The Southeastern Conference Championships open a four-day run Thursday at the University of Kentucky outdoor track and field complex.
The SEC leads the nation with 17 men's and womens' teams listed among the top 25 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association team computer rankings.
Nine SEC men's teams are ranked. including No. 19 UK. Florida and Texas A&M, the NCAA co-champions last year, are ranked 1-2. Arkansas is No. 4, Georgia is seventh and LSU is ninth. Alabama is ranked 11th, Ole Miss 18th and Tennessee 21st.
Eight women's teams are rated, including No. 6 UK — one of six SEC teams in the top 10. Florida leads the nation, Texas A&M is No. 4 and Georgia is No. 5. Then come UK, LSU (7) and Arkansas (8). Missouri is No. 13, while Mississippi State is 19th.
Tennessee's men have won a league-leading 25 SEC titles outdoors, the most recent coming in 2007. LSU has won 22. Arkansas, which has won 18 times, has claimed 18 of the last 22 outdoor league crowns, including three consecutive.
The LSU women have won a league-leading 13 team titles, including five of the last seven. Texas A&M won its first-ever SEC Outdoor Championship last year at Columbia, Mo.
Eight SEC athletes — four men and four women — are on the latest 10-deep "watch lists" for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field's version of the Heisman Trophy.
The men's list includes UK discus thrower Andrew Evans, Florida sprinter Dedric Dukes, Arkansas long-jumper Jarrion Lawson and Texas A&M quarter-miler Deon Lendore. Also receiving votes on the men's side are Texas A&M's Wayne Davis II, Florida's Arman Hall, Ole Miss' Sam Kendricks and Mississippi State's Brandon McBride.
The women's list includes UK sprinter Dezerea Bryant and hurdler Kendra Harrison, Texas A&M discus thrower Shelbi Vaughan and Georgia heptathlete Kendell Williams. Also receiving votes are Texas A&M's Kamaria Brown and Missouri's Kearsten Peoples.