ATLANTA—There will be no repeat matchup of last year's SEC title game, according to the press.
But a College Football Playoff championship rematch ... for the conference title?
Now, that's a different story.
On Friday, the SEC went public with the media's preseason voting tallies for the two divisions, with UGA and Alabama overwhelmingly claiming first place for the East and West, respectively.
The Bulldogs were the consistent regular-season choice in media circles, securing the most first-place votes of any conference team (271) and garnering more separation from the second-place club in the division, compared to the Crimson Tide (263 first-place votes).
Of course, Auburn (second in the West; last year's division champ) will likely be a top-10 team when the season launches in September, compared to South Carolina (second in the East), which might merely crack the top 20.
On the flip side, Alabama nearly tripled the number of UGA votes for conference champion, winning that particular battle, 193-69.
In essence, the media believes last year's outcome from the CFP title game (Alabama rallying past UGA in overtime) will be replicated in Atlanta come December—albeit with only a conference title on the line.
On the quirky side of voting ... Missouri received one vote for capturing the SEC championship, but didn't earn a single tally for SEC East champs.
For that to happen, UGA head coach Kirby Smart (above) would have to decline the Dec. 1 invitation to Atlanta.
(Don't hold your breath, Mizzou fans.)
Anyway ... here's the rest of the preseason SEC media voting.
For what it's worth, my divisional vote was virtually in sync with the final tally, aside from Florida and Missouri being transposed in the East.
SEC PRESEASON BALLOTING
2. South Carolina
3. Mississippi State
4. Texas A&M
6. Ole Miss