How three SEC East contenders can all win the division


Aside from the BCS and national championship implications, the SEC East race is turning into the conference’s biggest storyline and subplot for November. Three teams – Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina – are all alive, and this weekend will help clear the clutter…or will it?

Related: SEC Bowl Projections

Let’s break down all avenues and paths for the three teams to reach Atlanta.

Missouri Tigers (9-1, 5-1)

Easiest path: The Tigers are the only team to control their own destiny in the East. If Mizzou wins upcoming games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M, they’re punching their ticket to Atlanta.

The Tigers can still win the division with a three-way tie if they lose one of their remaining two games, meaning South Carolina beats Florida and Georgia beats Auburn and Kentucky. The tie breaker is the best division record, and Missouri would have it at 5-1 in the SEC East.

Missouri can lose the division by just losing one game, if South Carolina beats Florida and Georgia loses to either Auburn or Kentucky. The Gamecocks would have the head-to-head over the Tigers.

Related: SEC’s 14 burning questions for week 12

South Carolina Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2)

Easiest path: South Carolina has to beat Florida Saturday, and Georgia and Missouri each have to lose another game.

Should Georgia beat Auburn Saturday, and Kentucky next week, South Carolina is virtually eliminated because the Bulldogs hold the head-to-head over the Gamecocks.

Related: Current SEC East and West division standings

Georgia Bulldogs (6-3, 4-2)

Easiest path: Georgia has to beat both Auburn and Kentucky, and Missouri has to lose both games to Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Georgia can bow out of the race Saturday with a loss to Auburn.

Heading into this weekend, these are the most likely scenarios. Several additional scenarios could play out, but we will know a lot more about the East race Saturday, and we will reevaluate the scenarios next week.

Photo Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Thank You SDS for the clarification on these scenarios.

  • It’s crazy to think there are THREE contenders still and no sign of Florida. Ugh. My best guess? I think Georgia loses to Auburn and Missouri wins another game. South Carolina WILL WIN the EAST.

    • I’ll say…when was the last time uf and ut both missed bowl games? Letting freaking MIZ come in here and run this thing.

      • There are 16 possible conference results for the remaining 3 team’s conference games. Missouri goes to Atlanta with 11 of those results, Georgia goes in 2 of those results.

        Ole Miss and aTm could beat Missouri on any given day, so may the best team win, that said here’s an interesting stat: If Missouri goes to Atlanta and wins they will regain the series advantage over Alabama. No other SEC team is in that position.

        • I don’t think many will find that stat very interesting, considering that excluding 2012, the last time the two schools played was 1978. I never understood why people place any type of emphasis or stock in an overall series record between two schools. A spectacular or garbage program history means absolutely nothing today, nor does a series where the last game played between the two team was 35 years ago. People should be concerned with the here and now, not the past.

        • Citing overall records is more appropriate when you’re talking about a rivalry, when you want to show dominance over a program or if a team has been dominating you lately, but you want to feel better about it (e.g., during UF’s dominance over UGA, UGA fans would still proudly claim the better overall record). I agree, though, that when you’re talking about two teams that don’t have much of a history, then the overall record loses it’s significance.

        • Got it, makes sense. Same thing happens with USC and Clemson. When it comes up that USC has beat Clemson four years in a row, Clemson fans bring up the overall record (which favors Clemson in a landslide). I wasn’t trying to be a smartass, just don’t see the relevance in that stat, no matter how it is used. Using maybe the past 10 years, if and only if it is a yearly game or the same coaches haved faced off many times during those 10 years, then I may understand it. But it means nothing for two teams that have played four or so times in their history.

        • If a football fan is interested in quality of the team today, then series records, even last years game means nothing. If the fan is interested in football history then the whole series is interesting. I saw those games in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc., I sat on the Rock M and watched Terry McMillian throw the longest bombs to the fastest receiver ever, Mel Gray. So the series is more than numbers on a page to me, regarding Missouri vs. AL, I remember the interview with Bryant the last time Missouri beat AL. Dawg and Gamecock I guarantee that there will be SEC football moments you will remember and records that mean something to you when you are in your 70’s, and 80’s, laughs, assuming we are all blessed with those years. As always, thanks for your ideas.

      • LETTING? Last time I checked Mizzou is running things because they are WINNING football games.

        • Oh, you didn’t know? Since Mizzou is a “virgin” in the SECCG, the other East teams conspired to “let” Mizzou go to the game as a sacrificial offering to Bama. It is the only way to make things right and please Sata…er..Saban so that he will begin allowing other teams in the SEC win.

  • Dang Jake. Whats wrong with Mizzou coming in and showing they belong. That actually should make you pleased that the East is improved with another talented team.

  • From: – The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.

    So if Carolina wins out and Mizz loses one it would most likely be Carolina going to the SECCG. Unless Georgia somehow slides in between Carolina and Mizz and is within 5 places of Carolina. Hmm.. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if the 3 way tie scenario plays out.

    • The tiebreaker to the three-way tie scenario is the divisional record. BCS rankings is the last resort for tiebreakers involving three teams. However, if Carolina and Mizzou are both 6-2 in the division, the head-to-head comes into play. Therefore, South Carolina would go to Atlanta over Missouri.

      • Let me know what I am missing. Mizzou’s SEC East schedule is complete. They finished 5-1. If South Carolina beats Florida, they’re divisional record is 4-2. So if Georgia beats Auburn, then Mizzou should only need to win 1 out of theyre last 2, if divisional record is in fact the 2nd tie breaker. Correct?

        • Let me beat the Vandy fans to it. ****THEIR****

        • Assuming Georgia beating Kentucky is a foregone conclusion. Else, Mizzou has to win both games.

        • You’re forgetting that the overall conference schedule comes into play first. If SC beats Florida and Mizzou loses one of their two remaining SEC games (regardless of them being against SEC West opponents), then Mizzou’s and SC’s records will both be 5-2 in the overall conference, and the Cocks win that tie-breaker since they already beat Mizzou head-to-head. A best-of-division tie-breaker only comes into play when conference records are truly tied-up with no head-to-head resolution. If SC, Mizzou and Georgia all end up at 5-2 in the SEC, then there is no head-to-head resolution: SC beat Mizzou, Mizzou beat Georgia, Georgia beat SC, infinite loop…. Mizzou then would win the division based on their superior SEC East record.

        • In a nutshell, the division record is meaningless if a team’s overall SEC record is surpassed by another team’s overall SEC record.

  • Is there any possible way Florida can upset USC? Any?

  • Just tell Aaron Murray it is his biggest game this weekend and that will assure a Georgia loss. Sorry Georgia fans, but that is what the stats say….Murray can’t win the big one.

    • He beat the #6 Gamecocks and the #6 Tigers so if I’m Murray I’m feeling bad for losers like you who don’t know what they’re talking about.

      • Good wins for him this year, but still they were home games. He is a good quarterback, but the facts are the facts. He has laid quite a few eggs in big road games in his career. Do two big wins in one year wipe away the previous three year’s results?

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