Florida, which actually received one vote as the 2015 SEC champion, finished behind Georgia (166), Tennessee (36), Missouri (20) and South Carolina (1), only ahead of Kentucky (1) and Vanderbilt in the SEC East.
On Friday, the Gators had three players named to the media’s 2015 Preseason All-SEC team. Junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (the No. 2 vote-getter behind Georgia running back Nick Chubb) earned first team honors, while senior defensive end Jonathan Bullard was placed on the second team and senior linebacker Antonio Morrison on the third team.
While the media predicted UGA would win the East, it has Alabama (92) winning the West but Auburn (108) finishing the season as SEC Champion. The order of finish in the West was projected as UA, AU, LSU (10), Arkansas (6), Ole Miss (3), Texas A&M (4) and Mississippi State (2).
Only five times in the last 23 years has the media correctly predicted the eventual SEC champion, which is good news for 13 schools and not the best for the Tigers. That said, the media did correctly pick the Crimson Tide to win in 2014.
Not only are the Gators in rebuilding mode in year one under new head coach Jim McElwain, the team faces an uphill battle on its way back to the top of the league with a thin offensive line and unproven playmakers.
Florida also has a difficult schedule, playing at Missouri, LSU and South Carolina, hosting rising Tennessee and Ole Miss and squaring off with talented rivals Georgia and Florida State.
Photo Credit: Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press