Tennessee picked third in SEC East; four Vols named preseason All-SEC

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones (Photo: Jason Getz, USA TODAY Sports)


Tennessee was picked to finish third in the SEC East in the league’s preseason poll released Friday morning, one day after SEC Media Days concluded in Hoover, Ala.

The Vols were picked to finish behind division favorite Georgia and rival Florida and received only three first-place votes — two less than South Carolina.

The Gators won the SEC East the past two seasons, while Georgia hasn’t won it since 2012 and Tennessee’s drought extends back to 2007.

South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri round out the rest of the predicted order of finish for the East.

Alabama was picked to win the SEC, while Auburn was picked to finish second to the Crimson Tide in the SEC West, followed by LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

The Tide received 217 votes to win the SEC with the rest of the league combining for just 26 votes to win it. Auburn was the only other team to get double-digit votes to win the SEC, Georgia received six and Florida three. South Carolina, Arkansas and Vanderbilt each got one vote to win the SEC, but Tennessee didn’t get a single one.

Tennessee was picked to win the SEC East in 2016 and wound up finishing second to Florida for the second straight year. The Vols were picked second in 2015. The last time they were picked to finish third in the division was 2008, when Tennessee went 5-7 in Phillip Fulmer’s final season.

The Vols begin preseason training camp on July 29.

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