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Friday, December 16, 2011
Gators and Bulldogs tie in poll

By Edward Aschoff

I haven't been around the blog for very long, but I'm not sure ties happen all that often when it comes to poll results.

But that's exactly what occured with our poll for the SEC's most disappointing team in 2011.

With more than 11,000 votes, both Florida and Mississippi State grabbed 43 percent of the vote. South Carolina received 5 percent and the category of "Other" received 8 percent.

It's easy to see why the Gators and Bulldogs were the overwhelming choices here. Even though Florida was under the new direction of Will Muschamp, the Gators were loaded with athletes on both sides of the ball. There were five-star athletes for miles. And quarterback John Brantley was supposed to be better in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense.

Unfortunately for Florida, the Gators finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and had an offense that was just as bad as the one from a year ago. Although, Florida had one more win in 2010 at the end of a long regular season.

The bottom line is that more was expected from Florida. The defense held its own for most of the season, but there just wasn't enough from the offense to keep the Gators in games late.

As for Mississippi State, the Bulldogs were picked by some to make some considerable noise in the SEC West this year. Coach Dan Mullen praised his deep receiving corps and with key components returning on the offensive side of the ball, it seemed like the Bulldogs would pick right back up where they left off in 2010.

The first two weeks, we saw that high-powered offense, but after losing a heartbreaker to Auburn in Week 2, the Bulldogs just weren't the same. We didn't see much from the offense for the rest of the season, and after the solid season Chris Relf had in 2010, he eventually found himself in the middle of  a quarterback controversy as the season progressed.

The defense played well enough at times, but the offense just wasn't consistent and, like the Gators, Mississippi State is headed into the bowl season with a 6-6 record.