It didn't take long for the SEC to go full circle. On the same weekend that the last SEC East unbeaten took its first loss in 2010, the last two undefeated teams in the division went down at home to teams from the SEC West. On the day, the West defeated the East in three of the four games between the divisions by a combined 89-30 margin. Somehow, Georgia's 24-10 win over a Mississippi State that seems to get worse with each passing week didn't seem to offset the losses.
And the most demoralizing loss might have been the prime-time blowout in the Swamp. Everyone kind of expected LSU to demolish Kentucky, and the bizarre events in Columbia couldn't have been predicted by anyone. But most people at least expected Florida to be competitive at night in the Swamp -- and they weren't.
Unlike last year, when Alabama's win wasn't quite as dominant on the stat sheet as it was on the field, this was a thorough dismantling of the Gators by the Tide. Alabama outgained Florida by 144 yards (366-222), and had 21 first downs to Florida's nine. They ran more plays, gained more per play, and won the time-of-possession battle by almost 10 minutes.
Sure, the loss of John Brantley played a role in the game -- but he was still taking snaps at the point that Alabama had outgained Florida on the ground to the tune of 82 yards -- 81 yards to minus-1. When Chris Rainey is held to 19 yards on 11 carries and Jeff Demps gets four yards on three rushes, the problem is not confined to the guy taking the snaps.
Meanwhile, Trent Richardson reminded Heisman voters that he's there -- 181 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries -- while A.J. McCarron seemed to continue to grow into his role as the signal-caller for one of the top teams in the nation. Alabama suddenly started to look a lot more like its 2009 edition than its 2010 team.
If only the same could be said for the East. Instead, it seems to be living the nightmare that was 2010 all over again.