Gators picked to finish 2nd in SEC East

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The Florida Gators are receiving a little more preseason love than they have in the recent past after winning 10 games last season and finishing ranked No. 7 in the nation.

Dan Mullen’s team has been picked to finish second in the Eastern Division behind Georgia by members of the media who attended SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., earlier this week.

UF received 21 first-place votes in the East, but that leaves them a distant second behind the Bulldogs, who received 233 first-place votes. The Gators received one vote to win the SEC title.

The Gators placed seven players on the media’s preseason All-SEC team, led by two on the first team — cornerback CJ Henderson and defensive end Jabari Zuniga.

Running back Lamical Perine, linebacker David Reese, punter Tommy Townsend and all-purpose player Kadarius Toney are on the second team, while place-kicker Evan McPherson is on the third.

Alabama set a record with 12 players on the first team.

As usual, the Tide is an overwhelming pick to win their 27th SEC title, receiving 203 first-place votes to Georgia’s 49.

Only seven times since 1992 has the media at Media Days accurately predicted the SEC champion.

Eastern Division (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
School Points
Georgia (233) 1789
Florida (21) 1499
Missouri (3) 1149
South Carolina (1) 883
Tennessee (1) 804
Kentucky (1) 798
Vanderbilt 358
Western Division (1st Place votes in parenthesis)
School Points
Alabama (253) 1813
LSU (5) 1493
Texas A&M 1268
Auburn (1) 1090
Mississippi State (1) 769
Ole Miss 504
Arkansas 343
SEC Champion
School Points
Alabama 203
Georgia 49
Mississippi State 1
Tennessee 1
Florida 1
South Carolina 1
Auburn 1



QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
RB Najee Harris, Alabama
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
OL Andrew Thomas, Georgia
OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
OL Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
OL Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama
C Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU

QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
RB Lamical Perine, Florida
WR Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt
WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
TE Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt
OL Solomon Kindley, Georgia
OL Damien Lewis, LSU
OL Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, Missouri
OL Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
C Darryl Williams, Mississippi State

QB Joe Burrow, LSU
RB Larry Rountree, Missouri
RB JaTarvious Whitlow, Auburn
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
TE *Miller Forristall, Alabama
TE *Charlie Woerner, Georgia
OL Deonte Brown, Alabama
OL Ben Cleveland, Georgia
OL Logan Stenberg, Kentucky
OL Matt Womack, Alabama
C Drake Jackson, Kentucky


DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama
DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU
DL Jabari Zuniga, Florida
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
LB Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State
DB Grant Delpit, LSU
DB J.R. Reed, Georgia
DB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
DB C.J. Henderson, Florida

DL Nick Coe, Auburn
DL Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn
DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
LB Cale Garrett, Missouri
LB De’Jon Harris, Arkansas
LB David Reese II, Florida
DB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
DB Xavier McKinney, Alabama
DB Kristian Fulton, LSU
DB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

DL LaBryan Ray, Alabama
DL McTelvin Agim, Arkansas
DL Chauncey Rivers, Mississippi State
DL Tyler Clark, Georgia
LB Terrell Lewis, Alabama
LB Jacob Phillips, LSU
LB Kash Daniel, Kentucky
DB DeMarkus Acy, Missouri
DB Shyheim Carter, Alabama
DB Richard LeCounte, Georgia
DB Daniel Thomas, Auburn


P Braden Mann, Texas A&M
PK Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
RS Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
AP Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

P Tommy Townsend, Florida
PK Anders Carlson, Auburn
RS Marquez Callaway, Tennessee
AP Kadarius Toney, Florida

P Arryn Siposs, Auburn
PK Evan McPherson, Florida
RS Jashaun Corbin, Texas A&M
AP Lynn Bowden, Kentucky

* – Indicates a tie


    • Gatorelf I like your thinking. I do have a issue with the love affair the media has with KS of UGA. He walked into a packed house that was struggling to win in big games under Richt He has three very good seasons as HC and that is it. He still has recruits that he didn’t bring in. Again I am not saying he isn’t going to be great he might in time be. He gets kudos for coming in and taking them to the next level. And they whopped us two years in a row. I think KS still hasn’t been able to win the NC or the big one when it counts. Time will tell how weak the east is and if UGA will stay at the top. Like the BC comic used to say “the end is near” I think for UGA’s reign on the east. And it might be this one.

  1. Are they disrespecting our QB and WRs? I don’t follow the other teams much to know better. But if I recall correctly, Gatorsports had Felipe Franks as the third best quarterback. Also, I’ve read so much how talented we are at WR but non are in the top 6.

