College football: Florida loss to Arkansas shows gap between SEC West and East – NCAA.com
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The only thing standing between an undefeated record for the Southeastern Conference’s West teams against their East counterparts this season is a 51-yard field goal.
Despite that unlikely make as time expired, giving Kentucky a 40-38 win over Mississippi State on Oct. 22, the gap between the two divisions in college football’s premier league is as large as ever.
Just how big is the gap between the East and West?
“Pretty big,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said after a 31-10 loss to Arkansas on Saturday, a game that sent the West to 9-1 against East this season. “As the Florida Gators, it’s our responsibility to close it.”
College Football: Marshawn Lynch gets honored in this weeks Social Rewind
The difference between the two divisions is nothing new, with the West having finished 13-2 against the East last season — including Alabama’s 29-15 win over Florida in the SEC championship game.
What was so striking about Saturday was the ease with which the Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3 SEC) — losers already to three West opponents — handled the East-leading Gators (6-2, 4-2). Coming off a 56-3 loss to Auburn two weeks ago, Arkansas outgained Florida 466-241 in total yardage and held the Gators to a season-low 12 yards rushing.
What was expected to be a difficult game against the best from the East turned into an easy ride for the Razorbacks.
“Our coach did preach that do us, there is a difference between the West and the East,” Arkansas defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter said. “Physicality-wise, the teams that we play, they’re just big, physical guys and try to dominate. We showed that playing the East.”
Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema was a bit more hesitant to