247Experts Poll: 'Bama, Gators close 1-2; Disappointment reigns – 247Sports
(Photo: Ted Hyman, 247Sports)
No surprise: the teams playing this weekend for the Southeastern Conference championship, the same two that played in the inaugural game in 1992, closed the regular season ranked 1-2 in 247Sports’ first season of its SEC Experts’ Poll.
Consensus No. 1 Alabama was the league’s top-ranked team wire-to-wire in a panel of regional voters who cover SEC football while Florida rallied to win the East and close the year No. 2 in the network’s power poll.
“It’s even more clear this week that it is Alabama and everybody else,” said Texas-based Brian Perroni, who helps cover the Aggies and Lone Star State recruiting. “Florida gets the No. 2 ranking because the Gators are going to the SEC championship game but can UF keep it respectable?
“Based on what happened vs. Florida State and how Alabama has dominated everybody, I don’t think they can.”
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That left the league’s two respectable packs of Tigers — Auburn and LSU — knotted in the No. 3 spot while fading Texas A&M and sinking Tennessee closed fifth and sixth.
“As we face the reality of no one but Alabama finishing without four losses or more,” said AuburnUndercover editor Brandon Marcello, “the door is wide open for Auburn to walk into New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
“The Tigers are better than what they showed in November (2-2) after dealing with a slew of injuries to their top players — quarterback Sean White, running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, and receiver Tony Stevens — and with the expectation the Tigers will be back at full strength for the bowl game, we should see the same Auburn team that