When new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the low expectations of his 2013 team at SEC Media Days, he made one thing clear. “The lower the better,” he said. “I do excel in situations where people think very, very little of us. For those of you that want to, vote us lower. I mean that with all my heart. Then just sit back and watch.”
Thursday, he got his wish. The media has picked Arkansas to finish last in the SEC West in 2013.
“I think our kids are carrying a tremendous chip on their shoulder,” said Bielema. “We have some players that you haven’t even heard of that are coming at you.”
When Bielema took over at Wisconsin for legend Barry Alvarez in 2006, the Badgers were picked in the bottom half of the Big Ten. They went 12-1, with a lone loss to Michigan.
I’m not saying we’re going to go out and go 12-1,” said Bielema. “This team has all the ingredients as a head coach that can make teams win. We have a team that’s very hungry, a group of coaches that are very gifted, we have a staff that is very talented and a lot of years to back that up.”
Alabama was picked to win the West. Georgia was picked to win the East, with the Crimson Tide beating the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game.
Here is the full preseason media poll. Note- The media has picked the wrong champion 17 of the last 21 years.
Alabama – 182 votes
Georgia – 38
South Carolina – 18
Texas A&M – 4
LSU – 1
Alabama (225 votes) – 1681 points
Texas A&M (11) – 1333
LSU (7) – 1324
Ole Miss – 883
Auburn – 579
Mississippi State – 516
Arkansas – 488
Georgia (149 votes) – 1570 points
South Carolina (75) – 1474
Florida (19) – 1300
Vanderbilt – 858
Tennessee – 694
Missouri – 577
Kentucky – 331