Gators picked to finish third in SEC East


The vibe at SEC Media Days earlier this week was that Georgia would be the overwhelming pick to win the East, followed in the distance by South Carolina and Florida.

And that’s exactly how the vote came out Friday.

The Gators, hopeful of a quick rebound under Dan Mullen and the new coaching staff, have been picked by the media to finish third in the East. UF did receive four first-place votes and two votes to win the league title.

Georgia, the defending SEC champion, was a near-unanimous choice to win the division, picking up 271 first-place votes to eight for predicted runner-up South Carolina.

Alabama is the pick to win the West and the SEC title. The Gators have two players on the media’s preseason All-SEC team — senior offensive tackle Martez Ivey and senior defensive end/outside linebacker Cece Jefferson.

Defensive backs Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and CJ Henderson are on the second team, while running back Jordan Scarlett, linebacker David Reese, cornerback Marco Wilson and all-purpose Kadarius Toney are on the third team.

EASTERN DIVISION (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
School                                 Points
Georgia (271)                      1977
South Carolina (8)               1535
Florida (4)                           1441
Missouri                               1057
Kentucky (1)                         874
Tennessee (1)                      704
Vanderbilt                             392

WESTERN DIVISION (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
School                                 Points
Alabama (263)                     1971
Auburn (19)                         1664
Mississippi State (2)            1239
Texas A&M                          1091
LSU                                      1025
Ole Miss                                578
Arkansas                               412

School                                   Points
Alabama                                193
Georgia                                  69
Auburn                                   14
South Carolina                        4
Florida                                    2
Mississippi State                     1
Missouri                                  1

Preseason All-SEC


  • QB Drew Lock, Missouri
  • RB Damien Harris, Alabama
  • RB Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
  • WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
  • WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
  • OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
  • OL Greg Little, Ole Miss
  • OL Martez Ivey, Florida                         
  • OL Trey Smith, Tennessee
  • C Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama


  • QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
  • RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
  • RB Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
  • WR Terry Godwin, Georgia
  • WR Ryan Davis, Auburn
  • TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia
  • OL Andrew Thomas, Georgia
  • OL Lester Cotton, Alabama
  • OL Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas
  • OL Garrett Brumfield, LSU
  • C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia


  • *QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
  • *QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
  • RB Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
  • RB Jordan Scarlett, Florida       
  • WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  • WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri
  • TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky
  • OL Matt Womack, Alabama
  • OL Zack Bailey, South Carolina
  • OL Javon Patterson, Ole Miss
  • OL Marquel Harrell, Auburn
  • C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M


  • DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama
  • DL CeCe Jefferson, Florida                     
  • DL Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
  • DL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
  • LB Devin White, LSU
  • LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
  • LB Mack Wilson, Alabama
  • DB Deandre Baker, Georgia
  • DB Greedy Williams, LSU
  • DB J.R. Reed, Georgia
  • DB Deionte Thompson, Alabama


  • DL Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
  • DL Terry Beckner, Missouri
  • DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
  • DL Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
  • LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
  • LB Deshaun Davis, Auburn
  • LB D’Andre Walker, Georgia
  • DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky
  • DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida               
  • DB Jamel Dean, Auburn
  • DB CJ Henderson, Florida      


  • DL Dontavius Russell, Auburn
  • DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU
  • DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn
  • *DL Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M
  • *DL Landis Durham, Texas A&M
  • LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
  • LB David Reese, Florida     
  • LB De’Jon Harris, Arkansas
  • DB Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State
  • DB Marco Wilson, Florida                  
  • DB Javaris Davis, Auburn
  • DB Santos Ramirez, Arkansas


  • P Corey Fatony, Missouri
  • PK Rodrigo Blakenship, Georiga
  • RS Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
  • AP Deebo Samuel, South Carolina


  • P Joseph Charlton, South Carolina
  • PK Daniel LaCamera, Texas A&M
  • RS Mecole Hardman, Georgia
  • AP Trevon Diggs, Alabama


  • P Zach Von Rosenberg, LSU
  • PK Tucker McCann, Missouri
  • RS Trevon Diggs, Alabama
  • AP Kadarius Toney, Florida       

* – Indicates a tie


  1. There are several players that the media has missed. The Gators, as a team, are grossly disrepected. I like it and dislike it. It gives the players something to prove, and it also demonstrates the media is analyzing the team as though Mac is still the HC.

  2. DrG8r. I think the 4 – 7 record from last year demands that this year’s Gators team earn respect, not be given it, both from the media and the fans of the SEC. I think many Gator players not on the above list will do exactly that, as will the entire team. I would not be at all surprised to see Dan Mullen named the SEC coach of the year after the season comes to an end.

    • I agree Tampa. Talk and hype are cheap. You got to show it on the field. I have been really impressed though with the physical transformations of many of the players I have seen on twitter lately. Seems like Savage is a really good strength coach. Question is will the added strength be combined with better technique and execution to get results on game day. We shall see in the fall.