    • I noticed that as well, Sly — guess we’ll have run the table in the East now, and oh by the way, beat LSU and Auburn pretty bad too to get any respect out of these guys. Kind of makes you feel like ol’ Rodney Dangerfield, doesn’t it? On the other hand, I suspect that Dan Mullen — and this Gator squad — might just be at their most dangerous when, as “W” used to say, are “misunderestimated”.

      I wonder who voted us to win the SEC? You think Kirby Smart?

    • I thought the same thing, especially about our WR’s. I suspect that while our Gators are getting more love than they have in recent past (and deservedly so), our guys may surprise quite a few more folks this year. I’m not ready to predict a NC yet, but I’m also not ready to crown UGA and Kirby as rulers of the universe yet either. Go Gators!

    • Sly, I had the same feeling about the the media hype for Burrow ahead of Franks at the QB position. While Franks has had his issues, especially 2 years ago under Mac, his performance the second half of last season was as good as you could ask for, and looking ahead to this coming season I anticipate his numbers will be even better. The impact of the Gator coaching on him kicked in and was amazing. That said, I rarely pay any attention to these overblown / over hyped Pre-season teams. It’s just another waste of time and ink. Tell us who played the best after the games have all been played and you having something to vote on and write about. Otherwise, just puffery.

  2. As for respect they will have to give it when we win. And win in a big way. I was watching the SEC network yesterday and they were showing receiver stats for returning players. Based on yardage alone I can see where some of the others are getting the love BUT is you look at the yardage vs number of plays each player was on the field I think that would be much different. I also watched the highlights from a few games and FF was playing better ball in hindsight than my eyes registered. Not that there weren’t problems just 18 vs 17. Since our receivers are spreading the load there is a appearance of lack of performance and our attack was a relatively balanced one as well. I looked on ESPN stats for offense and compared us to Alabama (top dog in conference) UF 203-340 2606 (comp -attempts yds) AL 254-374-4231 (comp -attempts yds) I think this inclused the 1 extra games they played UF 486-2514 (attempts-yds) AL 492-2628 (attempts-yds). Alabama has the advantage in the passing game based on last years stats but we had more yards pregame rushing by a very small margin. Clemson defense took away their passing game limiting them to 8.2 yds per pass avg. from the 11.3 during season. Alabama had 6 interceptions in season and 2 in the NC game. Comparing Clemson to UF and Al we are more like Clemson in balance just not in efficiency or effectiveness. If we clean up the errors (penalties, big play losses, route errors) we are as good as any out there.

  3. I give Smart Kirby credit for recruiting but good lord they had Alabama… I live up in Macon GA btw got to see and hear all about Fromm for years as he played in Warner Robins. I ironically I also was over a project at a large Power Plant in Cartersville GA in 15/16 and kept wondering why that HS football stadium was so full late Friday nights and no game ! they were streaming an away game on their big screen .. so I guess you know who the QB was ? Trevor, got to see him play a little. So yes Im a Gator lol, I moved up here when I was 20 to work for step dad and wound up staying with a GA Power four year training program. I do proudly wear that new gator cap every where haha

    Made some great friends here the people are tops one of the reasons I stayed. We just have our football differences which is fun. I use to ride my bicycle into the stadium when I was 12/13 and run around campus looking for pretty girls haha. any way Im rambling time for a beer

    • Elf, I was stationed at Ft Gordon (Augusta) from 90 to 93 — more or less same time as SOS — and as a Gator that was more fun than the law should allow. Looking back on it, it’s a wonder that I didn’t get beat half to death sometimes. As you know, Athens is only about 80 miles from there, and I’m pretty sure they had my picture up on a poster there.

      Georgia is a great state, it would be even better if not for all them damn Dawgs all over the place. Oh, don’t tell anybody, but I was actually born there…..but on Ft Benning, so that being a federal reservation I didn’t have to be a citizen!

