Missouri in first, but SEC East up for grabs

Undefeated Missouri leads the SEC East, but the loss of QB James Franklin damages the Tigers' chances. (AP)

Undefeated Missouri leads the SEC East, but the loss of QB James Franklin damages the Tigers' chances. (AP)

The SEC East is a huge mess.

Six games into the season and Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida all remain in contention. Let’s take a look at their chances.

Missouri (6-0, 2-0)

The Tigers are the lone undefeated team in the SEC West’s little brother, but the Tigers must go with backup QB Maty Mauck after James Franklin was lost for a while with a separated shoulder.

What’s left: Florida (Saturday), South Carolina (Oct. 26), Tennessee (Nov. 2), at Kentucky (Nov. 9), at Ole Miss (Nov. 23), Texas A&M (Nov. 30).

Chances: Not much now that Franklin is out. Missouri has talent, but there are too many obstacles in the way. Don’t expect them to play in the Georgia Dome in December.

Georgia (4-2, 3-1)

What’s left of the Bulldogs still have a strong shot at the division title since they hold the tiebreaker with South Carolina.

What’s left: at Vanderbilt (Saturday), vs. Florida (Nov. 2), Appalachian State (Nov. 9), at Auburn (Nov. 16), Kentucky (Nov. 23), at Georgia Tech (Nov. 30).

Chances: Georgia must find ways to win every remaining SEC game. Nothing is a sure thing with so many offensive players sidelined and the defense in shambles.

South Carolina (5-1, 3-1)

The Gamecocks played their most complete game in a 52-7 shellacking of Arkansas, and might have the strongest shot at representing the East in the SEC title game.

What’s left: at Tennessee (Saturday), at Missouri (Oct. 26), Mississippi State (Nov. 2), Florida (Nov. 16), Coastal Carolina (Nov. 23), Clemson (Nov. 30).

Chances: The loss to Georgia put them behind for now, but with the Bulldogs, Missouri and Florida beset with injuries, the Gamecocks might have the best shot of playing for the SEC title.

Florida (4-2, 3-1)

The Gators looked miserable offensively at LSU and Jeremy Hill (121 yards rushing) proved that at least he can run on them.

What’s left: at Missouri (Saturday), vs. Georgia (Nov. 2), Vanderbilt (Nov. 9), at South Carolina (Nov. 16), Georgia Southern (Nov. 23), Florida State (Nov. 30).

Chances: Florida must play all the other East contenders, and it’s tough to think the Gators are going to win them all. The Gators have to be considered a longshot to play for the SEC title.

SEC sets poll record

Eight SEC teams are ranked in this week’s AP Top 25, the most by one conference in the history of the regular-season poll. The SEC had eight ranked teams in the preseason poll of 2011, but no conference has ever had eight during the regular season before this week.

The SEC, ACC and Big Ten held the record of seven ranked teams.

ACC showdown

The biggest game of the weekend will be between No. 5 Florida State and No. 3 Clemson. It’s been reported that the only other top 5 game involving a South Carolina team was when No. 1 Clemson played No. 4 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1982.

I’ll have more on this game later this week.

20 comments Add your comment

Pharmer Ron

October 20th, 2013
7:06 am

@Rick James

Let’s see, SC,UGA, and Florida all lost yesterday. Is Missouri a valid contender for the SEC East now? Maybe, just maybe, they might have a slight chance?

SimpleDawg

October 16th, 2013
12:40 pm

If the Dawgs were to lose 4 or 5 more starters, the GIT boys may a slight chance at winning this year.

SimpleDawg

October 16th, 2013
12:38 pm

The SEC East is a hot, runny mess….

[...] QB James Franklin out 3-5 weeks, but some folks think backup Maty Mauk is better. The Tigers’ rough stretch includes playing Florida and South Carolina the next two weeks and finishing against Ole Miss and Texas [...]

Mashadoo Maleiyo

October 15th, 2013
10:45 pm

Wave bye bye to the leghumpers in Athens.

Jon

October 15th, 2013
2:49 pm

Rick, I guess beating the severely injury depleted Missouri team last year didn’t validate that anyone in the east were better than Missouri either, huh. The win at Georgia wasn’t a quarterback win, it was a team win. If you will remember last season even injury loaded Missouri was beating Georgia at the start of the fourth quarter, before they lost. I don’t know what to expect out of their red shirt QB, but even reasonable play without many turnovers should yield them some more quality wins.

SEC_SEC_SEC

October 14th, 2013
4:27 pm

@Rick James

That may be, but as it stands right now, Missouri’s 6 wins look better than Oregon’s 6.

poof!!!

October 14th, 2013
2:03 pm

I was reading the St.Louis Post-Dispatch and many a Missouri fan think that they have already arrived. They don’t think much of James Franklin’s injury, because they think that the redshirt freshman Mauk is better than an experienced senior Franklin. They are in for a rude awakening. Plus their defense gave up over 450 yds to a depleted UGA offense.

[...] As I wrote about earlier today, these are two of the teams still in contention for the SEC East title, which might come down to the healthiest team, which is South Carolina, with Missouri QB James Franklin on the shelf. [...]

Rick James

October 14th, 2013
11:49 am

Even wih Franklin Missouri would have lost 2 of 3 against South Carolina,Florida and Texas A&M.Beating a depleated Georgia team did nothing to validate them as a contender..