Way back in the summer, when it seemed the start of the football season would never get here, I made three bold predictions in one of our daily football fixes.
One of those, I picked Florida to beat Alabama.
I felt good about it all the way up until the end of the first quarter in the Gators’ opener. When they were sitting there with zero points and negative yards against Miami (Ohio), I was wondering what in the world was I thinking back in July.
I mean, not only did I pick Florida to beat Alabama, I predicted Tennessee would upset Oregon and Florida State would upset Oklahoma. Those first two upset picks look a little ridiculous now. The Vols were crushed. The Seminoles were squashed.
So, what’s going to happen to the Gators on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa?
What I will say is this: I’m not backing out of the pick I made in July. To do so now would make me a major wimp.
After watching the Gators improve over the course of the first four games – and their confidence grow – I’m starting to feel better and better about my prediction. In fact, I think it’s going to happen – the Gators are going to upset the Tide.
The Gators won’t say so, but this is a game they’ve been pointing to since last December. This is a game where UF’s intensity and will will match the Gators’ performance in the Georgia game in 2008, when Florida was determined to pay back the ‘Dogs for their end zone celebration from the year before. And did.
Granted, the Gators started slowly this season, but they’ve been building up to this moment – and now it’s finally here.
I think the Florida defense will keep the Gators in this game from start to finish. I think Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson will have some success, but it will be tough to come by. And I think the Florida secondary will respond with another big game and come up with some interceptions to add to its season total of 12.
Offensively, it’s going to be a struggle the whole way, but John Brantley will eventually find some holes in the Alabama secondary and the Florida special teams will come up big (maybe even scoring a touchdown) – and the Gators will pull off the upset.
Just remember, you heard it here first, way back in July.
Prediction: Florida 24, Alabama 21.