We all knew the SEC would eventually beat itself up and might cost itself a spot in the national championship, we just didn't know it would be so soon.
Georgia's 17-9 upset of No. 2 Florida gave the Bulldogs a leg-up in the race for the SEC East title and consequently threw the rest of the BCS standings into a bit of a tizzy. No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Notre Dame have yet to play, but No. 3 Kansas State and No. 4 Oregon got decisive wins on Saturday. However, K-State might be the only team destined to move up to No. 2. Because the Wildcats beat a ranked team, the computers will favor them more than Oregon's triumph over one-win Colorado. But here's where it gets interesting. Notre Dame could make a huge leap with a win over No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 10 Georgia also will make a significant move with No. 9 USC losing to Arizona.
Did you get all that?
But don't worry Florida, there's some good news — the Gators aren't out of the national championship race. They're going to take a hit in the human polls, but the computers will still love the Gators enough to keep them among the top teams. Hoping Georgia loses to either Ole Miss or Auburn in the final two SEC games to get back into the SEC title game might be wishful thinking, but Oregon and Kansas State have several tough games ahead and Oregon will have to play a conference championship game.
Even though it's late in the season, it's still too early to rule anyone out of the national championship. But there no doubt that the Gators' road to the top is a slippery uphill slope. The Gators have to rely on too many teams to change their fate and that might be too much to overcome.
Florida tight end Jordan Reed will get a lot of the blame for the Gators current lot because his late fumble — which was popped loose as he was trying to hurdle un upright player instead of barreling through him — ultimately sealed the Gators' fate. But six turnovers were to blame for Florida now having to rely on other teams to lift them back to the top.
As for Georgia, what looked like a lost season three weeks ago has now been given new life. The Bulldogs need two wins to make their second consecutive trip to the SEC title game, and play for a BCS bowl or even a national title (though, that might be a stretch).
But it would be naïve to say everything is set. There's still a month left and the mad dash to the crystal football is only starting to get interesting.
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