Kentucky gets a chance to rest up this weekend and prepare for a major showdown with Auburn that could have major implications on the SEC. Why is that? Well this weekend and next are going to go a long way in deciding who is going to represent the East in Atlanta. If Kentucky beats Auburn and can get a little bit of help from their friends then they should be sitting pretty for the back half of the season. While we all enjoy the bye-week let’s take a look at tomorrow’s games and how they can shape the race for the East:
Florida (3-0) @ Missouri (1-1) : 7:30 pm on the SEC Network
The last two meetings between the Tigers and Gators saw Mizzou winning by a combined score of 78-30. Granted, this year’s version of the two teams are very different. The Gators’ defense has looked like one of the best in the nation the past three weeks and their offense has shown that they are capable, if not overly impressive. Florida’s October will decide if they return to the top of the SEC East. They passed the test against Ole Miss but their games @Missouri, @LSU, and in Jacksonville against Georgia will decide their fate.
Missouri on the other hand has been a team trying to find their identity and freshman Drew Lock will be taking the reins for tomorrow’s game. With a win Missouri would insert themselves into the East race once again. Their remaining SEC schedule sends them to Georgia, Vandy, and Arkansas with home games against Mississippi State and Tennessee. If they can beat Florida 6-2 is a real possibility.
Georgia (2-1) @ Tennessee (0-2): 3 p.m. on CBS
This game has quickly become a must-win for the Vols after blowing a 13 or more lead in each of their last three games. Coming into the year UT was touted as a contender for the SEC East but if they drop this one to UGA then that dream is over. Especially when you factor in that their next game is at Alabama. It isn’t crazy to think that the Vols could be 2-5 when they make the trip to Lexington on the 31st. The Bulldogs have won 5 in a row over the team in the throw-up orange, in all likelihood it will be six tomorrow.
Following Tennessee, the Dawgs move on to play Missouri, Florida (neutral), Kentucky, and @Auburn. If Kentucky is going to leapfrog UGA they will probably need to win on the road in Athens. That’s a tall task.
So let’s say Kentucky beats Auburn next Thursday, the SEC standings could look like this at the halfway point of the season:
South Carolina (0-4)