The Southeastern Conference and national dominance of the Alabama Crimson Tide dynasty under Nick Saban began in 2009 with 32-13 victory over the Florida Gators in the conference championship game. Alabama would go on to defeat Texas for the national championship a month later. The victory avenged a 31-20 loss from the 2008 SEC title game, when Alabama fell to the Gators. Florida went on to win the national championship a month later against Oklahoma.
Saturday will be Florida’s first appearance in the SEC Championship since their 2009 lost to Alabama, while Alabama will be playing for its fourth SEC title under Saban.
The Gators come in looking as vulnerable as a 10-2 SEC team can look. The Gators defense has been the team’s strength this season, while the Florida offense has been on a steady downward spiral since the suspension of quarterback Will Grier. In three of the last four games, the Gators offense has been atrocious. The last four games for Florida include a 9-7 win over Vanderbilt, an overtime win over Florida Atlantic-which just finished the season at 3-9, and 27-2 loss to arch-rival Florida State.
Unlike the Gators, the Crimson Tide are rolling. The Tide are playing for a birth in the college football playoff for the second consecutive year of its existence, and for a chance to win their fourth national title under Nick Saban.
Anything can happen on any given Saturday, but I can’t get how bad the Gators looked in wins over Vanderbilt and Florida Atlantic out of my mind.
The Gators will struggle scoring, and the defense is Florida’s only chance to keep this game from getting out of hand. Both teams are 7-5 against the spread this year, but Alabama has been much better down the stretch. The majority of the Gators success against the spread came earlier this season. The Gators are only 1-3 against the spread in their last four games, while Alabama has now covered the spread in four straight games. I look for Alabama to roll over Florida in a big way.
Taking the points and Alabama -17,
(Alabama 31 Florida 6)