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If You Needed Any More Proof that the SEC East Is Down

It's true that Florida has been on an incredible tear the past few years. It's also true that teams rarely ever go on such hot streaks without some help from the teams around them.

Last season, both Alabama and Florida clinched their berths in the SEC Championship game on November 8. The date of those events made it the earliest point the two participants had ever been decided. That record required success from both teams though.

With a win over Georgia and a Tennessee win over South Carolina, Florida would clinch the SEC East crown on the last day of October, which would make the earliest point either division crown has even been secured. Part of that is simply a calendaring quirk, since the Gators could have done it on November 1 of last year absent their loss to Ole Miss. The only thing different about UF this year is that it swept its three SEC West games for the first time since 1998.

Over on the West side, Alabama is not sitting quite as pretty. Auburn and Ole Miss aren't isn't mathematically eliminated from the race yet (though Auburn would be with a loss to the Rebels on Saturday) [Note: Auburn is eliminated already because Bama and LSU can't both lose out in conference. Thanks, cocknfire]. LSU even controls its own destiny in the division. We all suspected before the season that there would be a close race there, and it has come to bear.

In the East, it really has been Florida and everyone else. Georgia has had real problems on both sides of the ball at varying times this season. Tennessee is rebuilding under a new coach. South Carolina isn't quite there yet, and Vandy gone back to being bad old Vandy. Setting a record like "earliest point ever to clinch the division" requires some help like that.

There's no guarantee that Florida win win in Jacksonville; UGA's last win in the series came off a bye week and Georgia had last week off while the Gators were screwing around in Starkville. There's also no guarantee that the Gamecocks won't go into Neyland and come out with a win either. But if the Gators do sew up the East this weekend, it won't be solely because they're a good team.

It will also be because the division has never been quite this down.