Florida playing in the SEC title game? This year? This Gators team? Don't laugh. It's not implausible. Not even close.
Hear us out. This utterly forgettable season for the Gators -- in which coach Will Muschamp has been essentially fired in the court of public opinion -- took an unexpected turn Saturday with a 38-20 thrashing of No. 11 Georgia.
Florida now stands at 3-3, and its two remaining SEC games are very winnable (at Vanderbilt, versus South Carolina). Let's say UF wins those two and finishes 5-3. From there, the Gators' improbable path to Atlanta isn't complicated.
They would not win a head-to-head tiebreaker with Missouri if both finish 5-3, so Florida needs to finish in a three-way tie with Mizzou and Georgia. For that to happen, UGA would need to split its final two league games (at Kentucky, versus Auburn), and Missouri would need to lose at Tennessee and against either Arkansas or at Texas A&M (or both). Does any of that seem crazy? Not really. Not at all, in fact.
That would be enough for Florida to head to the SEC Championship Game. How? Let's consult the three-team tiebreaker in the SEC:
If three teams (or more) are tied for a division title, the following procedure will be used in the following order ...
A. Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams. (All would be 1-1 against each other in the UF-UGA-MU scenario)
B. Record of the tied teams within the division. (In the above scenario, Florida would be 5-1 in the division and both UGA and Mizzou would have at least two losses against the East.)
Yes, that means Gator fans are going to have to root for rival Tennessee. Florida needs one of Mizzou's two remaining losses to be against East member UT. If the Tigers were to lose to Texas A&M and Arkansas but beat Tennessee, they would win the three-way tiebreaker because they would also only have one East loss and will have the head-to-head tiebreak when it comes down to just UF and Mizzou.
Got all of that? It's actually fairly simple. If all three teams finish 5-3 and one of Missouri's losses is at Tennessee, then the Gators -- given up on by pretty much everyone, with what many assume to be a lameduck coach -- would head to the SEC Championship Game.
How wild is that?