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A win by the Gators proves that one division is no longer the cream of the conference. But can the East really take over?
Coming into Saturday, it had been two years almost to the day since an SEC East team defeated Alabama, LSU or Arkansas. Even with Arkansas crumbling this year under John L. Smith, the fact that South Carolina's 35-21 upset against the Tide remained the last time one of the Big Three from the West had lost an interdivision game remained the underpinning of the idea that the division was clearly the top of the SEC.
So much for all that. With a low-fi win on offense and a defense that helped LSU self-destruct, Florida toppled LSU in a move that showed that Alabama might be the only one left to preserve its divisions reputation. Suddenly, the East has three credible Top 10 teams and the West is down to one.
All of that could change soon enough. Texas A&M looks to be a solid team and Mississippi State hasn't done anything to take itself out of the running. Alabama is still there. And, of course, the number of undefeated teams in the SEC East will fall by one after Georgia faces South Carolina.
Neither team's offense was enough to win the game on its own. The Tigers and Gators combined for 460 yards of total offense. There were five turnovers in the game. Both Zach Mettenberger and Jeff Driskel looked lost at times and held onto the ball far too long. Florida simply deployed the personnel it had better and took advantage of a crucial stretch of the third quarter when two LSU linebackers were down.
But the most important part of Saturday's game in the Swamp was that it provided even more proof that the West no longer runs the SEC. The question is whether the East can take over or can do no better than keeping up.