Florida and Alabama Lead The Way in All–SEC Picks

Jay HendryCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Running back Jeff Demps #2 of the Florida Gators rushes upfield for a touchdown against the Florida International University Golden Panthers, November 21, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

SEC Media days are here, signaling the final countdown to the regular season.  The coaches' All–SEC preseason selections have been released as well. 

On a side note, you may remember the Tim Tebow fiasco from last year's SEC media days.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, I'm not sure which way to lean on this one), the SEC did not specify unanimous selections this year so we won't have a witch hunt.

Despite Florida's and Alabama's strong 2010 NFL drafts, the two defending division champions placed the most players on the 2010 All SEC team.  Florida led the way with 10 overall selections, three first–teamers and seven on the second team (the third team selections were left off this year).

Alabama was close behind with nine overall selections.  The Crimson Tide also led the SEC in first team selections at six. 

Third place was a tie between Auburn and Georgia, the Tide and Gators' respective rivals, at six selections each.  In a year where parity is expected to return, the coaches are still giving Florida and Alabama considerable separation.

Six of Florida's 10 players were All–SEC selections last year, O-linemen Carl Johnson (first) and Mike Pouncey (first), RB Jeff Demps (second), DBs Janoris Jenkins (first) and Ahmad Black (second), and punter Chas Henry(first). 

The newcomers are Chris Rainey (second All Purpose), Caleb Sturgis (first K), Will Hill (second DB), and AJ Jones (second LB).

Alabama returns Julio Jones (first WR), Dont'a Hightower (first LB), and Mark Ingram (first RB) with newcomers Barrett Jones (first OL), Mark Barron (first DB), Marcell Dareus (first DL), Greg McElroy (second QB), Trent Richardson (second RB), and James Carpenter (second OL).

Offensively, Alabama has six All–SEC players, making the 22nd ranked scoring offense in 2009 look much more formidable.

Overall, both squads look ready for the Alabama–Florida threepeat in December.  The Gators and the Tide both have great players on both sides of the ball, and nobody from either squad screams "Jevan Snead! DANGER, DANGER!!"

It's true that some teams have gotten better (Auburn, Arkansas), and it's true that the talent gap further closes with the divisional champs' heavy losses, but don't expect it to close completely when there's still so much talent in Tuscaloosa and Gainesville.