Florida’s bed-wetting at Arkansas on Saturday would be shocking if the Gators were not there representing the laughably bad SEC East. That the Razorbacks, who’d just lost by fifty-three points at Auburn, rolled over Florida is par for the course in this mighty conference’s inferior division.
The 11th-ranked Gators’ 31-10 loss kept this incredible fact intact: Kentucky (over Mississippi State) still owns the East’s only win this season against a team from the West. The sad side is now 1-9 in interdivisional play.
Oh, and because Florida (6-2, 4-2 SEC) laid an egg, the Wildcats, who lost by 38 in Gainesville on Sept. 10, kicked off Saturday night against Georgia in a tie with the Gators for first place in the division. Florida does own that tiebreaker, at least.
More notably: It does not own the tiebreaker with Tennessee, thanks to that blown 21-point lead in Knoxville on Sept. 24. And the Gators’ defeat Saturday gave the Volunteers (6-3, 2-3) new hope after three consecutive league losses looked like the end of their East title dreams.
Now UT closes with Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt, while Florida finishes league play at home against surging South Carolina — which has won three straight, including an upset of the Vols — and at No. 13 LSU. If Tennessee wins out and the Gators drop one more, Butch Jones gets the trip to Atlanta for a second helping of Nick Saban’s boot.
So how does Florida respond? How will it recover from such a thorough and demoralizing defeat?
Arkansas running backs Rawleigh Williams III and Devwah Whaley combined for 305 yards from scrimmage. The Gators (all of them) combined for 241 yards. The Razorbacks snorted their way to 466 total yards and held the ball for 39 minutes and 21 seconds. Florida’s only touchdown was scored by the defense.
It was ugly. But not as ugly as Arkansas’ bludgeoning at the hands of Auburn two weeks earlier. So what does it tell us that the East’s best never threatened one of the West’s worst Saturday? Nothing we didn’t already know. The East is, in fact, abysmal.