Jan. 20, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In a preseason poll of the Southeastern Conference's 11 softball coaching staffs, the No. 12-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols were picked to finish second in the Eastern Division.
With 19 points the Big Orange trailed only the coaches' selection for conference champion, the Florida Gators (10 points), in the division race with Georgia (30 points), South Carolina (36 points) and Kentucky (45 points) rounding out the five members of the SEC East.
The defending Western Division champ Alabama Crimson Tide (10 points) was selected to repeat its division title with a single vote as the league's overall titlist. The gap between the Tide and second-place LSU was 11 points. Mississippi State sits third with 30 tallies, while Auburn (35 points), Arkansas (49 points) and Ole Miss (50 points) completed the West standings.
Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5 basis for the Eastern Division and on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Western Division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own squad.
The Lady Vols head to the state of Utah for the initial time in program history to open the season over Feb. 5-7, as a participant in the BYU Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah. Tennessee will start the 2009 campaign against Northern Colorado at 5 p.m. ET.
2009 Preseason SEC Coaches Poll
Overall Conference Champion: Florida (10), Alabama (1)
1. Florida (10 points)
2. Tennessee (19 points)
3. Georgia (30 points)
4. South Carolina (36 points)
5. Kentucky (45 points)
1. Alabama (10 points)
2. LSU (21 points)
3. Mississippi State (30 points)
4. Auburn (35 points)
5. Arkansas (49 points)
6. Ole Miss (50 points)