LITTLE ROCK — In the unlikely case that an old prognosticator accurately predicts the participants in the SEC championship game, Jan. 9, 2012, will be cited often to support the theory that it is difficult to beat a team twice in one year.

LITTLE ROCK — In the unlikely case that an old prognosticator accurately predicts the participants in the SEC championship game, Jan. 9, 2012, will be cited often to support the theory that it is difficult to beat a team twice in one year.


My absentee and uncounted ballot, which can be compared to the SEC media vote late this week in Hoover, Ala., pits Auburn against Georgia in a rematch of a game three weeks earlier. The 2012 date is when Alabama won the BCS title in a 21-0 snoozer over LSU, barely two months after the Tigers prevailed 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa.


Although Georgia plays both Alabama and Auburn during the regular season, the Bulldogs are the pick in the Eastern Division by default.


Six teams have enough talent to win the West, but each has sufficient question marks to raise doubts. In fact, Texas A&M might be the only team in the West that does not get at least one first-place vote this week. Mentioned previously, the over-under on victories for the other six teams ranges from 7.5 to 9.5, including Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, and LSU at 8.5.


Picking Auburn to represent the West cannot be more embarrassing than last year when the prediction was a tie in the East between Missouri, Georgia, and South Carolina and the conclusion that the Gamecocks would be in Atlanta vs. Alabama. The Crimson Tide came through, but Missouri won the division at 7-1, Georgia was 6-2, and South Carolina was 3-5.


After that pick, there is nowhere to go but up.


Considering the apparent parity in the West, the division representative in Atlanta is more likely to be 6-2 than 8-0, raising the possibility that an 11-2 SEC champion could be left out when the College Football Playoff Selection Committee announces the semifinalists on Dec. 6. At a Vegas sports book, odds are very short that a two-loss team will be in the CFP.


Georgia will be an overwhelming choice in the East when the media poll is announced and Alabama is likely to be a lukewarm choice in the West, but both are in the same boat as many teams in the league — either the quarterback job is undecided or the anointed starter is shy on experience.


In fact, Georgia’s quarterback competition recently expanded when Greyson Lambert said he would transfer to Athens after graduating from Virginia. He will compete with Brice Ramsey, who threw 39 passes last year, and Faton Bauta, who played in three games.


Arkansas (Brandon Allen), Mississippi State (Dak Prescott), and Missouri (Maty Mauk) are the only SEC teams that have a proven and experienced player taking the snaps.


The SEC vote with a brief explanation:


WEST


1. Auburn. Emphasizing the pass, the Tigers defeat Alabama with the Atlanta trip on the line.


2. Alabama. Vintage Crimson Tide defense, but wide receiver Amari Cooper is difficult to replace.


3. LSU. Lots of Leonard Fournette.


4. Ole Miss. A quarterback shy of being in the top two.


5. Arkansas. Boxed in by a prediction the Razorbacks will be 3-5 in the SEC.


6. (tie) Mississippi State and Texas A&M. Both benefit from playing some of the lesser teams in the East — the Bulldogs vs. Kentucky and the Aggies vs. Vanderbilt.


EAST


1. Georgia. The Bulldogs could lose to both Alabama schools and still be division champion.


2. Tennessee. An out-on-the-limb pick based on a league-high 10 returning starters on offense and continued development of quarterback Joshua Dobbs.


3. Missouri. Respect for Mauk and the job coach Gary Pinkel has done the past two years.


4. Florida. Restoring the Gators to national prominence will take time.


5. South Carolina. The Gamecocks could wind up with a true freshman starting at quarterback.


6. Kentucky. Still a work in progress, the Wildcats play three division opponents before October.


7. Vanderbilt. Year two under Derek Mason will be no better than year one.