I put this list together yesterday as sort of a sanity check of what could happen in the whacky SEC East as we move into the stretch drive. It doesn’t include every scenario, such as Kentucky winning its last three conference games with Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee to finish 4-4. If that happens, I will gladly stand corrected.
Here are SOME possibilities, not all, of what could happen to determine a champion in the SEC East race. The most fascinating one is that if Georgia beats Florida, the Bulldogs could still lose to Auburn and go to the SEC championship game in Atlanta. In that respect, the game in Jacksonville is huge to both teams.
First, the teams:
SOUTH CAROLINA (3-2 SEC)
Wins: Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt
Losses: Auburn, Kentucky
Games left: vs. Tennessee (Saturday), vs. Arkansas (Nov. 6), at Florida (Nov. 13)
Wins: Tennessee, Kentucky
Losses: Alabama, LSU, Miss. State
Games left: Georgia (Jacksonville, Saturday), at Vanderbilt (Nov. 6), vs. South Carolina Nov. 13.
Wins: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky
Losses: South Carolina, Arkansas, Miss. State
Games left: Florida (Jacksonville, Saturday), at Auburn (Nov. 13).
1. South Carolina controls its own destiny. If the Gamecocks beat Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida they win the SEC East at 6-2.
2. Florida controls its own destiny. If the Gators beat Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina they will be 5-3 in the conference. Florida would win the tiebreaker with South Carolina if both are 5-3 and Georgia would be 4-4 at best.
3. Georgia doesn’t control its destiny because it lost to South Carolina on Sept. 11. But if it beats Florida and Auburn, and South Carolina loses two of its last three conference games, Georgia will win the Division. Georgia will be 5-3 while South Carolina and Florida will be 4-4 at best.
4. If Georgia beats Florida and South Carolina loses two of its last three conference games, Georgia will win the division whether or not it beats Auburn on Nov. 13. Here’s how:
If Georgia beats Florida but loses to Auburn, Georgia will be 4-4 in the SEC but 4-1 in the Eastern Division (loss to South Carolina).
If Florida loses to Georgia but beats Vanderbilt and South Carolina, it will be 4-4 in the conference but also 4-1 in the Division (Loss to Georgia).
If South Carolina drops two of its last three conference games and one of those losses is to Florida it will be 4-4 in the conference but no better than 3-2 in the division (Losses to Kentucky and Florida).
South Carolina is thus eliminated from the three-way tie at 4-4. Georgia wins the division on the head to head win over Florida.
That should keep us all busy for a while.
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