There is a chance a bad targeting call could end up deciding the SEC East. Georgia hopes it doesn’t. So does the SEC office. But it could happen.
In a season that’s seen its most recent manifestation of bad luck occur in the form of an ankle injury to Chris Conley on the last, completely meaningless play in a loss to Vanderbilt, of course that could happen. (And before any of you pessimists Booker addresses insist that if Georgia doesn’t go to the SECCG as a result of losing the tiebreaker, it won’t be because of the penalty calls, but because of special teams, Grantham’s incompetence, etc., well, you may be right, but I guarantee you it’ll get spun exactly the way Seth describes it.)
So, the process will start with Georgia winning out, which means that South Carolina will need to do the same. Then, either Missouri loses to a team in the West, creating a three-way tie at 6-2, which will be broken in the Tigers’ favor by virtue of having the best record in the division, or we’ll get an even more agonizing scenario:
If Missouri loses to Tennessee, Georgia could end up being the team that goes to Atlanta, because Georgia would be the only team that beat Tennessee. Really. This could all come down to each team’s record against Tennessee. Or Vanderbilt.
Why all this craziness? Because the fourth tiebreaker is:
Head-to-head competition vs. the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last.
Suddenly, the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game becomes critical. If Tennessee ends up ahead of Vanderbilt, then Georgia goes because it’s the only team that beat Tennessee. If Vanderbilt ends up ahead of Tennessee, then the Vanderbilt loss by Georgia knocks the Bulldogs out, and South Carolina goes based on the head-to-head with Missouri.
Before you scoff, harken back to 2007, when this stupid field goal would have been all it took for Georgia to play in the SEC title game:
Shit happens, Dawgnation.