One day before the Southeastern Conference’s annual Media Days, the league had to call a do-over on its All-SEC balloting.
On Tuesday, the SEC sent out an online ballot for its All-SEC team. South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was not on the list. An SEC spokesperson confirmed to me that if a player was not on the ballot, it meant their name was not submitted by their school.
However, South Carolina did submit Garcia’s name, said school spokesman Steve Fink, pointing to the All-SEC coaches team (which featured Garcia on the second team) as proof. The media and coaches receive the same list of nominated players, Fink said.
After a call to the SEC office, Fink learned a mistake by the company that created the All-SEC ballot resulted in Garcia’s name being left off the list. Oops.
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As of Tuesday afternoon, the league was set to release a new ballot, Fink stated.
This is the second time in three years there has been some confusion involving South Carolina and the All-SEC quarterback voting. Two years ago, Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier was the only conference coach not to put Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on the All-SEC team. Spurrier later explained it had been an omission by a staff person in the football office.
Given the fact that Tuesday’s mistake was caught quickly, it probably doesn’t hurt Garcia’s chances at being named an All-SEC first teamer. He should be a legitimate candidate after throwing for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.