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|
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.