The SEC may not be as good as the Big Ten or the ACC, but it is still one of the best conferences in college basketball. However, the USA Today Coaches Poll would likely disagree. The Florida Gators are just one of two SEC teams ranked.
Florida is ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll and the Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 1.
I suppose a No. 8 ranking is fair since Florida made it to the Elite Eight last season and both years before that. However, this team will prove they are a top five team in the upcoming season.
The Gators and Wildcats definitely should be ranked. There is no argument there. Florida may be losing its top three leading scorers, but a bunch of talent will be returning, a couple of solid freshmen will be joining (Chris Walker is still ineligible) and a couple of transfers could make an impact right away. Kentucky is bringing in arguably the best recruiting class of all time.
However, where is Tennessee in the rankings? There was no reason to keep the Volunteers out and they are probably one of the biggest snubs. The Volunteers did not dance last year, but they still finished with a 20-13 record and will have key players coming back. Plus, Jeronne Maymon will be back and he is easily one of the best players on the team.
The SEC did not get any respect in this poll. Sure, Kentucky is the top team, but who didn’t expect that to happen.
I am sure SEC teams will prove their worth, but as of right now Florida is just one of two teams ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll.