SEC media members correctly predicted which team would win the league. Three times, the projected champ made the final game, only to lose. Twice the team picked to win it all finished fifth in its respective division – Alabama in 2000, and Tennessee in 2005.
The votes will be tabulated by Thursday.
HOW PREVIOUS MEDIA DAYS VOTING HAS FARED
Here is a look at how the media voted at SEC Football Media Days dating back to 1992 and how the projected champions actually fared:
Projected Champion Eventual
Year Champion Fared Champion
1992 Florida lost in SEC Champ. Game Alabama
1993 Alabama lost in SEC Champ. Game Florida
1994 Florida Won SEC Championship Game
1995 Florida Won SEC Championship Game
1996 Tennessee 2nd in East Florida
1997 Florida T2nd in East Tennessee
1998 Florida 2nd in East Tennessee
1999 Tennessee 2nd in East Alabama
2000 Alabama T5th in West Florida
2001 Florida 2nd in East LSU
2002 Tennessee 3rd in East Georgia
2003 Auburn 3rd in West LSU
2004 Georgia 2nd in East Auburn
2005 Tennessee 5th in East Georgia
2006 Auburn T2nd in West Florida
2007 LSU Won SEC Championship Game
2008 Florida Won SEC Championship Game
2009 Florida lost in SEC Champ. Game Alabama
2010 Alabama 4th in West Auburn
2011 Alabama 2nd in West LSU