Sports folks have talked about Back to the Future a lot this year because of the Chicago Cubs playoff appearance, and now the SEC East is getting into the swing of things.
Florida and Tennessee are the best teams in the division again just like it was the early ‘90s. The only difference is the Gators and Volunteers were actually good then. This year, their position atop the division is more a reflection of a bad division.
The Gators have a first-year head coach who inherited a mess and were picked fifth in the division in the preseason. Now Florida is 5-1 in the SEC and will clinch a trip to Atlanta when it beats Vanderbilt on Saturday. Tennessee has four losses, including one to Arkansas, and it’s still clearly the second-best team in the division at the moment.
Georgia is a train wreck. Vanderbilt just lost 34-0 to Houston. Missouri is coming off back-to-back losses to Georgia and Vanderbilt. Kentucky is, well, Kentucky.
I don’t know how you feel about advanced statistics, but Football Outsiders F+ rankings see the SEC East like this: Florida No. 11, Tennessee No. 17, Georgia No. 45, Vanderbilt No. 73, Missouri No. 74, South Carolina No. 86 and Kentucky No. 89. And those rankings seem generous if you’ve seen these teams play with your own eyes.
The nagging part of this for Gamecocks fans is this division was there for the taking this year, and maybe for the next couple of years.