HOOVER, Ala. - The target was placed squarely on South Carolina's back Thursday morning when the Gamecocks were picked to win the SEC East, as voted by league media.

South Carolina edged Georgia, which was picked to finish second in the SEC East. Alabama was picked to win the SEC West, edging Auburn.

It's a familiar position for the Gamecocks. They've been picked at or near the top of the league the past few years. In 2011, media picked South Carolina to win the division following its appearance in the 2010 SEC Championship Game. The Gamecocks finished that season 11-2, but they failed to win the division.

Earlier this week, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier came short of proclaiming his team the league favorite. He did make it clear how badly he wants to compete for an SEC title.

"What I've also learned at South Carolina, our fans realize there's more to life than winning the SEC championship. They really do," Spurrier said. "We're in a state with Clemson. Clemson used to pretty much own South Carolina in football, no question about it. We have a state championship trophy. If you ask our fans at South Carolina, I can assure you a majority would say, 'We would rather beat Clemson than win the SEC. That is how big it is to them, that one game.'"

Then he made his preference clear.

"Personally I'd rather win the SEC," Spurrier said. "I don't mind saying that. Personally that's the bigger trophy."

South Carolina was the third-most popular pick to win the SEC, behind Alabama and Auburn from the SEC West.

Here is the full rundown of divisional predictions:

SEC East

South Carolina - 1,895 points

Georgia - 1,777

Florida - 1,362

Missouri - 1,263

Tennessee - 893

Vanderbilt - 619

Kentucky - 395

SEC West

Alabama - 1,915

Auburn - 1,735

LSU - 1,453

Ole Miss - 1,069

Mississippi State - 890

Texas A&M - 791

Arkansas - 351

SEC Champion

Alabama - 154

Auburn - 75

South Carolina - 32

LSU - 9

Ole Miss - 2

Arkansas - 1

Mississippi State - 1