Battle of the Unbeatens. Heavyweight Title Fight. Clash of Coaching Champions. All of these descriptions characterize the upcoming SEC title game: a battle of two unbeaten teams, generally considered the two best in the nation, for the right to appear as top seed in the BCS Championship Game. In a year of saddening predictability, where B level matchups such as Ohio State-Iowa have been touted as legendary clashes and the top three teams in the rankings have not switched since September 20th, we finally have heavyweight battle everyone has been waiting for.
Truth be told, I can't offer a strong prediction for the winner of this particular title game. There is a reason these two teams are undefeated. Each features one of the top five (top two in my option) coaches of the decade in Florida's spread offense master Urban Meyer and Alabama's dour defensive mastermind Nick Saban. Each has a legitimate (sorry Jimmy Clausen) Heisman candidate in Gator QB Tim Tebow and Tide RB Mark Ingram. It is a clash between two teams whose contrasting styles have both brought them 10-0 marks this season and who both desperately want to be in the BCS Championship: Florida to cement itself as arguably the best team in college football history with three titles in four years and Alabama to reassert its status as a top notch football program.
Alabama, as the randomly designated home team, will come out with a chip on its shoulder. Perennially underrated, the Crimson Tide went into last years' game undefeated and came out of it narrowly beaten and with a ticket to the Sugar Bowl rather than a shot at the championship. The Tide will try to use their massive line to power run the ball against the Gator defense, work these holes steadily using the nation's best running back, and gradually open up opportunities for the passing game while relying on a tough defense to stymie Florida's offense.
Urban Meyer and his Gators will look to avoid this type of defensive grunge matchup. Florida will look to use the spread offense to expose Alabama's defense and score quickly to force the Tide to revert to the air and give up on their biggest asset; the power running game. Meyer will also rely on his defense for major stops and help with field position because, if the Gator's defense can give their offense the ball on a short field, it will be a long night for Alabama.
My prediction is that Alabama will come out on top for several reasons. First, the Tide are the designated home team this year. Last year, the Gators were the designated home team and won a very tough game. However, while both teams are currently undefeated, Florida lacks key playmaking RB/WR Percy Harvin in this years' matchup. Indeed, a team that is usually characterized as a power offensive group has actually relied on its defense more often than not this season. Narrow wins against Tennessee, LSU, and Southern Carolina showcased gritty defensive play by the Gators rather than offensive prowess and do not bode well since, though solid squads, none of these schools featured the brutal defense that Nick Saban will throw against the Gators in the Championship Game.
Ultimately, if the Gator offense stalls and allows the Tide to dictate the possession battle it will be extremely difficult for Florida to win since Alabama will score consistently if Ingram is allowed to take his time pounding across the field.
That said though, this game could go either way and, in fairness, the two should probably play for the BCS Championship instead of the SEC title because they are the two best squads in college football by far.
Prediction: Alabama 33 Florida 21.
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Thanks to Paul Grossinger for this article.
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Is SEC Championship Game THE National Championship Game?
Seems like it to me. I don't think we've ever had two undefeated teams playing in the SEC Football Championship Game. Much less the teams ranked #1 and …
Florida - Alabama: May the Best Team Win!
I think that in all fairness this "opinion" is fair. BUT, lets take a few considerations into account. Last year, it was Sooners, Sooners, Sooners.. what …
Tebow - No Go Not rated yet
Roll Tide Roll 38-7
Florida Has Play Makers Not rated yet
I will consider your prediction to be reasonable; however, I don't agree with your statement that Florida lacks play makers. Where have you been all …
I want a great close game...hopefully Alabama will win Not rated yet
People say that FL won with out Percy last year so we do not need him this year. That proves the fear. You hear people say that all the time and it turns …
Gator Fan Not rated yet
If the Gators don't take Alabama to the mat and win by 14...I'll eat a bucket of bugs! BIGWATKINS says: "We didn't need Percy last year and we won't …
SEC Match Up -- Florida vs Alabama 2009 Not rated yet
This is for Paul who's article is just read. You poor guy, you must be a real Alabama fan thinking like that. Percy Harvin didn't play last year, and …
Top Teams Need To Play Tough Teams Not rated yet
I agree as far as the sec is concerned but florida schedule to get there was not all that great to me because the rest of them on the east side was not …
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