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

SEC_SEC_SEC

October 14th, 2013
9:45 am

Yes Andy, it is unfortunate that Franklin was injured. Now it will be hard to know just how good this Missouri team might have been. Oh well… It is a violent game.

Andy Johnston

October 14th, 2013
9:39 am

SEC_SEC_SEC — Yes, I sold Missouri short a couple of weeks ago on the basis that they hadn’t played anyone up that point. They still haven’t totally proved themselves and now must face the rest of the schedule without Franklin. They likely will lose at least two of the three against Florida, S. Carolina and Texas A&M. Too bad for them Franklin isn’t healthy the rest of the way.

SEC_SEC_SEC

October 14th, 2013
9:37 am

@Harvey

Denial won’t get you very far. Summer is over. Georgia won’t be National Championship contenders again until next Summer arrives.

Harvey

October 14th, 2013
9:28 am

Missouri = “east” ?! Pitiful, just pitiful. No wonder the nation is so messed up, as folks believe this as being what our educational system endorses.

SEC_SEC_SEC

October 14th, 2013
9:19 am

Georgia fans should pray for Clemson and Missouri to both finish undefeated. It’s time to forget about the SECCG and play for a BCS bowl.

Aaron Murray and Mark Richt can both set statistical records this year. That’s about as good as it gets in Athens.

John Galt

October 14th, 2013
8:47 am

If UGA doesn’t get any better on defense, I am not sure I want them to go to the Dome in Atlanta the first week in December. It didn’t help them last year (actually dropped them in the polls) and it didn’t hurt FLA when they didn’t go (they went up in the polls). It is probably more important that they become bowl eligible.

Mashadoo Maleiyo

October 14th, 2013
8:43 am

The leghumpers will most likely back into the Dome again, but will be slaughtered again by the Alabama Crimson Tide.

From Where I Sit

October 14th, 2013
8:38 am

Missouri or SC will win the East not that SUCK school in Athens!!!!! LMAO!!!!

bjohndawg

October 14th, 2013
8:26 am

MIZZOU has a tough road with Franklin out. But they may not lose two. If they go 5-1 they probably are in.

SEC_SEC_SEC

October 14th, 2013
7:30 am

Missouri is the best of the East. You dissed them and praised Maryland a couple of weeks back. Only their remaining schedule and the loss of their QB stands between them and the Dome, but it looks like it will be South Carolina when all is said and done. The SEC East won’t recover until Florida and Tennessee are both back at full strength, and neither of them are there yet.