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Tennessee was one of three SEC teams to lose as point-spread favorites Saturday.y

Disastrous Saturday for some of UGA’s SEC rivals

Georgia football fans crave a national championship, and this season might be the year their wait comes to an end. However, the first step toward making that happen is for UGA coach Kirby Smart to lead the Bulldogs to a third-straight SEC East title. With that in mind, DawgNation is proud to present — in partnership with Georgia’s Own Credit Union — the “Own the East” series. A season preview content series focused on what it will take for UGA to dominate the division once again, and possibly return to the College Football Playoff.

Georgia used an imperfect performance to win easily at Vanderbilt Saturday night. Some of UGA’s SEC rivals only wish they could’ve been so lucky.

South Carolina was a big favorite vs. North Carolina, a team that had been an offseason laughing stock for rehiring the 68-year old former Tar Heels coach, Mack Brown, after Brown had been out of coaching for the last six years.

No one is laughing now.

Well, no one is unless you count those who happened to see Brown’s postgame celebration.

The point is they aren’t laughing in Columbia, S.C. Instead, they’re asking a lot of tough questions about why the offense wasn’t more successful, why there were so many missed tackles and exactly what Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp was thinking when he decided to punt from near midfield late in the game with a three-point lead which resulted in a 95-yard Tar Heels game-winning scoring drive.

Things weren’t much better for Missouri.

The Tigers — always and forever a conference outlier — did the least-SEC thing imaginable. They scheduled a road game at Wyoming, and to make matters worse, they lost as nearly a three-touchdown favorite.

Missouri — which had gotten some Preseason Associated Press Top 25 votes — now seems likely eliminated from the national conversation for the rest of the season.

However, the failings of Missouri and South Carolina are nothing compared to the unmitigated disaster of Tennessee.

Georgia State’s upset of the Vols is being called the worst loss in Tennessee program history, and the ugliest thing connected to the Vols since the all-gray uniforms were first unveiled.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad news for UGA’s upcoming opponents. Auburn came from behind to beat Oregon in what might’ve been the game of the day. Yet the Tigers scuffled their way through much of the first half, and benefited from two stalled drives by the Ducks to gain the victory.

All things considered, it leaves Bulldogs fans wondering which regular season opponent poses the biggest threat to UGA. That’s the topic of this edition of Own the East (link posted above). Check out the video to see former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb’s thoughts on who might challenge the Bulldogs this season.

Previous Own the East season preview stories:

Heisman candidates Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift could be UGA championship catalyst