Gamecocks SEC East championship scenarios

Despite the events of last weekend, there are still many ways South Carolina can get to Atlanta.  In fact, every team in the SEC East is still mathematically alive for the berth.  Below are a few of the better scenarios for USC.

Here are the current standings

Team Conf Record Games Back
South Carolina 2-2
Vanderbilt 1-2 1/2
Florida 2-3 1/2
Georgia 2-3 1/2
Kentucky 1-3 1
Tennessee 0-3 1 1/2

The simplest scenario where South Carolina goes to Atlanta is to win all of its conference games.  If USC does this they will finish 6-2 in conference and will have given Vanderbilt its third loss.  There is no way anyone can catch them.  Beating Arkansas and Florida will be tall orders, so perhaps we ought to look at some of the other ways the Gamecocks can get there.

Obviously, USC is going to have to finish with either a better record than every team in the division or the same record and own the tiebreaker to advance to Atlanta.  South Carolina already holds the tiebreaker over Georgia.  They don’t with Kentucky.  They need Kentucky to stay a game behind, as they are now.  For all intents and purposes that means the Wildcats must lose as many games as South Carolina does from here on out.  There are some three way tie scenarios that get complicated, but we won’t get into those this week only because there are so many games left at this point.

This week, we’ll look at what it would take for South Carolina to get to Atlanta if they are able to win 3 of their next 4 conference games.  In these scenarios South Carolina would finish 5-3 in conference.

First, let’s assume the only loss is to Florida, then what?

If Florida doesn’t lose between now and then, Florida will be your East champion.  If Kentucky runs the table as well, there would be a three way tie at 5-3 and Florida would own the tiebreaker with both teams.

If Florida loses one or more before playing South Carolina, then the Gamecocks need Kentucky to lose once more, and the East would be clinched with the win over Arkansas.

Second let’s assume the only loss is to Arkansas.

In this scenario, one Kentucky loss would lock up the division for South Carolina.

Third, let’s assume the loss is to Tennessee.

In this case, we would need Tennessee and Kentucky to each lose once more to get to four losses.

Last, let’s assume South Carolina loses to Vanderbilt this weekend and then wins the final three.

South Carolina would need help to get to Atlanta, but not much.  A loss by Vanderbilt and a loss by Kentucky would be sufficient.

So, what’s the upshot?  Who are we rooting for this weekend?  There are two games to watch.

Georgia @ Kentucky

Let’s go Dawgs.  If the Gamecocks lose another game in conference, they need Kentucky to lose another one as well.  Georgia could take care of that for us this weekend.

Alabama @ Tennessee

Roll Tide.  If we were to lose to Tennessee, we might need them to have another loss to avoid tiebreaker scenarios.