It was always a bit fanciful -- okay, always very fanciful -- to think that Kentucky had any chance to win the SEC East this year. To even be mathematically alive for a co-championship as long as they were, until today's wipeout against Georgia, was something of an accomplishment. But the results of that game explain as much as anything why the Dawgs are in the hunt for the SEC title and the Wildcats aren't.
The final score might be slightly deceptive, but only slightly so. After Georgia jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, Kentucky fought back a few times to make a game of it. But it was also never a game where the outcome was really in doubt. The Dawgs' smallest lead was 11 points (three times), and following a Kentucky turnover shortly after the half, the Dawgs poured on 28 unanswered points to smash any dreams the Wildcats had of a comeback.
On the other hand, this was exactly the kind of bounce-back that Georgia needed after last week's stunning loss to Florida. Hutson Mason had more touchdowns than incompletions -- he was 13-of-16 for 174 yards and four touchdowns -- the Todd Gurley-less running game continued to churn out the yardage, gaining 305 yards and scoring twice on 39 rushes, and the at-times struggling defense still held the Kentucky offense to almost 50 yards less than the Wildcats' per-game average.
Georgia still has things to work on. The defense got gashed by the Kentucky running game early on and had trouble containing Patrick Towles. Mental mistakes, including a couple of dumb penalties, helped keep Kentucky drives alive. Those are quibbles when you're blowing out a Kentucky team by 32 points, but they are likely to be much larger issues against Auburn -- part of what stands between Georgia and winning the SEC East. The main thing this week, though, was keeping pace with the division-leading Missouri Tigers, and Georgia did that.
Meanwhile, Kentucky's more reasonable goals are still within reach -- despite the four-game losing streak. They will likely be underdogs at Tennessee and at Louisville, but neither of those games are David-and-Goliath-type matchups. The odds of getting at least one, and locking up bowl eligibility, are at worst a touch less than 50-50. And Kentucky has already done some improbable things this year -- winning the SEC East title just won't be one of them.