Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I've been a little bit skeptical of the notion that Georgia was somehow in the driver's seat in the SEC East. After all, the Dawgs' three wins since losing to South Carolina consisted of Coastal Carolina, Ole Miss and a Mississippi State team that is clearly a shadow of last year's version. Even with Florida and South Carolina falling on their respective faces last week, it just seemed a bit soon to give the Dawgs the edge in the SEC East.
It might still be a bit soon to do that -- Florida and South Carolina technically are still the only two teams that control their own destinies in the East -- but it's time to officially say that Georgia is back in the race. And not in the sense that they haven't been mathematically eliminated; the Dawgs are players in the division.
Aaron Murray didn't do anything all that spectacular -- 15-of-25 for 227 yards -- but he also avoided the turnovers that had become a bit too common. Five Georgia runners combined to rush for 139 yards, which is encouraging given the patchwork nature of the Dawgs' running back committee. Tyler Bray's numbers were pedestrian by his standards, 20-of-37 for 261 yards, neither good enough to give Georgia fans reason to worry nor bad enough to say for sure that the Dawgs' defense is dominant. And Matt Simms had some luck filling in for Bray before self-inflicted wounds overwhelmed the entire team. (Simms finished off the Vols' only touchdown drive of the night.)
For Tennessee, this game is the end of the road for any hopes they had of getting back into a convoluted division race. Both of the Vols' SEC losses are in the division, and they still have games vs. LSU, at Alabama, vs. South Carolina and at Arkansas to go. It's not a mathematic impossibility yet, perhaps, but it's not easy to see any way for Tennessee to emerge as the team headed to Atlanta.
Georgia would have been in the same spot had they lost this game, but the Dawgs won. That doesn't mean that they're in prime position in the SEC East. But it does mean that they will have to be reckoned with, and that alone is light years ahead of where they looked to be a little less than a month ago.