For the ninth time in Southeastern Conference Championship history, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0, 10-0 SEC) meet up with the #7 Florida Gators (8-2, 8-2 SEC) for the conference title. This will be the first meeting between the two schools since they met in back-to-back years in 2015 and ‘16. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. EST inside Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta, GA. Alabama is a 17-point favorite in the conference title tilt, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Alabama Crimson Tide
The top seed and favorite to win the national championship have looked like the most complete team in college football to-date. Alabama has rolled through the regular season with little sweat and has averaged 53.0 points per game and surrendered an average of 9.0 per game over their last four contests.
Heisman finalist Mac Jones was a pedestrian 24-of-29 for 208 yards against the Razorbacks on Saturday. However, Jones has put up excellent numbers this season, throwing for 3,321 yards, 27 touchdowns, and three interceptions.
In Jones’ shadow has been running back Najee Harris. The punishing rusher carried the ball 14 times for 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the blowout victory over Arkansas to push his season total to 1,084 and 22 touchdowns.
John Metchie III had five grabs for a game-high 72 yards, while tight end Miller Forristall caught six passes for 52 yards. The Razorbacks were fixed on keeping everything in front of them, limiting the ability DeVonte Smith (three catches, 22 yards) and his NCAA-best 1,327 receiving yards.
What to Know – Florida Gators
The Florida Gators have dropped two games this season, both by game-winning field goals with less than 60 seconds remaining in the game. One of those losses came Saturday night against the undermanned LSU Tigers at home to all but eliminated the Gators from the playoff picture.
Kyle Trask emerged last season as a great storyline and has continued to build on it this season. Trask leads all passers with 3,717 yards and 40 touchdowns this season alone. The senior threw a pair of first-half interceptions in Saturday’s loss but still piled up 474 yards through the air and added two rushing touchdowns.
Florida’s rushing attack had been nonexistent over the last couple of games but looked better against a young LSU defense. Malik Davis carried the ball seven times for 81 yards, and wide receiver Kadarius Toney added three rushes for 56 yards.
Toney caught eight passes for a career-high 182 yards and one score, while Jacob Copeland had his best game in a Florida uniform, catching five passes for 123 yards and a score.
The Pick is In
Florida’s offense might be the only unit that can keep pace with the Crimson Tide. The biggest matchup difference is going to be the Alabama offense against the Florida defense. Florida’s defense has been gashed this season by quality offenses, and the Tide should be able to do whatever they please offensively. Alabama’s defense will cause enough problems with Florida’s offensive line to create enough stops to cover this line.
The Pick: Alabama -17