Florida and Mississippi State are both anxious to begin the 2014 season, but for completely different reasons.

The Bulldogs could be embarking on their best season under Dan Mullen and are excited to get underway, while the Will Muschamp’s Gators are eager to put last season’s 4-8 debacle behind them once and for all.

Both teams were given more reason to celebrate this week when Sports Illustrated named Florida and Mississippi State to its list of five sleeper picks to make the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Among reasons why Mississippi State could shock the nation with a run to the playoff, columnist Colin Becht cited quarterback Dak Prescott and a defense returning eight starters from last season.

“Dak Prescott gives Mississippi State a dynamic dual threat as he returns to Starkville after a 1,940-yard-passing, 829-yard-rushing junior campaign,” Becht said in his column. “He could easily improve on both those numbers in 2014 and has drawn hype as a dark horse Heisman candidate.”

In defense of the Gators, Becht mentioned Florida’s five straight top-15 recruiting classes and added that new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s offense will be better suited to quarterback Jeff Driskel.

“Despite an offense that limited him by forcing him to stay in the pocket, Driskel posted what would have been the second-highest completion percentage in the SEC before he broke his leg against Tennnessee,” Becht said.

The remaining sleepers on SI’s list were Iowa (Big 10), Duke (ACC) and Marshall (Conference USA).