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Alabama, Georgia top SEC media picks

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Defending Southeastern Conference champion Alabama is the favorite to once again beat Georgia in the title game in a preseason media poll.

The Crimson Tide was selected by 203 of 260 voters this week at SEC media days in results released Friday. Georgia, which lost to Alabama in the championship game last season, received 49 first-place votes.

Eight teams were picked as the SEC champion on at least one ballot.


Millen back to booth after transplant

CHICAGO (AP) The Latest from Big Ten football media days (all times local):

11:25 a.m.


Ex-Arkansas OL Petrus dies at 32

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, a walk-on at Arkansas who went on to a three-year NFL career that included a Super Bowl win with the New York Giants, has died. He was 32.

Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said Petrus died of heat stroke Thursday night at a North Little Rock hospital after working outside that day at his family's shop near his hometown of Carlisle, which is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Little Rock.


Ohio St. with uncertainty at QB, coach

CHICAGO (AP) The two most important spots on a football team are the coach and the quarterback. Ohio State has questions at both.

The Buckeyes aren't the only powerhouse program with uncertainty in the Big Ten's East Division. Michigan and Michigan State each have a new offensive coordinator, and Penn State has to find a replacement for quarterback Trace McSorley, a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens.


Harbaugh hints at playing outside US

CHICAGO (AP) Michigan hasn't played a game outside the United States in more than a century but coach Jim Harbaugh said that will change soon.

Asked about the possibility of playing a game in Mexico, Harbaugh tipped an upcoming international date.


UNLV OC Cotton awaiting heart transplant

LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton is awaiting a heart transplant and will not coach on the field this season.

Rebels coach Tony Sanchez said Thursday in a news release from the school that the 62-year-old Cotton is in Omaha, Nebraska, and on a waiting list to receive a heart. Cotton is an Omaha native and former University of Nebraska player and assistant coach. He served as interim head coach for the Cornhuskers in 2014 after Bo Pelini was fired at the end of the regular season.


Delany: Old mistakes to blame for woes

CHICAGO (AP) Outgoing Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany kicked off his final Big Ten football media days Thursday by saying he thinks some serious mistakes made in the 1970s created problems today in college athletics.

Delany, who is in his 31st and final year as commissioner, said the loss of the four-year scholarship, the ending of the $15 weekly "laundry" stipend for athletes and allowing freshmen to play have all contributed to various headaches.


SEC coaching stability a rare sight

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) The Southeastern Conference pays big money to its coaches and that's one reason patience is often in short supply when things go wrong.

But in a rare quirk, there were no new head coaches at the podium during SEC media days for the first time since 2006.


ACC's Coastal again appears up for grabs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi had a good idea what to expect over the past two seasons from every opponent in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division.

Not this year.


Spartans hope QB Lewerke returns to form

CHICAGO (AP) The Latest from the opening day of Big Ten football media days (all times local):

Michigan State welcomes back most of the pieces of the Big Ten's stingiest defense, which leaves plenty of room to fix an offense that often sputtered as the Spartans limped to a 7-6 finish last season.

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