Florida’s 38-20 win over then-No. 9 Georgia didn’t just turn the SEC East standings on its head, it allowed Will Muschamp‘s Gators a chance to sneak in and win the division, and in that a chance to win the entire conference.
Florida is 3-3 in the conference, two full games back of division leader Missouri, and the Tigers hold the tiebreaker. So how in the world can Florida possibly win the East?
Quite easily, actually. Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com laid out the scenario earlier today: Florida is 3-3 in the conference with a trip to Vanderbilt this week and a home date against South Carolina. If the Gators run the ball anything like they did against Georgia, they’ll most likely take both of those games and finish 5-3 in SEC play. Next, Georgia. The Bulldogs will also finish 5-3 in the conference with a win over Kentucky and a loss to No. 3 Auburn. Entirely probable, and even likely. Finally, Missouri would have to lose at Tennessee on Nov. 22, and then either lose at Texas A&M on Nov. 15 or at home versus Arkansas in their Nov. 28 finale.
Missouri dropping those two games are admittedly the biggest stretch of this scenario, but then again how much of a stretch is it to see a team ranked 13th in the SEC in total offense, 14th in passing and 12th in scoring lose to a constantly improving Tennessee team, on the road in College Station, or to an Arkansas team that’s due to break through any time now?
If all teams finish 5-3 in the conference – with Missouri losing to Tennessee, this is crucial – the Gators would win the tiebreaker with a 5-1 record inside the East division. Missouri would lose the tiebreaker due to division losses against Georgia and Tennessee, and Georgia would lose thanks to losses to South Carolina and Florida.
And then suddenly Florida would be 7-4 (assuming a loss at Florida State) and 60 minutes away from an SEC championship.