The Southeastern Conference (SEC) coaches have selected No. 12 South Carolina to finish third in the SEC Eastern division this year, the conference office announced Monday. The Gamecocks are coming off a 19-4-2 record in 2009 with a second place finish in the SEC East (7-3-1) and a berth in the NCAA Round of 16.
Florida was selected as the favorite to win the SEC title this year with 11 of 12 first-place votes cast for the Gators. South Carolina received the other first-place vote for the East and SEC overall titles, marking the first year that the defending SEC Tournament champions received a vote for the overall title.
In the East, No. 11 Florida was followed by Georgia, No. 12 South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Auburn was the favorite to win the West, followed by LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division, though each coach was not allowed to vote for their own team.
No. 12 South Carolina opens the 2010 season this weekend when the team travels to Boston, Mass., to play the Boston Terriers (Aug. 20) and Northeastern Huskies (Aug. 22).
PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL (First place votes in parenthesis)
Eastern Division Western Division
Florida (11) 66 pts Auburn (6) 61 pts
Georgia 51 pts LSU (4) 58 pts
S. Carolina (1) 50 pts Ole Miss (2) 47 pts
Tennessee 32 pts Alabama 33 pts
Vanderbilt 29 pts Arkansas 31 pts
Kentucky 18 pts Miss. State 16 pts