The Florida vs. Alabama game on Saturday puts a lot on the line for the two SEC powerhouses. This Florida vs. Alabama game might also not be a season ender for the team that comes out on the losing end, but a win here would sure pave the road for the 2011 NCAA Championship Game. The reason being that so much time is left in the season, and that both of these schools could end up meeting in the SEC Championship game later this year to decide which school gets an automatic spot in a BCS bowl game. Maybe that came into play when they were scheduling this game originally.
Right now the Florida Gators are already a game ahead of everyone else in the SEC East this season, and they are the only school without a conference loss. The SEC West looks as tough as ever though, with four highly ranked teams over on that side of the conference. With six teams ranked, the SEC has the most of any conference, and that shows that many of these head-to-head games coming up are going to be extremely important. At the end of the season though, a couple of these SEC schools are going to have extremely impressive strength-of-schedule ratings that should help them in the polls.
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here though, as the Florida vs. Alabama game needs to play out first. It’s no surprise that the Alabama Crimson Tide are bringing the best defense in the country into this game, giving up less than 10 points per game in 2010. They have already been tested twice this season, beating Penn State in week 2 (24-3) and then escaping Arkansas with a 24-20 win on Saturday. Some might consider them lucky to have survived that Arkansas game, but good teams know how to win late. Now the Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram duo is going to try and rush against this Florida defense, and that might be easier to say than actually do.
Florida has won a couple of ugly games this year, but they too are 4-0 coming into their seasonal game against Alabama. At this point, Florida really needs a win against Alabama to grasp some respect in the polls, because sitting at No. 7 isn’t something this team is used to. They only have LSU and South Carolina as respectable opponents left on their schedule this year, and get to avoid playing Auburn and Arkansas in the SEC. It means that really need a value win like this one or in the 2010 SEC Championship game if they want any chance at making it to the national title game.
The Florida vs. Alabama game is at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST) on Saturday, and this is a must-watch game for any fan of college football.