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    SEC Preseason Coaches Poll Announced

    COACHES SELECT FLORIDA TO REPEAT AS SEC BASEBALL CHAMPIONS

    The Florida Gators are predicted to repeat as the 2011 Southeastern Conference baseball champions, as voted by the league’s 12 baseball coaches in the 20th annual preseason SEC poll.

    The Gators, ranked No. 1 nationally in multiple preseason polls, seek to capture their 12th SEC Championship.  UF returns eight position starters and 11 pitchers from their 2010 squad which claimed the SEC Championship and advanced to the NCAA College World Series.

    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.  

    In addition to picking a preseason SEC champion, the league’s head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC Eastern and Western Divisions. In the Western Division, LSU was the favorite with 63 of a possible 66 points.  Arkansas came in second with 49 points and Auburn third with 46.  Florida was the favorite in the Eastern Division with a total of 66 points. Vanderbilt was second with 55, while South Carolina, last season’s NCAA National Champion, finished third with 48.

    Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division.  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.  Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

    The 2011 SEC regular season begins Friday, February 18, with conference play set to begin Friday, March 18. The SEC Tournament will be played at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., May 25-29. The SEC Tournament has drawn over 100,000 fans six of the last nine years, including a record 126,000 in 2010. An NCAA-record of nearly two million fans attended games in the SEC last season, the ninth year in a row the SEC has topped the one million mark in attendance, leading the nation once again in that category.

    Eastern Division 
           

    Team Points 2010 SEC Record/Finish
    Florida 66 22-8/1st
    Vanderbilt 55 16-12/3rd
    South Carolina 48 21-9/2nd
    Kentucky 33 13-17/4th
    Georgia 26 5-23/6th
    Tennessee 17 12-18/5th

    Western Division 
           
    Team Points 2010 SEC Record/Finish
    LSU 63 14-16/5th
    Arkansas 49 18-12/2nd
    Auburn 46 20-10/1st
    Ole Miss 40 16-14/3rd
    Alabama 33 15-15/4th
    Mississippi State 17 6-24/6th