We opened up week seven in the Big Ten, but now we’re turning our attention to the SEC in a major showdown between Florida and Alabama. This game has a lot on the line for both teams, but a loss for Florida could be especially disastrous. This is the take of our analysts.
Tom Pence’s Predictions:
Florida 17, Alabama 21
Florida can lock up a playoff spot with a win tonight, but with Alabama having to almost certainly win out to get into the playoffs they should be just a little more focused on this one and find a way to stay alive. Bama in a nailbiter.
Jimbo Smithers Predictions:
Florida 47, Alabama 44
If you saw two teams score 40 would you call it a shootout? Yes? Well tonight you would be wrong. This is a defensive matchup, mark my words.”How do they score so much?” You might ask. Well, DID SOMEBODY SAY OVERTIME!?!?!? This is the game that finally happens. These two ADs are rivals, but with Florida inches from punching their ticket to the playoffs, they should get the win. This is going to be GOTY mark my words…
Houston Freeman’s Predictions:
Florida 37, Alabama 38
Since the underdog is having perhaps their greatest season ever, I’m going with my own team here. Florida has looked good and has a weapon in Kellan Ervin at receiver that could prove to be the X factor for this one. If Alabama limits his touches much like they did against Miami last week until late in the game, then they’ve got a chance to pull out an upset. Florida comes in with the opportunity to keep the pressure on FSU for the #2 seed in the conference and ensure they get in at all. Alabama is fighting for the chance to stay alive as well, their conference record might not seem scary but they own tiebreakers over just the right teams to be a bracket buster and perhaps even still win the SEC.
Connor Russell’s Predictions:
Florida 24, Alabama 30
As all games seem to be right now, this feels like another toss up between two even foes. From my own experiences, Florida’s defense is no joke. Alabama’s isn’t either. Despite Alabama lacking a strong secondary, they seem to get the job done every time out on the field, sporting a top 2 run defense despite playing less pass heavy teams than the leader, Nebraska. It’s a close one, but Alabama can win this in a low scoring affair.
Florida 31, Alabama 35
Both of these teams really want this game. What gives Alabama the edge here is that they will have more success throwing the ball than Florida does running the ball. I like the Tide to win in a close one.
Florida 44, Alabama 38
Really enjoy this matchup tonight. Florida and Alabama both need wins and this game is really important for the playoff race. As much as I like Alabama, Florida can really pound the rock. This game will come down to rushing and defense and I think Florida can win that battle.
Jeff Melinyshyn’s Predictions:
Florida 28, Alabama 27
Florida and Bama come into both 2-2 in the SEC. Florida’s defense is still allowing less than 30 points/game with 26.7. Bama meanwhile are giving up 33.3 pts/game. Both offenses are scoring less than 30 pts/game. This game will either be a defensive slug fest or the defenses wont show. I have been burned by picking either team and I cannot pick a tie, so I am going Florida because of their defense and how shaky Bama has looked.
DAVID ROY’S PREDICTIONS:
FLORIDA 38, ALABAMA 35
Both teams find themselves in some intriguing positions, and really, both teams have to bet on themselves to claim a playoff berth. All that said, these two offenses have looked similar. The Alabama defense relies more upon their secondary, while the Gators are dependent upon their front seven. The versatility of the Gators, and their ability to take advantage of opportunities late, should be the difference maker in overtime tonight.
Our panelists are as split as possible, with a 4-4 tie on Florida and Alabama. Still, there’s consensus is that this game should be exceptionally close, and the potential for overtime is there.