A panel of SEC and national media members picked the Gators to unseat Kentucky in balloting released Monday.
The Gators return all five starters from a team that went 21-13 last season and made the NCAA tournament. They received eight first-place votes while Mississippi State received three. Tennessee and Kentucky got two votes apiece, and Georgia one.
Florida was picked to win the East Division ahead of Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Mississippi State is the West favorite. Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn rounded out the predictions.
Georgia's Trey Thompkins is the preseason player of the year pick.
Preseason All-SEC men's basketball teams
Preseason All-Southeastern Conference men's basketball teams selected by panel of national and SEC media:
Brandon Knight, g, Kentucky
Travis Leslie, g, Georgia
Jeffery Taylor, f, Vanderbilt
Trey Thompkins, f, Georgia
Chris Warren, g, Ole Miss
Kenny Boynton, g, Florida
JaMychal Green, f, Alabama
Scotty Hopson, g, Tennessee
Chandler Parsons, f, Florida
Marshawn Powell, f, Arkansas
SEC Player of the Year: Trey Thompkins, Georgia