      • Rob when I was in the service they did a study on physical fitness and performance. There was a significant improvement in mental function and execution of tasks (performance). That was almost 30 years ago but as a guinea pig in that study I guess we did better than the control. Gator-6 was in longer than me he might remember. That said the team should have some kind of increase in performance if the study was indeed correct. If the talent is as good as I think and with the excellent coaching they are getting we will be very good. The thing we lack is experience executing in games. The tempo, rhythm, execution under pressure of live play. Go Gators!!!

        • Sorry 65…I just got back from a road trip yesterday up to Tyler and was so pooped I forgot to weigh in. There were a series of studies in the late 80’s and mid-90’s correlating cognitive function with physical training, which we all knew to be true anyway but nobody had seriously studied. My own OPTEMPO was so high from 1993 forward that I wasn’t paying much attention to anything not right in front of my nose, but my ex-wife worked for the Army Research Institute at the time and I recall one investigation that demonstrated significantly improved mental processing, especially under stress, as a function of enhanced physical conditioning. I was up to my ass in alligators (no pun intended) between Leavenworth and Bliss then, but I can tell you for sure that when I got to Hood and III Corps in 97 things had definitely changed in unit PT — no more shuckin’ and jivin’, it was different so something must have translated for sure. About the time too that we started to get our swagger back, oddly enough. Bottom Line Way Down Low: Not only is your common sense correct on this subject, it has been proven as well.

    • Actually, Steve, I think they consider us on about a talent level c Blinn Junior College. Which is fine by me, too — although I just got back from a road trip and this being the first thing I saw reminded me of just how much disrespect there is for us among sports media. I’d say what I think of that, but it wouldn’t pass the censors so I won’t. Go Gators!

      • 6 I like being the underdog. Remember the game against OS for the NC the media (ESPN CBS) was so slanted before the game we were going to lose it turned off the volume. By the end of the half 34-14 (7 points on opening kick off) and there were a few still saying that we weren’t going to hold it. After the 3 qtr they were saying they always thought there was a chance. There were quite a few like that in the NC against Oklahoma and the high paced offense. The defense was great. Bradford tried that crap that got them there and we didn’t flinch. Mullen was there for those and our offense wasn’t great but they executed and moved the rock. Winning combination offense stays on the field and moves the ball (doesn’t have to score every possession just stay on the field. Defense terrorizes offense and keeps them out of the end zone. Offense doesn’t have to be great just needs to put some points on the board and stay on the field. The two goose eggs OS had in that NC were a statement by the Gators. This team has the set up like those guys did. If Grantham’s D can be stifling and not run out of gas. Savage is half of that with the offense needing to do their part we are going to surprise a lot of teams. The target is on our back, they are the underdogs. These coaches will use that to fuel the fire. Can’t wait for opening day. I wish there was a button I could push to get there faster.

        • You are absolutely right on, 65. The smugness of the broadcasters and the media in all three of our national championship games was something to behold, wasn’t it? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again many times before this season is over, I’m sure: Scoring the most points, albeit a minor thing in most people’s minds, does indeed have something to do with who wins the game.

          And, as the late, great Jim Varney (Earnest) once said about preconceived notions — “I thought I had a preconceived notion once, but all it turned out to be was just something that I had already thought of”.

  3. This is exactly what you would expect out of pre-season. A bunch of “experts” predicting division results. With the exception of QB, our roster can hang with anyone in the east. Will we have QB play, that is the question. With Mullen, I cannot imagine we won’t. 2018 is about respect. It’s time to return to the mountaintop. # MullenSECCOY

  4. Here’s all you need to know when taking this with a grain of salt…….some sportswriter gave UT a first place vote….same for UK. And until Coach Muschamp learns that a good offense compliments a great defense, I can’t see them finishing second or worthy of 8 first place votes.

    I’m not going to allow myself to get overly excited (right now I’m not really doing a good job with that) but I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see the Gators have a great year, end up in Atlanta, and have several First Team and Other Honors. That said, as I’ve said for months around here, anything 6 wins or better and I’m feeling pretty good, especially if the offense actually looks better than my local high school’s offense (i.e. has a pulse and knows what crossing the goal line means).

    One prediction….Jordan Scarlett has a monster year and ends up SEC First Team!

  5. Prediction by it’s very nature has proven to not be accurate…our society and it’s newspapers have an awful scorecard predicting anything. Since an accurate prediction tends pays off on a net basis higher than the losses it’s worth a try though. And then statistics tells us to revise the gets after each iteration to get an even better playoff.

    Play the game. Don’t bet too much at the beginning. Keep trying.

    Imo one day Dan Mullen will win big at UF.
    I don’t know when it will start. But it will start with something small like footwork at QB or linebacker blitzing success it something I have no clue about. When it starts bet big on our boys but let them show us they have figured it out first.