Despite being ranked in the top 25 in some preseason polls the Alabama Crimson Tide was picked to finish 7th in the SEC West and 12th in the league by the Coaches Poll. After several years of subpar finishes, the Tide was off to a 16-1 start last season when Covid shut everything down. The record is the best by winning percentage in school history, but came without any SEC games. Bama opens their season on Friday, February 19th at 3 p.m. when they host McNeese State in a three game series.
Florida was the coaches pick to win it all, followed by Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Alabama was picked to finish ahead of two Eastern Division teams, Missouri and Kentucky, and was within one point of Auburn for 6th place in the West.
Picks: first place votes, total points
|Ole Miss (7) 78||Florida (13) 91|
|MSU (3) 73||Vandy (1) 79|
|Arkansas (2) 72||Tennessee 58|
|LSU (2) 63||USCe 55|
|TAM 36||UGA 51|
|Auburn 32||Missouri 28|
|Alabama 31||Kentucky 23|
The coaches also picked All-Conference first and second teams. The Tide got one player named to each, but have a couple of others that deserve some recognition. Personally, I think the Tide will finish anywhere from 5th to 10th in the league.
|First Team||Second Team|
|C Casey Opitz, Ark||C Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss|
|1B T J Collett, UK||1B Josh Hatcher, MSU|
|2B Robert Moore, Ark||2B Max Ferguson, Tennessee|
|SS Ryan Bliss, AU||SS Josh Rivera, UF|
|3B Rankin Wooley, AU||3B Tim Elko, Ole Miss|
|OF Jud Fabian, UF||OF Rowdey Jordan, MSU|
|OF Christian Franklin, Ark||OF Owen Diodati, Alabama|
|OF Tanner Allen, MSU||OF Case Beloso, LSU|
|DH/UTL Matt Goodheart, Ark||DH/UT: Wes Clark, USCe|
|SP Kumar Rocker, Vandy||SP Jack Leiter, Vandy|
|SP Connor Prielipp, Alabama||SP Tommy Muce, UF|
|RP Devin Fontenot, LSU||RP Ben Specht, UF|
The biggest snub on the All-Conference selections has to be Alabama catcher Sam Praytor. Praytor has better offensive numbers than both of the catchers picked in front of him, and is outstanding as a catcher and thrower of the baseball. Also the Tide’s closer, Chase Lee, has filthy stuff and should have an outstanding season. Alabama needs to win some SEC games to get the respect that they seek, and deserve.
With opening day just days away we will look at possible lineups and the pitching rotations in the coming days. Coach Brad Bohannon and team are ready to play!
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