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Florida, recipient of the SEC's annual "schedule from hell," has to play road games at LSU and South Carolina (not to mention Miami), which is ostensibly why the Gators got shafted by the media.
The Gators received just 19-of-243 votes to win the SEC East, finishing third in the projections behind South Carolina and Georgia.
And that's fair on face value. A tough schedule is hard to overcome, in this conference more so than others. But it seems the media quickly forgot what Florida did last year, winning road games at Texas A&M and Florida State—two teams that finished the year in the Top 10 and otherwise went 11-1 at home.
The Gators return just four defensive starters, but impact replacements like Dante Fowler, Jonathan Bullard and Vernon Hargreaves (along with the ever-steady mind of Will Muschamp) should be enough to keep that unit ticking.
Just three Florida players, however, made the first- or second-team defense, which seems to suggest an expectation for major regression. Only Jon Halapio made the first- or second-team on offense, too, giving Florida just four players listed among the top 44 non-specialist names.
There's a reason Football Outsiders (purchase necessary) projects Florida to win the division, and even if Georgia is a deserving favorite over the Gators, they should have at least gotten more respect than they did.