Florida and South Carolina
Showdown for the East
There's a trip to Atlanta riding on Saturday's Florida-South Carolina matchup.
Maybe two.
The winner of the game is assured to receive a bid as the Eastern Division regular season champ to the Dec. 2 SEC Championship game. For the loser, a trip to the Peach Bowl as an SEC representative isn't out of the question.
The Gators come into the contest with a leg up thanks to the one-game advantage they hold in the division race and the fact that the contest will be in front of 83,000-plus screaming Gator fans at the famed Swamp.
Florida (8-1, 6-1) will enter the weekend on an offensive roll after blasting Vanderbilt last Saturday in Nashville, 43-20, behind two TDs from quarterback Rex Grossman. The Gators have actually been dominant since their 47-35 loss at Mississippi State on Sept. 30. Since then they have collected wins over LSU, Auburn, Georgia and the Commodores by an average score of 38-13.
South Carolina (7-2. 5-2) comes in reeling after a last-minute loss to Tennessee on Oct. 28. Whether the Gamecocks defense can stand up to Florida's new-found passing attack is chief concern for USC head coach Lou Holtz and his team.
For Holtz, it's part two of the Orange Crush' on the Gamecock schedule: At home versus Tennessee, at Florida and at Clemson.
Tough road ahead for Dawgs
There are three games left on Georgia's 2000 schedule.
Adversely for UGA head coach Jim Donnan and his Bulldogs, they come against No. 22 Auburn, unranked but dangerous Ole Miss and No. 24 Georgia Tech.
The first on the list, a Saturday meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium with Auburn. The game pits a battle between the Tiger running game, spearheaded by transfer running back Rudi Johnson who has accumulated 1,238 yards on 236 carries, against the Georgia defensive front, which boasts All-America candidates Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud.
The three-game stretch comes on the heels of Georgia's 34-23 loss on Oct. 28 in the World's Largest Cocktail Party game against Florida.
For Auburn (7-2, 4-2), the game is key to a Western Division championship run. AU is in a tie with LSU, whom the Tigers beat 34-17 earlier in the year. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are a half-game back at 3-2 in conference. LSU and Ole Miss meet this weekend in Oxford, Miss.
compiled by Travis Haney