Gators Debut at No. 5

Coaches across the country didn't quite agree with the media pundits at SEC Media Days who picked Florida over Georgia in the SEC East and then for the SEC Championship. The preseason USA Today/Coaches poll is out and Florida is No. 5, four spots behind top ranked Georgia.

The Bulldogs got the nod for the top spot with 22 first place votes, but there was definitely some disagreement among the 61 coaches voting. Six different teams received votes for the top spot, including Florida, Southern California, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. USC and and the Buckeyes, who come in at Nos. 2 and 3 respectively, combine for more first place votes than the top ranked Dawgs.

Florida received five first place votes, fourth most behind Georgia, USC and Ohio State. The Gators tallied 1,293 votes, which is 145 points behind Georgia. Only eight points separates Georgia and USC between No. 1 and 2.

The SEC got its usual recognition as the nation's toughest conference with five teams getting ranked in the top 25. With defending national champions LSU ranked No. 6, three conference teams fall in the top six spots. Auburn sits at No. 11 and Tennessee is ranked at No. 18. Alabama and South Carolina were the first two teams categorized as others receiving votes essentially being ranked Nos. 26 and 27. Mississippi State and Kentucky also received votes.

Both Miami and Florida State failed to slip into the top 25, and only the Seminoles received votes. The Noles were the only non-conference opponent for the Gators to either be ranked or receive votes. South Florida makes a claim as the second best team in the state with a preseason ranking of No. 21.

Of the BCS conferences, both the Big Ten and the Big 12 matched the SEC with five representatives. The Pac-10 and ACC both had three and the Big East had two representatives. Two teams from non-BCS conferences cracked the top 25 - BYU (No. 17) and Fresno St. (No. 25).

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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