Many have established that this year's SEC West is better than this year's SEC East, and I agree. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, and Auburn, sure do have a better ring to them than the Georgia's, the Florida's, and the Missouri's of the world. The thing is, each and every SEC team must seize their opportunities to make it to and to play in the SEC Championship and this week's slate of games are an integral part to certain teams reaching that goal.
Last week, Georgia lost Todd Gurley, so some went ahead and counted them out of the east's race. And of course as they did that, the Bulldogs smashed Missouri the following day. Meanwhile, Florida -- the Muschamp-led squad that is shown to have so many questions this year -- lost to LSU, dropping them to 2-2 in the SEC and 3rd in the east. Kentucky won last week against a non-conference opponent while Tennessee and Vanderbilt did the same, so heading into week 8 the standings are as follows:
- Georgia - 5-1 (3-1)
- Kentucky - 5-1 (2-1)
- Missouri - 4-2 (1-1)
- Florida - 3-2 (2-2)
- South Carolina - 3-3 (2-3)
- Tennessee - 3-3 (2-2)
- Vanderbilt - 2-5 (0-4)
Week 8, though, is where the going gets tough. Five of the six games featuring SEC teams this week include match-ups between SEC opponents.
The Missouri Tigers will face the Florida Gators Saturday night. The loser? Well, they'll be all but out of the race to Atlanta. If it's Missouri, it's a season that'll be drowned in disappointment with the loss of 8 extremely important seniors. If it's Florida, it could be the end of Will Muschamp's job which—according to some (e.g. Spencer Hall)—could be a good thing.
Kentucky travels to Death Valley too, Saturday, looking to come away with victory that could be rewarded with ESPN's College Gameday the next week, so that's exciting. And Georgia heads to Fayetteville to pick up right where they left off in Columbia, even without the best player in the country.
This is a huge week, it is. There's no marquee game like there was in Oxford two weeks ago or even like there was in Starkville last week, but these games mean something. They could be do or die for the SEC championship race, you just never know.
So gear up for week 8; enjoy it. Watch these SEC teams battle it out, and take note of the fact that this is a big week in the SEC east. You never know what could happen when the two teams meet in Atlanta.