      • ahhh cool! yes I have been in a bar here “Rivalries” in 95 i think it was ( the mud bowl) Errict Rhett grind it out day and it was just me and one other Gator with 40 loud bulldog fans screaming TD ! TD! then they look over at me… I was with a power plant buddy that had been in south africa last five years so we were reconnecting..well near the end of game Rhett got the TD for the win and I stood up loud as I could and said TD !!! they looked at me like they wanted to kill lol… I was half drunk any way from shots beeing sent to me from the other Gator… man when I got home ( I’m not a big drinker) and crawled through the doorway towards the bathroom wifey was following me all the way ( 8 months pregnant ) and I closed the door still crawling lol… she bulldozed the door open and said ” thats just what I wanted to marry right there !! It still makes me laugh.. I have lots of stories lol

          • 😛 I’ve only been sloppy crawling on the ground ( oh God this is the last time) drunk 3 times. That was the last one lol …the first was a teen at a Santa Fe Halloween party. good to meet y’all

          • Elf, I can’t count the number of times I was that drunk! It was definitely a different Army back then — work hard party hard, here today gone tomorrow and all that — but that all changed for me when I quit for good in 1986. What a supernatural moment — involving a dog, a lawnmower, a phone booth in Ft Walton Beach, and two Marine Corps gunnery sergeants at the long gone but not forgotten Carmichael’s Academy for Cultured Anatomy. But as you say, I gots lots of stories! 😈😝🤔

  4. Might as well call it the All-Tide Team. FFS….look at it.
    On offense, their QB, RB 3 WR, TE, and 4 OL are on one of the teams posted.
    On defense, 2 DL, 3 LB, and all 4 DBs make the teams.

    This isn’t a conference preseason team, it’s a study on Bama’s depth chart.

  5. I was watching the 06 championship game. In the first qtr they where saying how our ol was questioned at the start of the season having something like 15 starts amongst them. Seems like history may be repeating. Now we have the qb coach as head coach. Now if history can repeat. We can all experience some Deja vu.

    • It is stupid – when a position or position group has guys leave, they then become an unknown. Yet prognosticators consider it a downgrade and anticipate it to be a weakness.
      Look at UGA’s RB situation since 2013. Oh no, Gurley got hurt, the RB position will be bad. Then Chubb has a huge year. Oh no, Chubb is hurt, the RB position will suffer. Then Michel shows up and does well. Chubb & Michel are gone, oh no! Rate UGA’s RBs low! Then Swift and Holyfield both get 1000 yds.

      Yes, it takes good recruiting and coaching, but to automatically assume a new player can’t be as good as or better than the previous one is short-sighted. That OL that finally paid off the 2nd half of last year were underachievers for the prior 2 seasons. These new guys may be future All-Americans, we don’t know.

      • OAM that’s my point. In 06 we didn’t have an ol yet they were pretty good. I’m not one to day the media needs to report we are all 100/100 and them of course not all can be but it seems they like to harp on the imminent demise over what potential is there. Since they all use the ratings as the only measure of a players potential they often look bad. Of course fans of a team like to point that out.

        • AfroMan, I’m glad somebody finally said it. But unless Sportswriters really favor a team, this “glass half empty” crap is what you’ll continue to read. They are subject to the same faulty thinking errors as anybody else — maybe even more so, I don’t know. You and 65 just cut thru the BS in any event. Besides, let’s just wait and see ……… constantly beating on an unknown drum isn’t doing anybody any favors except for our opponents, is it? Until Dan Mullen comes out and says the OL sucks, I’m just going to assume that they be at least SEC average, or else they wouldn’t be at UF in the first damn place. That ain’t bad at all for starters.

  6. I thought the Gators were loaded at WR, yet we got zero players named to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams combined, and only one offensive player named to any of the teams period. I feel this has got to be a slight to this Gator team. There are two areas where I feel we should excel, based on experience and talent, and that is WR and Special Team (punter and kicker). We did manage to get on the 2nd and 3rd teams respectively on Special Teams. I think this coming season will clearly show that we have the best punter and place kicker in the league period. Also, I find it odd that Marco Wilson was shut out from being considered on either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd All-SEC teams. I believe that he will prove the writers wrong, and at the end of this coming season, he will be 1st team All-SEC.

    • I think there’s going to be a lot of crow to go around among the writers, WGN……but don’t look for the narrative to change. Sometimes I wonder even if we had 6 NCs in a row, we wouldn’t even be picked to win the East each year. Ahhh…..if we had just made that flashy hire! What was that fat guy’s name again? The one who thought he was God’s gift to football? Chip something?

    • Haven’t had much time to chime in lately…game on with a fast-track construction project in Dallas! But great posts folks, across the board. WGN, the omission of Marco Wilson was the first thing that stuck out to me too. I also think FF could surprise with third team honors and Perine possibly second. Gator65, was it you who said you are going to Lexington? I think my wife and I are too…I can’t make it to the cocktail party this year…dang it!