The SEC East hits an all-time low, which is saying something

Arkansas' Rawleigh Williams III (22) outruns Florida's Nick Washington (8) and DeAndre Goolsby (30) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas beat Florida 31-10. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

Says it all. West leaves East in the dust. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)

My favorite SEC East stat from last season: The only conference victories for the division’s bottom four teams — Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Missouri — came against each other.

My favorite SEC East stat from this season: The division is 1-9 against teams from the SEC West; the one victory — Kentucky over Mississippi State — came on a 51-yard field goal as time expired.

Oh, and there’s also this: It’s mathematically possible for South Carolina to represent the East in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 3, even though the Gamecocks can finish no better than 4-4 in conference play.

Every year we think the East can get no worse. Every year — more like every doggone week — we’re proved wrong. Last month Tennessee, the preseason pick to win the East, played host to Alabama, which had been picked to win the West. Alabama won by 39 points.

But wait! Last Saturday the division reached a new new low: Florida, which still leads the East, lost to Arkansas, which had won one SEC game, by 21 points and didn’t manage an offensive touchdown.

The West has won the SEC championship seven years running. If we throw out Georgia’s epic 32-28 loss to Alabama in 2012, the average margin of victory in the other six games has been 25 points. (If we include UGA-Bama, the average MOV shrinks all the way to 22 points.)

You know how folks sometime say, “The worst team in X division could beat the best team in Y division?” That’s almost always hyperbole. This might be the one time it isn’t. The last-place team in the SEC West is Ole Miss. It has played one game against a team from the East. (It has Vandy left.) The Rebels beat Georgia 45-14 — and the Bulldogs scored the game’s final 14 points.

Auburn plays at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. The Tigers are 10-point favorites. The erudite Athenian and Georgia historian Jeff Dantzler believes this to be the first time the Bulldogs have been a double-figure underdog at home since Oct. 12, 1996. That game matched Jim Donnan’s first team against Peyton Manning’s Tennessee. The spread, as Patrick Garbin of UGASports.com has noted, was 14 points. The Vols won by 12.

(If you’re wondering, Florida was a 19-point favorite in the Half-A-Hundred game of 1995. The score was 52-17. The Braves won the World Series that night. The score was 1-0.)

Should Georgia upset Auburn, it’s possible the Bulldogs could finish in a six-way tie for first place in the East at 4-4. (Though they’d lose the tiebreaker. Kudos to Clayton Freeman of Gridiron Now for figuring it all out.) And if you’re a Dawg-lover, that’s the galling part: Your team is playing in a truly terrible division and, for the fourth consecutive year, won’t win it.

Reader Comments 0

20 comments
Mulk
Mulk

Old Bark Madly is risking a lot by writing this instead of the usual "Ugag could still win the east" drivel. This is NOT news.

Mulk
Mulk

When they say "SEC like" they mean SEC West like. Even the West coaches and SEC talking heads separate the two when discussing strength of conference. I have heard more than one West coach say "we play in the toughest division". No pretense in trying to include those teams in the east by saying toughest conference.


It has just taken the AJC a little longer to inform their readership and not allowing them to ride on the coat tails of  those teams in the West.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Mulk  Ah yes, riding coattails.  There it is.  Isn't it riding coattails when you trash Georgia for losing a bunch of SEC games.  Are you not riding our opponent's coattails because Georgia Tech is a laughable disgrace and can't do the job itself?  How in the world is that not riding coattails hypocrite? 

Mulk
Mulk

@dawg fan


When you read my post, it never mentions UGAG. It has nothing to do with GT. Everybody around here knows that UGAG has lost 4 games. What they didn't know, it is NOT SEC games, it is SEC east games. Bark Madly's column merely points out what a lot of people already knew. I don't see how that is hypocritical.


I do wish Tech could beat UGAG more often. That really doesn't change the point of Madly's column or my post.

Falcaints
Falcaints

Not true, South Carolina beat Tenn. Something Ga and Fla both failed to do

dawg fan
dawg fan

@GTroller  Georgia 33 Defending ACC Coastal Chump 24.  And do we need to get in to that whole Georgia v. Georgia Tech thing?  The ACC Coastal is total trash. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

We're still better than the ACC Coastal, not that that's saying much of course. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@OH:IO Not looking for a backpat.  Just looking to put the Techie trolls like you in their place.  It works. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@OH:IO It doesn't take a lot of imagination.  It's pretty obvious to everyone. 

Mulk
Mulk

@dawg fan


So, when not winning, let's look at recruiting. Or, spring game attendance. Or, players in the NFL. Or, the ACC coastal. Or, their record against Tech. Or, rankings when it reflects their opinion. In other words, anything to divert attention.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Mulk I'm not diverting attention from anything.  The SEC East sucks and Georgia is very mediocre this year.  I was just pointing out that the ACC COastal sucks more and Georgia Tech football is a massive pile of crap.  That's all.  You can't come on here running your mouth about UGA incessantly and then criticize me for doing the same to Tech.  Freaking hypocrite.  Typical crybaby Techie wants to dish it out but can't take it.  Georgia Tech=JOKE. 

Mulk
Mulk

@dawg fan


I take it all the time. And, if I want to trash UGAG, I will. But, my post above never said anything about UGAG. Bark Madly might have thrown in a zinger about UGAG,  but my post did not. And, diverting attention you did. When I stated as much in the next post, you diverted again.


I will post some criticism of UGAG in the near future and that will you give you an opportunity to NOT divert.


Tech IS pretty bad.

OH:IO
OH:IO

1-9 vs. the Oh So Vaunted


Too funny

OH:IO
OH:IO

SEC! SEC! LEAST