Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Florida picked as biggest disappointment
By Edward Aschoff
Some people don't appear to be very convinced by new Florida coach Will Muschamp and his "Florida Way."
In our SportsNation poll, fans voted Florida as this fall's biggest disappointment. The Gators, who are breaking in a new coaching staff and offensive scheme, took in 35 percent of the vote at last count with nearly 38,000 people voting.
It's hard to know what the Gators will do this fall. There are just too many questions. What will the offense look like? How is the secondary going to hold up without Janoris Jenkins? Will players buy into Muschamp's new vision?
In Gainesville, the expectations are always high and Florida has the talent to compete for an East title, but the uncertainty could cause Florida's record to dip below last season's 8-5 mark.
This team is dealing with a first-year head coach in Muschamp, but don't expect expectations to be tempered around the program.
South Carolina grabbed 27 percent of the vote. The thought during the early stages is that the Gamecocks will be the favorite in the East. With or without quarterback Stephen Garcia at the helm, this team should still be favored. With all the questions surrounding the other teams in the East, anything less than an East title would be considered a disappointment.
Can the Gamecocks deal with the early expectations?
Coming in third was Arkansas with 16 percent of the vote. The Razorbacks should have the most exciting offense in the league and expect to be improved on defense. Most have the Hogs competing for a West title. This team has all the right stuff to do it, but games at Alabama and LSU won't make it easy.
This could be the best team coach Bobby Petrino has had in Fayetteville, but will failure to win the SEC put a major damper on the season?
Alabama was next with 12 percent of the vote, while Mississippi State took home 11 percent. The Tide are being picked by most to win the SEC, so if Alabama fails to make it to Atlanta, this fall definitely be a disappointment.
As for Mississippi State, the Bulldogs have a team primed to be a dark horse in the league. A ton of receiving talent returns for quarterback Chris Relf, and running back Vick Ballard could be one of the top rushers in the league again this fall. There are questions at linebacker, with three spots needing to be filled, and it's still unknown if Mississippi State has the endurance to keep up with the likes of Alabama, Arkansas and LSU.