There are rarely games that you can undersell and oversell at the same time, but this year's World's Largest Cocktail Party is shaping up to be one of those games. It could be an elimination game for two teams still hanging onto the SEC East race thanks to South Carolina's ineptitude -- or it might mean nothing at all.
For Florida, a loss means that the Gators are done in the SEC East. Drop this game, and Florida will have four SEC losses, while Georgia will have one SEC loss with two games to go -- without even bringing into the equation the dicey odds of South Carolina losing all of its final three SEC games (at Tennessee, at Arkansas, vs. Florida). So for that team, at least, this game is all there is until the next one.
If Georgia were to lose, things get a little more complicated. The biggest problem for the Dawgs is that they would lose the strongest case for having something approaching control of their own destiny: South Carolina's looming game against Arkansas, a team that clobbered the Gamecocks in Columbia last year. If South Carolina could then take care of business in Knoxville on Saturday and split the Arkansas-Florida axis, the Gamecocks would repeat as SEC East champions.
But there's no guarantee that South Carolina's mercurial offense (to be kind) could do what it would be expected to do in those games. If the Gamecocks were to drop two of three and one of those losses was to Florida, Georgia would only be able to claim the crown if the Dawgs win out or if Florida were to lose to Vanderbilt. A third loss by Georgia would hand the crown to Florida, assuming the Gators don't fall to the Commodores, by creating a three-way tie at 5-3 with Florida holding a 2-0 record in the head-to-head-to-head.
That avoids the question of whether Mark Richt's team might finally fold on him if the Florida game slips away, or whether the Dawgs would be favorites against Auburn if they can't beat the Gators. Then again, I'm guessing that all of this will be a moot point, because Georgia will break the streak and knock Florida out of the race.
Georgia 31, Florida 20