Gators picked to finish fifth in SEC East at SEC Media Days

Can anybody say bulletin board material?

To conclude the week’s SEC Media Days, the media revealed their projections for the SEC. The various media members ranked the teams in the SEC East, SEC West and then predicted the SEC Champion.

And in a move that screams of lack of respect, Florida was projected to finish fifth in the SEC East. They also finished ninth in the voting for the conference champion.

Here’s how the voting in the SEC East worked out:

Place Team Points First place votes
1) Georgia 1,498 166
2) Tennessee 1,231 36
3) Missouri 1,196 20
4) South Carolina 830 1
5) Florida 768 1
6) Kentucky 534 1
7) Vanderbilt 243 0

As you can see, Florida finished behind South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia in the voting, with Georgia being selected as the SEC East winner. I don’t have much of a problem with that when thinking objectively; the Bulldogs have been a solid SEC East contender since what Georgia homers call the rebirth of the program in 2011, and they return a good amount of key players from a 2014 team that clobbered the eventual SEC East champion (Missouri).

But picking Tennessee to finish second in the East feels to me like the media is buying too much into the hype that the Vols’ fans are feeding them. Tennessee went 7-6 last year, but their fans claim that the installation of QB Josh Dobbs into the starting lineup made them a different team. Which may be true, because they did go 4-1 with Dobbs as the starter. However, those fans neglect to point out that each of those four wins came over teams with six or more losses. I don’t think that Florida has the best team in the East by any means- Georgia does- but this poll shows a profound lack of respect for a Florida team that merits more than most simply because of a defense that could someday produce up to six NFL starters.

No, media polls don’t mean anything. Tennessee fans like to sing this song every other year, it seems, and more often than not, the media buys into it. But it’s still a slap in the face, and a major sign of disrespect. And that promises to serve as motivation for a team that doesn’t need any. All Jim McElwain has to do to make this team hungry is point to the 2013 and 2014 schedules.

So, I say to the media members who voted in advance: thank you for making Jim McElwain’s pep talks easy.

9 thoughts on “Gators picked to finish fifth in SEC East at SEC Media Days

  1. So let’s redo the rankings, shall we?

    1) Georgia
    2) Missouri
    3) Florida
    4) Tennessee
    5) Kentucky
    6) South Carolina
    7) Vanderbilt

  2. All the respect in the world does not change (1)lack of experience at QB, (2) unknown skill level at QB, (3) How many of these guys on the OL are SEC quality? Does anyone really know? (4) Injuries? (5) RB-Does anyone think Kelvin Taylor has ‘super star’ ability? No one, including the coaching staff, can predict how this team is going to do. A five win season is realistic given all the ‘question marks’ about this team. Fifth place finish in the East, quite likely.

  3. I don’t think it matters. Florida is no longer going to be given respect, they have to earn it. There is absolutely no reason to have faith in UF. UF hasn’t had a decent quarterback for five years, that’s pretty important. I know some of you are now hoping that Grier is different, but I have some serious doubts about Grier. Grier lost the battle with Harris last year. I hear some folks say that the plan was for Grier to be redshirted. I say that proposition is baloney. Will Mischamp was on the hot seat before the season even started, and, unless you think he wanted to be fired, if you think that, if Grier could play a lick, he would not have played, even after over half the season was over, it’s your view that Muschamp didn’t care about winning last year. He was redshirting someone for the future when he didn’t have a future? Maybe Grier will end the string of lousy quarterbacks, but I have no confidence in his ability to do so based on him not getting on the field last year when the ship was foundering. Grier also enrolled early, which is a huge advantage, yet he still lost out to Harris. I think there are too many people who have jumped on the Grier bandwagon without any logical reason. UF will rise or fall on the play of it’s quarterback, and it’s logical to expect UF will again field a mediocre one since the last one that wasn’t was named Tebow.

    1. “There is absolutely no reason to have faith in Florida”

      Except for a new coach, a defense that could have four All Americans, and a better offensive brain trust.

      1. What have you been drinking? Four all-Americans? In what universe do you live? Hargreaves is the only one. Morrison? I doubt he’ll play a down this year. Who else you are talking about is a complete mystery. There’s not one other player that was even honorable mention All-SEC. Bullard? The reason he’s still at Florida is because he was told he to return by the NFL because he wasn’t going to be an early round draft choice. For the life of me I can’t even venture a guess who is the fourth person you think is an All-American.
        Lack of respect? I think that is not the way to characterize the choice of where the Gators will finish. It’s just a sober assessment of a team that has only one proven great player, Hargreaves, and one other, Robinson, that might become one. The Gators have an upset over Georgia as the only quality win of the past two years. One win that matters over the past two years doesn’t command respect.
        I think Florida will be a worse team than last year. The offensive line is worse. The defense no longer has a player that every team had to worry about, Fowler. going into last year, UF had a veteran starter at quarterback, now they will start a true sophomore that didn’t scare anyone last year or a guy who hasn’t played a down that lost out to the sophomore.
        Added to the fact that UF, in my opinion, will not be as good as last year, is the expectation that both Kentucky and Tennessee, teams that UF may not have beat last year if not for a lenient timekeeper, will be better.
        I think we’ll know by October if UF deserves respect. Mew Mexico State is the only team UF plays in September that the Gators are assured of beating. They also play East Carolina, and as seen in the bowl game last year, there is not much difference between UF and them. Then UF plays the aforementioned Kentucky and Tennessee. UF could be 1-3, 2-2, 3-1, or 4-0. Unless UF is 4-0, there is no reason for UF to get “respect.” Even if UF is 4-0, that may not happen if, as I suspect, Tennessee is again obliterated by Oklahoma.
        To get respect, UF has to earn it, and that means doing more than upsetting Georgia once. It doesn’t help if fans are as delusional as this one, that thinks UF has four All-Americans on defense.

      1. Grier was, supposedly, hurt after he lost the battle with Harris for the backup job. I say supposedly because I don’t believe what coaches say, they lie constantly and phantom injuries happen all the time. I think that’s the case with Grier. I think this “bad back” happened after the coaches figured out that he couldn’t play. Maybe he’ll be better this year, it’s a lot to expect a true freshman quarterback to play well. Guys like Kayaa at Miami and Deshaun Watson are rare. I suspect that Grier is another in a line of overrated quarterbacks, like Brantley and Driskel. I may be wrong and he’ll win the Heisman like Manziel and Winston, but I haven’t seen anything to think that’s true. It’s also true that it normally leaks out if someone is a special player, like it did about Winston. I’ve heard no one say anything about Grier that should get anyone excited.

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