In Sunday's Southeastern Conference game between #22 Florida Gators and #14 Missouri Tigers, the depth of the conference will be underscored. Even if some teams have more than one loss, the quality of the opposition the face week-in and week-out means that the league itself is very competitive. In fact, eight SEC teams are in the Top 25, including #1 Alabama, #6 Louisiana State and #7 Texas A&M. The other teams, if not national championship contenders, are more or less guaranteed slots in the various bowl games that will be played in the post-season.
The Florida Gators are 4-2, with wins over Toledo, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas and losses to Miami (FL) and Louisiana State. It may be argued that the wins are not of high quality since Kentucky and Arkansas are at the bottom of their respective SEC divisions, but the mere fact that the Gators play in the highly-charged SEC in which the bottom feeders can beat other conferences' frontrunners is a factor in the rankings. The Gators' losses to Miami, which has since been ranked #10 after being under the radar in the pre-season, and current #10 LSU
The Tigers, on the other hand, are 6-0 for the season. Unlike the Gators, though, they have faced only one Top 25 team in #7 Georgia, which marked their entry into the rankings. Their resume is far less impressive, with only two high-quality non-conference games in Indiana and Toledo. The atmosphere in Columbia, though, is abuzz with the prospect of going up further in the rankings with a win against a Florida team that was projected as the #12 team in the pre-season rankings. The Tigers want nothing more than a win to jumpstart their momentum before running through a gauntlet of SEC spoilers, culminating in a Nov 30 encounter with Texas A&M at home.
Faurot Field in Columbia will be the venue of the Florida-Missouri game, one that could either spell the stoppage of a slide for Florida or the continuation of an upward trend for Missouri.