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February 13, 2012

USC picked second in East



PER THE SEC

The Florida Gators are predicted to repeat as the 2012 SEC baseball champions, as voted by the league's 12 baseball coaches in the 21st annual preseason SEC poll.

The Gators, ranked No. 1 nationally in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, seek to capture their 13th SEC championship. UF returns seven position starters and nine pitchers from its 2011 squad, which claimed a share of the SEC regular-season championship and advanced to the College World Series finals vs. South Carolina.

Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular-season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996, the tournament champion was considered the SEC champion.

In addition to picking a preseason SEC champion, the league's coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC East and West. In the West, Arkansas was the favorite with 64 of a possible 66 points. LSU came in second with 58 points and Alabama third with 38. Florida was the favorite in the East with all 66 points. USC, the two-time defending national champion, was second with 56, while Georgia finished third with 42.

Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

The SEC regular season begins on Friday with conference play set to begin on March 16. The SEC tournament will be played at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., from May 22-27.

Eastern Division

Team Points 2011 SEC Record/Finish
1. Florida 66 22-8/Tied For 1st
2. South Carolina 56 22-8/Tied For 1st
3. Georgia 42 16-14/4th
4. Vanderbilt 40 22-8/Tied For 1st
5. Kentucky 25 8-22/5th
6. Tennessee 18 7-23/6th
Western Division

Team Points 2011 SEC Record/Finish
1. Arkansas 64 15-15/1st
2. LSU 58 13-17/Tied For 5th
3. Alabama 38 14-16/Tied For 2nd
4. Ole Miss 34 13-17/Tied For 5th
5. Mississippi State 33 14-16/Tied For 2nd
6. Auburn 20 14-16/Tied For 2nd

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