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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) Kentucky ended its 31-game losing streak against Florida last year. Now, coach Mark Stoops was asked a tongue-in-cheek question about whether the Wildcats were ready to start a winning streak against the Gators.
The coach drew some laughs Thursday at Southeastern Conference media days after he groaned and said, "Oh, come on now."