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.
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.