Using ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) as a guide, Alabama has a 73.4 percent chance to beat Florida at home on Saturday.

Alabama ready for first test

The Crimson Tide went 3-0 in their so-called “preseason” slate, wiping up their out-of-conference opponents. While they certainly haven’t been perfect, the raw offensive numbers are excellent. The Tide are averaging 42 points per game and more than 500 yards of total offense per game. The defense hasn’t reached peak form yet, allowing four scoring drives to Southern Mississippi, but Nick Saban seems pleased with how it’s coming along.

They face their first SEC opponent Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium when the Florida Gators roll into town. Coming off a down year, the Gators are showing signs that they can be a dangerous team this year. They can put up points in a hurry, and their defense gets after the quarterback as well as any team in the conference. Plus, they have the SEC’s best cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves, matching up with the Tide’s all-world receiver Amari Cooper.

Alabama will have to be disciplined defensively and force some turnovers, which they haven’t done well this season, while keeping Florida’s defensive pressure off of Blake Sims. ESPN’s FPI and the oddsmakers have Alabama as a strong favorite, but no SEC game is a given.