Sports Illustrated Publisher Predictions for Final SEC Standings, Alabama on Top Yet Again

Nate Gabler

The Alabama Crimson Tide are the unanimous choice to win its division, and the consensus pick to be SEC champions. But there are some dissenting opinions as to who will take the SEC crown. 

Sports Illustrated’s SEC Publishers were in complete agreement about three things when voting on how the league’s 2020 football season will finish, but not about which team will eventually be crowned champion.

Alabama was the unanimous pick to win the West, while Arkansas and Vanderbilt were pegged for last in their respective divisions on every ballot cast in the preseason poll.The Crimson Tide received the most votes to win the league title, with Florida a distant second and Georgia third.

Last week, Alabama topped all teams with 10 first-team selections, and 12 overall when SI Publishers selected their 2020 Preseason All-SEC teams.

The projected order of finish, by division:

East Division

  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Tennessee
  4. Kentucky
  5. South Carolina
  6. Missouri
  7. Vanderbilt

West Division

  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. Auburn
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Ole Miss
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Arkansas

Projected Champion: Alabama over Georgia 

The closest votes were for third in the East, between Kentucky and Tennessee, and for fifth in the West with Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

The 2020 SEC Media Days were scheduled to kick off in Atlanta on Monday, but have been postponed until a course of action for the season during the coronavirus pandemic can be determined.

Instead, the league held a meeting for the athletic directors in Birmingham. For more on that meeting, and the future of SEC football in the fall, see here.

"It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis," Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us."

Only seven times since 1992 has the predicted champion at media days won the SEC Championship Game. Alabama was picked to defeat Georgia last year, and will be the likely favorite again if a 2020 media days poll is conducted. 

The Grove Report's Personal Projected Finish:

East Division

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Kentucky
  5. South Carolina
  6. Missouri
  7. Vanderbilt

West Division

  1. Alabama
  2. Auburn
  3. LSU
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Ole Miss
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Arkansas

Projected Champion: Florida over Alabama

More from The Grove Report:

Top Uncommitted Players from Mississippi in the 2021 Recruiting Class

Three-star Receiver Flips from Ole Miss to Georgia

Four Rebels Snubbed from the SI Preseason All-SEC Team

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