BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Coming off a second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and 10th in program history, Mississippi State has been predicted to finish 12th in the competitive Southeastern Conference, according to a vote of the 13 league head coaches in the annual preseason poll.
Florida has been predicted to win the 2014 SEC title with 10 first-place votes. The Gators finished the 2013 campaign with a 58-9 overall record and led the nation in wins. Tennessee, which finished as the 2013 NCAA runner-up and is currently ranked as the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll, earned two first-place votes and was predicted to finish second in the SEC. Alabama, which finished the 2013 campaign with a 45-15 overall record and an NCAA Super Regional appearance, earned a first-place vote and is picked to finish third in the SEC.
Last spring, the Bulldogs earned their first postseason victory since 2008 with a 2-1 win against Mississippi Valley State and was named one of three 2013 Easton Teams of the Year, joining Women’s College World Series participants Florida and Texas.
Eight of the 13 SEC softball teams appear among the nation’s top-25 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll.
Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Mississippi State opens the campaign on Feb. 7 with 3 and 5:30 p.m. CT contests versus Mississippi Valley State and Northern Kentucky, respectively. MSU will be home the entire weekend hosting the Bulldog Kickoff Classic.
The 2014 SEC Softball Tournament will take place May 7-10 in Columbia, S.C., at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
2014 SEC Softball Coaches Predicted Order Of Finish
1. Florida (10)
2. Tennessee (2)
3. Alabama (1)
7. Texas A&M
11. South Carolina
12. Mississippi State
13. Ole Miss