OK, I will probably live to regret this, but I am going out on a limb and predicting that the Florida Gators will upset the Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday.
First, let me say that after watching Alabama dismantle Arkansas this past week, I am afraid that 'Bama could possibly come into Gainesville and ruin a lot of the good feelings Gator fans have about coach Will Muschamp's first season at the helm. 'Bama has one nasty defense and a very scary running attack. Their special teams are great. And their coach is one of the best.
So why am I making this prediction?
Last year, several teams came into the Swamp and left with a W. This must be rectified if the Gators are to return to the college football elite.
What better way to rectify it than by beating college football's best program over the last four or five years? A win over 'Bama serves notice to the rest of the teams on the Gators' schedule that the Swamp is back as one of the toughest road venues.
Last year around this time, Alabama went on the road to face the eventual SEC East champions. They lost. At the time, I thought they were still college football's best team. I wrote this afterwards:
OK, I was wrong. But not by much when you consider the team that actually did win the national championship only beat 'Bama by one point. I thought they had the best team in the nation then and I'm not sure a loss would change my mind that they still wouldn't have the best team this year.
The Gators' front seven is very good. They have stuffed the run game of every team they've played so far. I know, I know. They haven't faced a Trent Richardson yet. But if the Gators can get a lead on Alabama and neutralize that running game and make Alabama beat them in the air, they have a chance.
The Gator pass-rush has been very good. And they have faced a good passing attack in Tennessee's Tyler Bray.
Give them a little crack and they are gone.
And nobody, not even Alabama, can catch these guys if they get behind the defense.
Coach Nick Saban admits he made a mistake by not giving Will Muschamp the title of defensive co-ordinator with the Miami Dolphins when they coached there.
Maybe Muschamp harbors some ill feelings and would love to show coach Saban that he indeed made a mistake there. What better way than to beat him in a head-to-head matchup. Coach Muschamp can really put his name up there with the top names in college football's coaching ranks with a win Saturday.
Final score: Florida 31, Alabama 24