The SEC East race has tightened up after Tennessee’s 45-38 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.

The Volunteers now have one conference loss, as does Florida since the UF-LSU game did not get played as scheduled.

UT athletic director Dave Hart, however, is confident however that the Gators and Tigers will meet at some point this season.

“Through my conversations with our commissioner, and the SEC office,” Hart told 247Sports, “I remain very confident that that game will be played, the LSU-Florida game.”

Various dates have been thrown around for a rescheduled LSU-Florida meeting, including Oct. 29 (Florida-Georgia would need to be moved up a week) and Nov. 19 (the Gators and Tigers would buy out their nonconference opponents with the help of the SEC).

On Friday, LSU AD Joe Alleva stated “the game is not going to happen.” During the Tennessee-Texas A&M game, however, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey sounded hopeful that the game would be played.

Tennessee’s concern with Florida not playing LSU is that the Gators could potentially finish with the highest winning percentage in the SEC East. If UF won out against the rest of its conference opponents, which includes Georgia and LSU, it could potentially finish 6-1 with an 85.7 winning percentage in SEC play.

If Florida finished 6-1, without playing LSU, UT would have to finish 7-1 (87.5 winning percentage) to go the SEC Championship Game. If both teams finished 6-2, and were the only division teams to do so, UT’s head-to-head victory would break the tie.

Tennessee takes on Alabama next week in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide currently holds a nine-game winning streak over the Volunteers.