Kirby Smart responds to question about whether SEC East is in a ‘down’ year
No. 1 Georgia is in a class by itself in the SEC East.
Coming off an open week, the 7-0 Bulldogs aren’t projected to face many stiff challenges the rest of the way in their quest for an SEC Championship berth and potentially a College Football Playoff bid, including against Florida in the Cocktail Party on Saturday in Jacksonville. Even a loss to Alabama should both teams end up winning the rest of their games en route to Atlanta shouldn’t keep the Dawgs from their first CFP appearance since 2017. And after losing to the Gators last year, Kirby Smart’s team is expected to come out on top this time around.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is enjoying its best season in years, sitting at 6-1 and looking solid for a first-ever New Year’s 6 bowl. The remaining 5 teams in the SEC East are currently saddled with 3 (Florida, Missouri, Tennessee) or 4 (South Carolina, Vanderbilt) losses.
So does that mean the SEC East can be considered “down” in 2021? Smart was asked the question during his media availability on Monday and noted that the Dawgs haven’t played all of their divisional opponents yet.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said, according to 247Sports.com. “I do know that the SEC is a really tough conference to play in. When I sit back and watch games on Saturday, there are some really tough games in the SEC whether it’s East-West, West-East. It’s a tough conference.”
He remarked that the Gators have been involved in some close losses this year. Florida fell to Alabama 31-29 in Gainesville on Sep. 18, with all 3 of its losses this year decided by a touchdown or less.
“I think the SEC East is a really good division, side of a conference, but who am I to judge when we see each other more than most people do, in terms of watching tape and cross over,” he said.