Florida-LSU: The Best Annual Game in the SEC

James Walker@BRJamesWalkerAnalyst IIOctober 5, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 7:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators runs with the ball during the game against the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 7, 2006 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida won 23-10.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

There are many storied annual games throughout the Football Bowl Subdivision, and the same goes for the Southeastern Conference.

Conventional wisdom would lead one to think that the “Iron Bowl” between Alabama and Auburn would be ranked No. 1, but I beg to differ.

The annual matchup between Florida and LSU is simply the best of the SEC year in and year out.

If you have never attended a game in either Baton Rouge or Gainesville, you haven’t experienced college football at its finest. Both stadiums, Death Valley and The Swamp, are arguably the loudest and rowdiest home field crowds anywhere.

Both teams have won the last three national championships, and arguably Florida is on their way to winning their third in four years. LSU has a shot too, but they must face Auburn and Alabama, and both are undefeated.

But it is the winner of this annual game that goes on to win the SEC and national championships.

There is a little mystery with Tim Tebow that makes this year’s game more compelling, but regardless of Tebow or John Brantley, LSU will have to greatly improve if they have a chance of winning.

Against Mississippi State, LSU gave up 151 yards on the ground and converted only two third downs on 13 attempts. Florida and their spread offense will gain even more on the ground against LSU, and Florida’s defense is much more stout than Mississippi State’s.

Don’t think for a moment that coach Urban Meyer will not dial up coach Dan Mullen’s number and pick his brain about LSU. Coach Meyer is well known for building relationships with other coaches, and since Coach Mullen is a former protege, this will be a common sense move.

Of course, the quarterback decision for the Florida Gators remains to be seen. It has yet to be determined if Tebow will be cleared to play, and if Brantley is asked to start, you can rest assured that Florida will put Brantley in a better position to be successful by mixing up running plays to move the Gator offense.

Les Miles has his work cut out for him if he is to push his team past Florida this coming Saturday night. However, too many weapons and a great defense will allow the Gators to prevail in Baton Rouge.

LSU’s home winning streak will come to a screeching halt, but one thing is for certain: This game will again show that it is the best in the SEC annually, and all eyes will be watching.