A preseason poll of media members predicted Missouri to finish sixth in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division.

Only two schools in the division received first-place votes. Florida received the most in the division with 53, and Georgia got 43.

Tennessee was picked to finish third, followed closely by Kentucky and then South Carolina. Missouri was only picked to finish above Vanderbilt.

Missouri’s Week 1 opponent, Alabama, was selected to win the West, receiving 77 votes to win the SEC Championship Game. That was 70 more votes than any other school.

Since 1992, only seven teams predicted to win the conference ended up winning the championship game, the SEC said in the release.

Missouri also had four players selected to the preseason All-SEC teams. 

Adding to his large stack of preseason watch lists and selections, Nick Bolton was picked for the first team. The junior linebacker is listed alongside Devin Nicholson at the starting linebacker position for Week 1. Bolton led the conference in tackles during the regular season last year, but he’s trying to stay focused this year.

“Ignore the outside noise, but also use the extended break and motivation to be better for our football team, community and fans,” Bolton told reporters Tuesday.

Senior defensive end Kobie Whiteside earned second team preseason honors. He led the team with 6.5 sacks in 2019.

Safety Tyree Gillespie and running back Larry Rountree were both named for the third team.

The Crimson Tide led the conference with 13 players on the All-SEC team and eight on the first team.

  • Sports reporter, spring 2020 studying sports journalism reach me at msb8cz@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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