Since 2017, UGA is 27-2 against the rest of the SEC East, by scores that reflect an even wider gap than the record implies. Only one of those wins was decided by single digits, and in 2021 Georgia’s average margin of victory in division play was an embarrassing 32.3 points per game.
And this is what gap closing doesn’t look like:
At some point, that state of affairs says as much about the rest of the division as it does about the team at the top. While the Dawgs have thrived, their old rivals for East dominance, Florida and Tennessee, have languished in various stages of rebuilding. With the abrupt end of the Dan Mullen era in Gainesville, the Gators and Vols are both on their fourth head coach in 10 years, a cycle of hope and collapse that has yielded some fleeting success (see Florida’s last division title in 2020) but overall amounts to a lost decade. The division upstart, Kentucky, has stabilized into a reliable winner under Mark Stoops, but has yet to come close to the top of the standings, finishing at least 2 games behind Georgia each of the past 5 years; ditto South Carolina and Missouri, both well removed from their last winning conference records. Meanwhile, Smart keeps stacking blue-chip recruiting classes in Athens, and the talent deficit just keeps getting bigger.
I can live with that.