Feb. 9, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Director of Media Relations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No. 16-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol softball team has been picked to finish third in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division according to a preseason poll of the league's 11 softball coaching staffs.
With 25 points the Big Orange trailed the two-time defending conference champions, the Florida Gators (13 points), and Georgia (18 points) in the division race with Kentucky (34 points) and South Carolina (46 points) rounding out the five programs of the SEC East.
The defending Western Division champ Alabama Crimson Tide (12 points) was selected to repeat its division championship as well as take the SEC's overall regular season crown. The gap between the Tide and second-place LSU was razor-thin at just five points as the Bayou Bengals were one of four squads (Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU) to receive a first-place vote for the league title. Auburn rated third with 33 tallies, while Mississippi State (39 points), Ole Miss (40 points) and Arkansas (54 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 team.
The Lady Vols open their 2010 campaign with a bang at the NTC Division I Elite Invitational in Clermont, Fla., over Feb. 12-14. Tennessee christens its challenging slate on Fri., Feb. 12th, at noon versus No. 4 Michigan and will also battle Florida Atlantic, No. 8 UCLA, UCF and No. 11 Oklahoma during its stay in "The Sunshine State." Live stats are expected to be available through Gametracker and periodical updates will be posted on Twitter via http://twitter.com/UTLadyVols.
2010 Preseason SEC Coaches Poll
Overall Conference Champion: Alabama (6), Florida (3), Georgia (1), LSU (1)
1. Florida (13 points)
2. Georgia (18 points)
3. Tennessee (25 points)
4. Kentucky (34 points)
5. South Carolina (46 points)
1. Alabama (12 points)
2. LSU (17 points)
3. Auburn (33 points)
4. Mississippi State (39 points)
5. Ole Miss (40 points)
6. Arkansas (54 points)