Vols Picked to Finish Second-to-Last in SEC East

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    The official predicted order of finish for the upcoming 2018 SEC football season has been voted on and tallied, and SEC media members have little faith in Tennessee for this upcoming season.

    The Vols were picked to finish sixth out of seven teams in the SEC East this season by the media gathered at SEC Media Days in Atlanta this year. The only team with fewer points in the final tally in the East was Vanderbilt.

    Tennessee did receive one vote to win the division, however. But their 704 overall points finished behind Kentucky’s 874 points. The Wildcats also received one vote to win the East.

    This year’s results mark the lowest predicted finish for the Vols in at least the last 20 years. Tennessee was picked to finish 5th in 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2010. In 2010, that would’ve been a second-to-last finish at the time since the SEC still only had 12 members at that point, however.

    Georgia was predicted to win the East for the second straight year, and Alabama was the predicted winner for the West. Alabama also recieved the most votes for the winner of the whole SEC.

    Here’s how the voting turned out for each division:

    Georgia – 1,977 (271)
    South Carolina – 1,535 (8)
    Florida – 1,441 (4)
    Missouri – 1,057
    Kentucky – 874 (1)
    Tennessee – 704 (1)
    Vanderbilt – 392

    Alabama – 1,971 (263)
    Auburn – 1,664 (19)
    Mississippi State – 1,239 (2)
    Texas A&M – 1,091
    LSU – 1,025
    Ole Miss – 578
    Arkansas – 412

    The Vols were picked to finish third in the East last year at SEC Media Days, but they ended up finishing last in the division. Tennessee has only once finished above their preseason prediction since the conference expanded in 2012, and that was in 2014. That year, Tennessee was picked to finish fifth but finished fourth.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.