HOOVER, Ala. Mississippi State linebacker Erroll Thompson was named preseason All-SEC first team by voters at SEC Media Days.

There were 260 ballots cast on Thursday, and totals were released on Friday morning.

The media predicted Alabama to repeat as champion. The Crimson Tide have won four of the last five SEC championships.

Since the SEC split into divisions in 1992 the media has correctly predicted the champion just seven times in 27 preseason polls.

Alabama also led the way with a record 12 first-team preseason All-SEC picks, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and linebacker Dylan Moses.

Three MSU teammates joined Thompson on one of three teams chosen by the media who regularly cover the conference.

MSU center Darryl Williams and defensive back Cameron Dantzler were named to the second team.

Defensive lineman Chauncey Rivers was a third-team selection.

No Ole Miss players were selected – including running back Scottie Phillips who has been mentioned among the top five running backs in the conference in some summer position rankings. Phillips narrowly missed 1,000 yards last season in spite of missing most of the last three games with a high ankle sprain.

A junior from Florence, Alabama, MSU’s Thompson started all 13 games last season. He was second on the team with 87 tackles adding nine tackles for loss, 3½ sacks and two interceptions.

The Bulldogs were picked fifth in the Western Division and received one vote to win the overall championship.

Ole Miss was picked sixth ahead of Arkansas which was picked to finish last.

The rebuilding Rebels and Razorbacks both talked about reaching a bowl game this season and will meet in Oxford in Week 2.

LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn follow Alabama in the West.

Georgia, projected to win the Eastern Division again, received 49 votes to win the overall title. LSU received three votes with Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn and MSU each receiving one vote.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com Twitter: @parrishalford

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