Gators picked to finish No. 3 in East


Florida head coach Will Muschamp gathers with the team following the Orange and Blue Debut Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, July 22, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 22, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.

HOOVER, Ala. — The Florida Gators have received almost no preseason love this summer, so it should come as no surprise that they also are getting none from the media that covers the SEC.

In a vote at the league’s annual Media Days, the Gators were picked to finish third in the Eastern Division behind defending division champ South Carolina and Georgia.

While that isn’t a surprise, this is: Florida has almost zero presence on the preseason All-SEC team.

There are no Gators on the first three offensive teams. The only UF players represented on the preseason team are linebacker Jon Bostic and tackle Dominique Easley on the third-team defense, place-kicker Caleb Sturgis on the second-team specialists and Trey Burton on the third-team specialists as an all-purpose player.

The Gators also have no players on the first-team preseason All-SEC team that was voted on by the league coaches last week.

“I guess in a way it puts a little chip on our shoulder,” UF quarterback John Brantley said earlier this week. “Definitely, it makes you want to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”

The Gators did receive 12 first-place votes from the media in the Eastern Division race, but South Carolina was the overwhelming pick to win the division, receiving 114 first-place votes. Georgia had 38.

Alabama was a strong choice to win the West — and the overall SEC title. The Tide received 111 first-place votes to win the West and 98 to win the SEC. LSU was second in the overall SEC race with 29 first-place votes.

Alabama was the pick to win the overall SEC title on 98 ballots, compared to 29 for LSU, 18 for Arkansas and 14 for South Carolina. Georgia got four votes, and Florida and Ole Miss both got two.

The Tide placed eight players on the first-team All-SEC team.

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