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It's Bama and Everybody Else: SEC Football Media Days has arrived. The 2017 season is right around the endzone's corner pylon.

In addition to the array of coaches and players with coach-speak and player-speak, 'We're not looking past Cupcake State,' there is speculation with lofty expecations about the upcoming season - everybody is undefeated in July.

The media's part is covering the event in Hoover. They are also tasked with the chore of predicting the order of finish. It has become a running joke of how wrong the media has been in the prognostications department.

Well with the ribbing of the analysts, reporters and talk show hosts for the dubious distinction - at least in the SEC - as the worst pickers in the world, we should give due when it's merited.

Kudos to the SEC media. They got it right last year. A squirrel is bound to find a nut once in a while. In 2016, Alabama was the chosen one. Being picked as the SEC preseason champion at Media Days is almost as bad as the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. They miss about 90 percent of the time.

Alabama indeed did win the SEC though, as predicted by the "experts." By the way, Tennessee was selected as the SEC East winner. We won't get into that.

This week, we'll get another batch of selections by the media. Indications are that Alabama will be the preseason choice again.

Almost every national publication has picked the Tide to win the national championship. That too can be misleading. The preseason favorite rarely comes through in the end.

You have to look at the odds. There are 130 FBS teams. Only one can win it. I know UMass is not going to win it. There are realistically about 10 or 15 teams with a legitimate shot. Still, odds are that the field (the other 129 teams) have better odds than Alabama (as just one team) - even as the overwhelming favorite.

The media has to pick somebody, so why not Alabama?

They have been the most consistent team during the Saban era. In ten seasons, Saban has won five conference titles, four of the last five and three straight - plus four national championships.

Last year, there really wasn't a challenger for Bama in the SEC. In the national picture, it was Clemson and Alabama with a big gap between the top two and everybody else (at least at the end of the season).

Who might step up this season? In the SEC it could be Auburn.

If the Tigers can avoid more than one loss prior to the Alabama game (at Jordan-Hare) in late November, they'll not only be in the SEC championship mix but also the national title hunt.

It might seem like a long shot, but Auburn is getting some love in many of the national publications. Most have the Tigers in or just outside of the Top 10. In preseason picking, that's better than the rest of the SEC with the exception of the Crimson Tide.

It's a make or break year for Gus Malzahn. He needs to avoid another four or five-loss season. He is not alone. There are a handful of SEC head coaches around the five-year mark at their respective schools who have to win now; Sumlin, Jones, Bielema.

Enjoy the footage and coach speak they spew this week. Next season, there will be new faces delivering the same rhetoric about "Cupcake State."

SEC Media Days Schedule

Monday, July 10:
Arkansas – Bret Bielema
LSU – Ed Orgeron
Tennessee – Butch Jones

Tuesday, July 11:
Florida – Jim McElwain
Georgia – Kirby Smart 
Miss. State – Dan Mullen
Vanderbilt – Derek Mason

Wednesday, July 12:
Alabama – Nick Saban
Kentucky – Mark Stoops
Missouri – Barry Odom
Texas A&M – Kevin Sumlin

Thursday, July 13:
Auburn – Gus Malzahn
Ole Miss – Hugh Freeze
South Carolina – Will Muschamp

WTLS Media Days Lineup

Tuesday, July 11:
12-2 p.m. - River Region Sports

Wednesday, July 12:
6-8 a.m. - The Wake-Up Call presented by PrimeSouth Bank
12-2 p.m. - River Region Sports

Thursday, July 13:
6-8 a.m. - The Wake-Up Call presented by PrimeSouth Bank
12-2 p.m. - River Region Sports

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