BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 11, 2021)-----The University of Florida has been predicted to win the 2021 Southeastern Conference baseball championship as voted by the league's 14 head coaches in the annual preseason poll released Thursday. The Preseason All-SEC First and Second Teams, as determined by the head coaches, were also announced.
Florida garnered 12 first place votes, while Mississippi State and Vanderbilt each had one. The Gators were predicted to win the SEC Eastern Division, while Ole Miss was the favorite to win the SEC Western Division.
Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996, the tournament champion was considered the SEC champion.
Points were compiled on a descending basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team, and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
For the seventh consecutive year, two Preseason All-SEC Teams were selected by the SEC head coaches. Eleven schools were represented on the All-SEC teams with Arkansas and Florida leading the way with four selections. Mississippi State garnered three selections, while Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt had two. Arkansas claimed an SEC-best four first-team accolades.
The 2021 regular season for SEC teams begins Feb. 19, with conference play set to begin March 19.
Eleven SEC teams have been ranked in the top-25 of the preseason college baseball polls.
2021 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Florida (13) - 91
2. Vanderbilt (1) - 79
3. Tennessee - 58
4. South Carolina - 55
5. Georgia - 51
6. Missouri - 28
7. Kentucky - 23
1. Ole Miss (7) - 78
2. Mississippi State (3) - 73
3. Arkansas (2) - 72
4. LSU (2) - 63
5. Texas A&M - 36
6. Auburn - 32
7. Alabama - 31
() - First place votes
SEC Champion: Florida (12), Mississippi State (1), Vanderbilt (1)
2021 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team
Preseason All-SEC Team selected by head coaches.
C: Casey Opitz, Arkansas
1B: T.J. Collett, Kentucky
2B: Robert Moore, Arkansas
3B: Rankin Woley, Auburn
SS: Ryan Bliss, Auburn
OF: Jud Fabian, Florida
OF: Christian Franklin, Arkansas
OF: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State
DH/UTL: Matt Goodheart, Arkansas
SP: Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
SP: Connor Prielipp, Alabama
RP: Devin Fontenot, LSU
C: Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss
1B: Josh Hatcher, Mississippi State
2B: Max Ferguson, Tennessee
3B: Tim Elko, Ole Miss
SS: Josh Rivera, Florida
OF: Rowdey Jordan, Mississippi State
OF: Owen Diodati, Alabama
OF: Cade Beloso, LSU
DH/UTL: Wes Clarke, South Carolina
SP: Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt
SP: Tommy Mace, Florida
RP: Ben Specht, Florida