Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Gators picked second in the East

Maybe the football media that cover the SEC took notice of what Jim McElwain did in year one and see some things that the national media don’t. Florida, usually picked third in the East nationally, was chosen ahead of Georgia in the second spot by the media in attendance at the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama this past week.

It is a far cry from a year ago when the Gators were picked to finish fifth in a seven member division.

Florida jumped out to a 10-1 record before losing their last three games in 2015. Bolstered by a consistent but not flashy offense with Will Grier at quarterback, Grier took a big leap forward against Ole Miss in game six last season and was subsequently suspended for the rest of the season following the contest. The offense went on a crash course, still managing four more wins.

Now, there are changes all over the offensive side of the ball, with a talent infusion at the skill positions and a more experienced offensive line. The media are taking notice.

The Tennessee Volunteers are picked to finish first in the division and understandably so. The Vols finished strong a year ago, they have had a young roster that is now starting to come of age. They lost several games in the last minutes of the contest a year ago, including a miraculous finish by the Gators, so they have shown to be able to hang with everyone. They are a year more experienced and a clear favorite to win the division.

Alabama is picked to win the West and is also the clear top candidate to win the SEC Championship yet again.

Easter Division (1st place votes in parentheses)

Points

Tennessee (225)

2167

Florida (57)

1891

Georgia (45)

1860

Kentucky

933

Vanderbilt (2)

810

Missouri

807

South Carolina (2)

800

Western Division (1st place votes in parentheses)

Points

Alabama(246)

2220

LSU (76)

1984

Ole Miss (5)

1479

Texas A&M (3)

1130

Arkansas (1)

1047

Auburn

890

Mississippi State

518

 


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