HOOVER, Ala. — This week, Florida coach Will Muschamp joked that he could use the results of the SEC coaches' preseason All-SEC team as motivation for the Gators. Florida didn't have any first-team players and had just two third-team defensive selections.
Now he'll have more fuel for the fire.
In the annual SEC Media Days preseason All-SEC team selected Friday by the media covering all 12 schools, Florida didn't have a player on first-, second- or third-team offense or first- or second-team defense.
The Gators had one player selected to the second team as a specialist, junior K Caleb Sturgis. Three players were selected to the All-SEC third team: DL Dominique Easley, LB Jon Bostic and all-purpose player Trey Burton (first team, 7C).
"People are going to talk. They are going to hate. It's just what it is," senior DE William Green said Wednesday. "People don't think we're going to be any good. They think, this guy's gone, that guy's gone. They are always more comfortable with names they recognize. But it's time for some new faces to step up, and that's just how it's going to be this year."
Georgia QB Aaron Murray and TE Orson Charles, a pair of former Plant High standouts, were first-team selections.
The Gators were picked to finish third in the SEC East behind South Carolina and Georgia. Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt round out the rest of the East. The Gators were picked to finish sixth overall behind Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia.
In the West, Alabama was picked to finish first, followed by LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Auburn and Mississippi.
Jefferson's time: To say that LSU QB Jordan Jefferson has had an up-and-down career is an understatement, but coach Les Miles continues to be his biggest supporter. Miles said Friday that he believes Jefferson is poised to have a breakout season. Jefferson, now a senior, played in all 13 games last season and was 118-of-209 for 1,411 yards and seven touchdowns. He shared time with Jarrett Lee.
"Offensively, I think the addition of (new offensive coordinator) Steve Kragthorpe has really helped Jefferson," Miles said. "Jefferson is in his final campaign and really is at the best position that he has been in, listening and taking coaching. So he's been well-coached. It appears to me that that's happening. He also has a want to make this his team, to show leadership. I think, again, it's making a difference."
Whose state is it? This week, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen downplayed the school's decision to erect a billboard on I-55 at the Louisiana/Mississippi border that features Mullen in his MSU gear and the words "Welcome To Our STATE."
"To me, we are the state university for Mississippi," Mullen said. "We're the people's university. It's really important for us and for me to get out there and make sure we show that."
On Friday, Ole Miss players seemed more amused than annoyed. After all, it is their state, too.
"If that's what it takes to get them going, so be it," DE Kentrell Lockett said. "It's a billboard. It's words. I'm not worried about it."
Maybe they can settle it when Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss on Nov. 26 in Starkville.