HOOVER, Ala. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema got his wish Thursday.
The Razorbacks have been picked to finish last in the SEC West.
The conference unveiled the media's 2013 predictions and preseason All-SEC team to kick off the final day of the three-day event at the Wynfrey Hotel. Alabama was the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC title, while Arkansas rested at the bottom of the division poll as it prepares for Bielema's first season.
“The lower the better,” Bielema said Wednesday in response to Arkansas' low preseason projections. “I think our kids are carrying a tremendous chip on their shoulder. The same group that’s going to vote us a certain place (today) is the same group that a year ago had us in the top five. …
"But 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 will all my heart. Then sit back and watch.”
Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU were predicted to finish first, second and third in the SEC West, respectively. The three were followed by Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Arkansas.
Georgia is the favorite two win the SEC East for the second straight season. The Bulldogs are followed by South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky.
Alabama received 182 of 243 votes to win the SEC title. Georgia (38), South Carolina (18), Texas A&M (4) and LSU (1) also received votes.
Arkansas did place two on the preseason All-SEC team on Thursday morning. Center Travis Swanson and defensive end Chris Smith, who were among Arkansas' representatives at the event Wednesday afternoon, were selected as first-team All-SEC picks. Arkansas kicker Zack Hocker earned third-team honors.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau