Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Georgia, Auburn picked to play for SEC title (so it must be true!)

Everybody makes predictions. I'm not convinced that what every sports information (media relations) director from the 14 SEC schools believe is any more valid than what the comprehensive researchers at Weekend Predictions, Inc ., believe, but here goes:

It's Georgia vs. Auburn for the SEC title!

According to the annual polling of SID's by the Birmingham News (, Georgia will win the SEC East and Auburn the SEC West. If that's true, the teams' regular season meeting Nov. 14 at Auburn will represent a conference championship preview three weeks before the title game Dec. 5 in the Georgia Dome.

Here's an excerpt from

Auburn received three first place votes and three second-place finishes from the seven Western Division football information directors to top its division with 33 points, barely edging Alabama, which received three first-place votes, two second-place votes and one third-place finish for 32 points.

Georgia had an easier path in the East, gathering six first-place votes for 36 points. Missouri was second with one first-place vote, four seconds and one fifth for 28 points.

A school's football information director could not vote for his school in the polls.

Georgia's projected SEC East title in the poll is not a surprise -- that's the way most oddsmakers have it. While the Bulldogs' lack certainty at quarterback, a strong running game and an improving defense should be enough to win a division that is expected to remain weak. The oddsmaker 5-Dimes recently released its SEC championship odds. Georgia is the highest ranked East team, but Alabama was given the edge over Auburn.

The 5-Dimes odds (West teams with W, East teams with E):

W-Alabama: +300 (3-1)

W-Auburn: +425 (4.25-1)

E-Georgia: +475 (4.75-1)

W-Mississippi: +525 (5.25-1)

E-Tennessee: +900 (9-1)

W-LSU: +1050 (21-2)

W-Arkansas: +1200 (12-1)

E-Missouri: +1400 (14-1)

W-Texas A&M: +1600 (16-1)

W-Mississippi State: +1600 (16-1)

E-South Carolina: +2600 (26-1)

E-Florida: +2600 (26-1)

E-Kentucky: +8000 (80-1)

E-Vanderbilt: +15000 (150-1)

Notice how tilted the odds are in the West's favor. Four of the top six teams are from the West. The four longest odds are in the East.

But do you agree that Georgia will win the East?


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.