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Sunday, October 17, 2010
Eastern Division race a scramble

By Chris Low

Florida coach Urban Meyer repeated several times Saturday night what's becoming painfully obvious in Swamp Land.

Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer's Florida team controls its destiny in the Eastern Division despite recent woes on offense.
"We're not very good right now," Meyer said after Florida's third consecutive loss, a 10-7 clunker at home to Mississippi State.

It's hard to argue with Meyer, especially if you've had to watch that offense for any length of time.

That said, the Gators (4-3, 2-3) still might be good enough to win the SEC's Eastern Division this season, a race that's shaping up to be a battle royale of teams all beating up on one another.

South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) did its part Saturday by doing what the Gamecocks always do, and that's lay one of those supersized chicken eggs right when you think that maybe they're finally going to break that curse and sustain a little success.

The Gamecocks blew a 28-10 lead at Kentucky and lost to the Wildcats 31-28, a week removed from ending Alabama's 19-game winning streak and knocking off the then-top-ranked Crimson Tide. But like Florida, South Carolina still controls its own destiny in the East.

Those two teams will meet Nov. 13 in Gainesville, Fla.

"We're still in the hunt," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, whose club also has to face Arkansas at home on Nov. 6. "Now, if we fall on our face or get beat again, we won't be in the hunt. But the Eastern Division is a little down this year, so we are still in the hunt."

Heck, everybody is.

In fact, Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2) is one of three teams in the East that controls its destiny along with Florida and South Carolina.

Georgia (3-4, 2-3) and Kentucky (4-3, 1-3) also could climb right back into the race with a little help. Even Tennessee (2-4, 0-3) isn't mathematically out of the picture, although the Vols need too much to happen to be a realistic possibility.

There's never been an Eastern Division champion with three losses since the inception of the SEC championship game in 1992.

Just past the halfway point this season, it could be that everybody in the division has three losses … by the time we get to November.