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Dooley: Can the SEC East hang in there with the West?

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports

We all know that the SEC is where passion has voting rights. There are other leagues that may have a comparable ravenous fan base or two, but only the SEC has 13 (sorry Vanderbilt).

You're dang right it just matters more. 

But when it comes to one thing I pay serious attention to, most SEC fans brush it away like love bugs off the windshield.

Remember now, this is a league that will root for teams within the conference to emerge triumphant in bowl games so the "S-E-C" chant can be heard in stadiums around the country.

But when it comes to East vs. West, meh, that's just an accident of geography.

Part of the reason for the lukewarm response to any conversation about which division won more head-to-head matchups in a given year is that the West has more confetti. Once Florida stopped being a factor during the last decade as far as national titles go, it was kind of up to the West to go compete for them (I know, Georgia was this close once).

The other factor was that the West dominated so much after the expansion to 14 teams. In 2015, the West won 13 of 15 games against the East to render the competition about as meaningless as a Globetrotters score.

The following year it was 10-5, then 11-4. If you were keeping score.

I was and that's why the resurgence of the East to win 9-6 in 2018 was significant. Maybe we need a trophy for it. We'll call it the Spurrier Cup and let the teams from the winning division rotate it on display throughout the summer.

No? Well, I tried.

Anyway, last year the West won 8-7 in a competition that came down to the SEC title game. So it's clear that Georgia's return to relevance nationally and Florida's recovery have evened things up a bit.

Which gets to the point. This season we will have almost twice as many games for the Spurrier Cup, 29 to be exact. For an SEC geek like myself, that kind of fires me up.

Of course, it started last Saturday with five games that crossed divisions. The West went 3-2, with all the teams winning that were supposed to win. 

This week, we have the following:

Auburn at Georgia

LSU at Vanderbilt

Ole Miss at Kentucky

The East could really use a Kentucky win. But I went through the entire cross-division schedule and it looks pretty much even if you pick every game.

So, like last year, it could come down to the SEC Championship Game. 

The divisions are more alike than ever with dominant teams, middle of the pack teams and bottom feeders. 

We good ole boys here in the East will still trade you for Auburn. How about Vandy? Mizzou?

No matter what, know that I am keeping score. Somebody has to.

I think.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.