Two Daves Pick The SEC

December 5, 2009

2009 SEC Championship Game

Welcome to Two Daves Pick The SEC! Undefeated Alabama and undefeated Florida meet in Atlanta this weekend to decide who plays for the BCS Title game. In between the lines, this game also decides who gets to skulldrag TCU. It appears that Bobby Bowden got the message loud and clear, courtesy of Urban Meyer. Mississippi State is still running all over Ole Miss and Arkansas continues to give LSU fits. Such is life in the SEC.

Doug says:

Sadly the season is pretty much over now. College football season is easily the fastest three months of the year. Luckily for us, some of the better games were saved for the final week of the season. We saw Auburn and Alabama in a 12 round heavyweight fight that Alabama was able to squeak out in the end. We saw scintillating matchups in LSU-Arkansas and Tennessee-Kentucky, each taking overtime to settle. We saw Mississippi State absolutely take Ole Miss behind the woodshed in a big victory for Dan Mullen's program. We saw Florida give Bobby Bowden a kick to the rear end as a retirement present. We saw South Carolina and Georgia pick up big, big out-of-conference victories. And now, we see ten (that's right, ten) bowl eligible teams in the conference.

Now, we turn our attention to the SEC championship game. This is probably the real national championship. Texas is a fine football team with a legitimate Heisman candidate in Colt McCoy, so apologies to them, but Alabama and Florida are the two best football teams in the land. One of them will be watching the national championship game from home, too, which is unfortunate. But this is the SEC, where our cellar teams would compete for titles in your leagues. Our boys beat each other up all year just to give also-rans from other conferences an opportunity to slip into the national conversation. Yeah, I'm a SEC snob, but I'm also right.

SEC Championship Game: Alabama vs. Florida

Dave says:

This super heavy weight match will compare to Frazier versus Ali. Defense wins championships, and both of these teams have fantastic defenses. There are other similarities: both of these teams rely heavily on the rushing game, both pass enough to keep defenses honest, both play solid special teams, and both have top $helf coaching staffs. Oh yeah, there's this little thing called the Heisman Trophy. Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram are both in the mix, and a strong showing here can make a huge difference in who wins. Colt McCoy will do his best to wrap it up this weekend as well.

Alabama got jacked up early by Auburn but managed to put enough together to earn a win in a heated rivalry game. Florida simply mauled Florida State. Does that mean anything here? Likely not. Both of these teams know what is on the line and had the same experience last season.

The wild card here is Carlos Dunlap, the latest DUI SEC player. Florida managed ok without Brandon Spikes for a couple of games, but Carlos Dunlap is a great defensive player that makes a lot of great plays. His poor decision off the field is going to hurt his team. Tackling Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson requires the best talent you've got. With Dunlap on the bench, who knows what will happen.

Conversely, Florida has the best tight end in the nation in Aaron Hernandez; the guy defines clutch. He will test Alabama's linebackers and secondary. Then there's that Tebow guy..

Defense will rule this game, and the difference might come down to a drunk driver. I think Florida's experience and the tremendous effort Tim Tebow gives will be the difference. I'd be more confident in Florida with Dunlap. As it stands…

Florida 17

Alabama 16

Doug says:

This is a matchup of very similar teams. Both have the ability to play stifling defense. Both like to control the ball on offense. Both are spectacular in special teams play, and have home run threats as returners. Tim Tebow had a rough patch with turnovers around mid-season, but he's seemed to rectify that. Greg McElroy has been inconsistent at times, but

has been good enough. Both teams have tremendous possession receivers. Oh yeah, I almost forgot; the two best coaches in the nation may be facing each other in this game, too.

So, how do you handicap a game between two teams that blew through the SEC undefeated and are so similarly matched? Well, you don't. I mean, Magee and I will give it a shot here, but the reality is that it's a guess. Flip a coin. They're that good.

In my mind, Im leaning toward Florida. They have a lot of big-game experience and a QB with a couple of national championship rings. The difference in QB play is probably what's going to be the determining factor here, and Tebow, simply put, has been there, done that. I do not foresee Mark Ingram, Alabama's primary offensive weapon, having a big day against Florida's defense, even without Carlos DUI Dunlap. Julio Jones is going to need McElroy to play well for him to be a factor. Javier Arenas will have an opportunity to change the game, but then again, so will Brandon James.

So, I expect a low-scoring defensive slugfest, with Florida doing just enough to win it in the end. But I would not be surprised to see a low-scoring defensive slugfest with Alabama doing just enough to win it in the end. Really, it's too close to call, but I'll try…

Urban Legends 21

Crimson Legends 20