ATHENS, Ga. -- A vote of the league's 13 head coaches has selected the sixth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team the early favorite the win the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division in 2013, the league office announced Thursday morning.
The reigning SEC Tournament champions and NCAA quarterfinalists received 65 total points - including three first-place votes - to place them atop the competitive SEC East, while Ole Miss was picked to win the West as well as the overall conference championship with 74.
Tabbed to finish behind Georgia in the East is Tennessee (47), Florida (42), Kentucky (37), Vanderbilt (27), and South Carolina (13). The rest of the West behind the Rebels is Mississippi State (63), Texas A&M (53), Auburn (46), LSU (34), Alabama (22), and Arkansas (16).
The preseason poll is a compilation of head coach votes using a 6-5-4-3-2-1 ranking system in the East and 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 in the West, which added Texas A&M this season. The other conference newcomer - Missouri - does not sponsor men's tennis at the NCAA level. Coaches also selected one conference champion, with each vote counting as one point.
Georgia leads the SEC in conference titles with 34 as well as regular-season crowns (26).
The Bulldogs unofficially open the spring season this weekend, traveling to Palm Springs, Calif., for the annual National Collegiate Tennis Classic. Dual match play begins for the squad next weekend as UGA will again serve as a host of one leg of the ITA Kickoff, welcoming Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and VCU to Athens with a bid to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship on the line.
University of Georgia