It’s early October and the lines are being drawn in the sand. Not that long ago, the SEC was dominated by two teams: Florida in the East and Alabama in the West.
Now both teams have strong challengers in their division. Florida has to pass through South Carolina and Alabama must defeat LSU to make it to the championship game.
Last year when the two teams met, Alabama was ranked No. 1 in the country and Florida was ranked No. 7. Alabama had the home crowd and absolutely put a whupping on the Gators with the final score 31-6. The loss began the process of Urban Meyer’s unraveling. The Gators went on to lose the following week to LSU, followed up by a loss to Mississippi State and the next week beating Georgia in overtime.
Alabama went on to Columbia the next week and took a good beating of its own, suffering its first loss of the season 35-21 to Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Alabama also lost to LSU and Auburn to close out the regular season.
Will Muschamp era off to a good start
The Gators are 4-0 and Muschamp has done a good job working the Florida media. He’s very likeable and he lives and breathes football, which is mandatory job requirement in Gainesville.
Unfortunately, Florida has barely been challenged. Florida Atlantic and UAB were over early. Tennessee and Kentucky are both rebuilding and just not very good yet. The Gators looked good, but the real game is about to begin.
Who Wins this Game?
Alabama, on the other hand, is taking over where it left off from last year. The Tide has enjoyed two cupcake games in Kent State and North Texas, but Alabama rolled over a good Penn State team and by most accounts a very strong Arkansas team in Tuscaloosa. By the fourth quarter, it was all Alabama.
We will all know by Saturday night what kind of team Florida is. We already know Alabama is really good. We suspect that Florida has the talent to win a lot of games.
However, Saturday is the big test.
There will be no room for error for Florida. The Alabama defense is too fast for John Brantley to make costly mistakes. Brantley better be wearing a body brace because he will get hit and he will be the first to know this ain't Kentucky.
Saban vs. Muschamp
It’s always a little awkward when the teacher goes up against the student. Of course, the teacher has more to lose. If the student wins, its an upset. And the student does have an advantage. Muschamp knows how Nick Saban prepares for games. Muschamp also knows how Saban thinks in games.
This is a classic game of tried and true versus the new kid on the block. It’s going to be a fist fight from the opening kickoff until the clock reaches zero.
These kind of matchups are what make college football great—lots of drama, lots of talent.
It could be a foreshadowing of the SEC Championship game.
Crimson Tide 31, Florida 14