HOOVER, Ala. – LSU was picked to finish third in a very competitive Southeastern Conference West Division as the media’s predicted order of finish was released at the conclusion of SEC Media Days on Thursday.

The Tigers, 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the league a year ago, received 10 first-place votes in the West and received the fourth-most votes (nine) for conference champion.

Voters anticipate a very close race as evidenced by the fact that for the first time in the 23-year history of the poll the predicted champion (Auburn) was not the top vote-getter in its division.

Auburn led the way with 96 championship votes, followed by Alabama (80), predicted East champion Georgia (28) and LSU (9), but Alabama had more points (1,405) than Auburn (1,362) in the West. Auburn had the most first-place votes (108) in the West, followed by Alabama (92) and LSU.

Tennessee (1,231 points) was picked as runner-up to Georgia (1,498) in the East, followed by two-time defending division champion Missouri (1,196).