It’s Alabama and then everybody else in the conference.

That’s what the national perception of the SEC has become this year. The Crimson Tide is 10-0 and No. 1 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, but the next closest team in the SEC is Auburn at 15. Four of the SEC West teams (out of seven) are ranked inside the top-25, while just Tennessee (19) and the Florida Gators (23) remain ranked from the East.

Alabama has looked every bit of the best team in the country this season but they’re not alone. The SEC West has held its own, even if the East hasn’t been able to keep pace. Florida head coach Jim McElwain acknowledged the gap between the two divisions following a 31-10 loss to Arkansas, Florida’s fourth consecutive road loss to a SEC West opponent.

“Pretty big,” McElwain said of the gap between the SEC West and the SEC East. “You know as a Florida Gators, it is our responsibility to get it closer.”

Florida hasn’t done its part. The last time the Gators won a road game against a SEC West opponent it was at Texas A&M in Johnny Manziel’s first start for the Aggies. Since then the Gators have lost twice at LSU, once at Alabama and this season at Arkansas. The Gators have given up an average 31.25 points per game in those four losses and have been outscored 125-65.   Florida will get another opportunity this weekend when they hit the road to play LSU.

“The SEC West has just been better,” former Florida Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow last week, “I think the East has to step it up.”

This season the East is 2-9 against the West with just three cross-divisional games to be played but the gap isn’t

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