LSU receives little respect in SEC preseason football media poll, Alabama picked to win it all

Tigers defensive lineman BJ Ojulari, receiver Kayshon Boutte named to preseason All-SEC first team

LSU defensive end BJ Ojulari PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU was picked to finished fifth in the seven-team Western Division and Alabama was selected as the runaway favorite to win the 2022 SEC championship game, according to a preseason poll of media members covering this week’s SEC Football Media Days in Atlanta.

Receiver Kayshon Boutte, a first team pick, was the lone LSU player on offense named to any of the media’s preseason All-SEC Team, which also was released Friday.

Boutte was named to the first team along with Alabama receiver Jermaine Brown, with Alabama’s Bryce Young – last season’s Heisman Trophy winner – at quarterback.

BJ Ojulari, one of three LSU players who represented the team in Atlanta along with linebacker Mike Jones Jr. and receiver Jack Bech, was a first team selection on the defensive line.

Teammate Ali Gaye was a second team defensive line preseason pick and Maason Smith of the Tigers was a third team defensive line selection, giving LSU plenty of presence up front defensively heading into its Sept. 4 season opener against Florida State at the Superdome in New Orleans.

The Tigers received 591 voting points in the West, which was won by the Crimson Tide with 1,262 points, followed in order by Texas A&M (968), Arkansas (844) and Ole Miss (675).

Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis by 181 voters who participated, including one from Tiger Rag.

The relatively low total for LSU may reflect uncertainty about the program from outsiders as the Tigers prepare for their first season under coach Brian Kelly, who still has not named a starter at quarterback from among a list of contenders including Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier, Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels and true freshman Walker Howard.

All but four voters picked Alabama to win the West, with three giving the nod to Texas A&M and one selecting Arkansas.

Georgia was chosen to win the Eastern Division with 1,254 points, including 172 first-place votes. Kentucky (932) was second with four votes to win the division, and Tennessee (929) was a close third.

Alabama collected a convincing 158 votes to win the Dec. 3 SEC championship game in Atlanta, with reigning national champion Georgia receiving just 18 votes.

Only nine times since 1992 has the predicted champion prior to the season at SEC Media Days gone on to win the SEC championship game, including the last two seasons, according to an SEC news release.

Here are results of the full poll and preseason All-SEC voting:

2022 SEC PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

(First place votes in parenthesis)

WESTERN DIVISION

1. Alabama: 1,262 (177)

2. Texas A&M: 968 (3)

3. Arkansas: 844 (1)

4. Ole Miss: 675

5. LSU: 591

6. Mississippi State: 390

7. Auburn: 338

EASTERN DIVISION

1. Georgia: 1,254 (172)

2. Kentucky: 932 (4)

3. Tennessee: 929 (1)

4. Florida: 712

5. South Carolina: 662 (3)

6. Missouri: 383

7. Vanderbilt: 196 (1)

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Alabama: 158

Georgia: 18

South Carolina: 3

Texas A&M: 1

Vanderbilt: 1

PRESEASON ALL-SEC TEAM

OFFENSE

First team

QB: Bryce Young, Alabama

RB: Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama 

WR: Kayshon Boutte, LSU 

WR: Jermaine Burton, Alabama 

TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia 

OL: Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama 

OL:  Warren McClendon, Georgia

OL:  O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida

OL:  Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

C:  Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Second team

QB: Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

RB: Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

RB: Devon Achane, Texas A&M

WR: Cedric Tillman, Tennessee

WR: Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

TE: Cameron Latu, Alabama  

OL:  Layden Robinson, Texas A&M

OL:  Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky 

OL:  Darnell Wright, Tennessee

OL:  Javion Cohen, Alabama

C:  Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia

Third team

QB: Will Levis, Kentucky

RB: Zach Evans, Ole Miss

RB: Kenny McIntosh, Georgia

WR: Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR: Josh Vann, South Carolina  

TE: Jaheim Bell, South Carolina

OL: Brady Latham, Arkansas

OL: Tyler Steen, Alabama

OL: Javon Foster, Missouri  

*OL: Jeremy James, Ole Miss

*OL: Kendall Randolph, Alabama

C: Cooper Mays, Tennessee

DEFENSE

First team

DL: Jalen Carter, Georgia

DL: BJ Ojulari, LSU 

DL: Derick Hall, Auburn 

DL: Byron Young, Tennessee

LB: Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

LB: Nolan Smith, Georgia

LB: Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama 

DB: Jordan Battle, Alabama 

DB: Kelee Ringo, Georgia

DB: Eli Ricks, Alabama

DB: Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

Second team

DL: Zacch Pickens, South Carolina

DL: D.J. Dale, Alabama

DL: Ali Gaye, LSU

DL: Colby Wooden, Auburn 

LB: Bumper Pool, Arkansas 

LB: Dallas Turner, Alabama 

LB: Brenton Cox Jr., Florida

DB: Cam Smith, South Carolina 

DB: Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M 

DB: Christopher Smith, Georgia 

DB: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State 

Third team

DL: Gervon Dexter, Florida

DL:  Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

DL: Maason Smith, LSU 

DL: McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

LB: Owen Pappoe, Auburn 

LB: Ventrell Miller, Florida   

LB: Jeremy Banks, Tennessee

DB: Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

DB: Trey Dean III, Florida

DB: Trevon Flowers, Tennessee 

DB: Malachi Moore, Alabama 

SPECIALISTS

First team

P: Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

PK: Will Reichard, Alabama

RS:  Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama 

Second team

P: Oscar Chapman, Auburn

PK: Anders Carlson, Auburn  

RS: Ainias Smith, Texas A&M 

AP: Devon Achane, Texas A&M

Third team

P: Paxton Brooks, Tennessee 

PK: Harrison Mevis, Missouri 

RS: JoJo Earle, Alabama  

AP: Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

* Indicates a tie

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