Alabama is the pick to win another Southeastern Conference title.
The Crimson Tide received 223 of 331 total votes by the league's media one year after winning the league and national titles. LSU received the second-most votes with 59 while Tennessee had 29.
Alabama and Tennessee were the overwhelming favorites to win their respective divisions. In the West, Alabama received 246 first place votes (2,220 points overall) to finish well ahead of LSU's 76 first-place votes and 1,984 points. Mississippi (Ole Miss) was picked to finish in third, followed by Texas A&M, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State.
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For Texas A&M, it is their highest projected finish since 2013, after being picked to finish sixth in 2014 and 2015. They also received a singular vote to win the SEC Championship.
The question for Kevin Sumlin, who has been rumored to be on the "hot seat", is a fourth place finish enough to keep his job?
Texas A&M has not finished fourth or better in the SEC West since going 9-4 (4-4 in the conference) in 2013, so in theory, it would be an improvement. The issue is marginal improvement may not be good enough.
While A&M has not had a sub-.500 season under Sumlin, they also have not had a winning conference record outside of that time they had the Heisman Trophy-winner under Center.
So can Texas A&M outperform expectations? Will their University of Oklahoma graduate transfer and south Texas-native, Trevor Knight, lead them to better days? Or will their issues from last season, at the line-of-scrimmage and with their signal caller(s), cause them to struggle in the SEC for a fourth consectuive season?
It will be up to Kevlin Sumlin and his coaching staff to make the answers to those questions positive ones, for the team's sake and his own.