In what is the most anticipated conference championship game every year, the SEC Championship takes place this afternoon as the upset minded Florida Gators look to bump off the Alabama Crimson Tide. A lot has been made of this game. Not in the sense of how competitive it professes to be, but of how Florida may be the worst team in the SEC Championship in the last twenty years. On occasion you’ll get a team that feels disrespected and finds motivation to play well. There is reason to believe that Florida may be one of the worst teams in the SEC Championship, though. Florida hasn’t had a complete well-rounded game since five games ago against Georgia. Since then they have just been surviving and last week they finally faced a good team and got smoked by FSU, 27-2 final. They also struggled against Vanderbilt and Florida Atlantic. Two weeks ago Florida Atlantic brought the Gators to overtime only to just miss out on a monumental upset.
The Gators will look to spring a monumental upset of their own tonight. As 17.5 dogs, no one is giving them much chance of winning this game against Alabama. Bama has hit their stride after losing an early season affair against Ole Miss. The Rebels have regressed significantly, with Alabama improving all the way to the SEC Championship and a trip to the college football playoff on the line. The Crimson Tide will look to avenge their Sugar Bowl loss in the semifinals to Ohio State. Win this game and they’re in the playoff. A 2 loss season would all but knock them out. Florida has a lot of work to do if they want to make that a reality, though.
Florida has been without their starting quarterback since about midseason and it’s shown. Will Grier was suspended for PED use, also losing an appeal to be reinstated. Treon Harris took over for Grier who has seen mixed reviews. Harris was suspended last season as a result of a sexual assault investigation. If Harris was confused against Vanderbilt and FAU, he is going to be in for a game this weekend. Vanderbilt has a great defense, the best that Harris saw all year. The Gators managed to only score 9 points there with Harris passing for 158 yards and an interception. We’ll see how he fairs against this difficult Alabama defense in the SEC Championship.
Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Odds:
vs. Alabama -17(-115)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Florida vs. Alabama Pick:
This game and cover is going to come down to the Florida defense. I will say it right now, Florida is not going to move the ball against Alabama. But the question being, is the Gators’ defense going to do enough to keep it a competitive game and cover? They better play their best game of the year because there is no room for error here. Like the Mississippi State game, a close one can turn into a runaway in a hurry for Alabama. That matchup looked like it was going to be a 10-7 type game but after a punt return Alabama blew the doors open and secured a 31-6 win.
The Crimson Tide are allowing only 14.3 points per game. That number undoubtedly skewed higher due to that Ole Miss game. Since then Alabama has allowed 11.3 points per game. They’re also scoring 34.5 points per game, which of course points to them being a top 4 team. Florida has scored only 13.5 points per game in the last four weeks against marginal opponents. Subtract overtime against Florida Atlantic and that number dips to 12.25 per game. I have no faith in Treon Harris piloting this team and keeping it close. Expect several turnovers forced by the Alabama defense. Bama beat Mississippi State 31-6, I see something very similar. Roll Tide.
PICK: ALABAMA -17 (-115)