2015 SEC Championship Game predictions
Week 13 pick results:
- Christopher Smith: 7-2 (ATS), 9-0 (straight up)
- Brad Crawford: 3-6 (ATS), 5-4 (straight up)
Final season totals:
- Christopher: 61-50-1 (ATS), 90-21 (straight up)
- Brad : 51-60-1 (ATS), 87-24 (straight up)
Florida vs. Alabama (-17.5)
Christopher: If Vanderbilt and Florida State had their way with the Florida offense, I imagine Alabama will as well. The Gators defense is better than the Tide offense, though. Florida’s secondary is good enough that the team can devote extra resources to slowing Derrick Henry, forcing Jake Coker into situations where he could make mistakes. Expect coordinator Geoff Collins to blitz the heck out of him from all directions and try to make something happen. Florida needs to keep this game under 20 points to have a chance to win, and I think Alabama will do just enough on offense to pull away.
Alabama 28, Florida 10
Chris Wright: The margin is right at the line. The 31 points isn’t to suggest Florida will slow Alabama down. Alabama will slow Alabama down. The Tide’s grind-em-up style is built to eat clock more so than blow people away. Florida will need help getting to 13 points, but Alabama seems to bring out the fluke in opponents. I also expect Florida to turn Treon Harris loose in terms of taking many more risks downfield. Florida can’t expect to engineer three or four 70-yard scoring drives. They have trouble piecing together three first downs on a drive. So embrace your underdog role and take your shots downfield. If they try to stand toe to toe, it’ll be a first-quarter knockout.
Alabama 31, Florida 13
John Brasier: The Crimson Tide rarely runs up the score. Knowing Florida won’t able to score much, the Tide will play conservatively, keeping the ball on the ground with Derrick Henry. When the Gators fall behind, they are likely to commit turnovers to add to the margin. Florida’s only hope is for Alabama to make some early turnovers, resulting in defensive touchdowns or short-field touchdown drives and force the Tide to throw downfield.
Alabama 31, Florida 7
Christian Malone: In my opinion, Alabama is the best team in the country. The Crimson Tide don’t have many flaws, and it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat them the rest of the season. On the other hand, Florida is struggling right now. The Gators barely got by Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida Atlantic, then Florida State shut out their offense and beat them by 25 points. I don’t think the Gators will score more than one touchdown against Alabama’s defense, and they may get shut out. Florida’s defense will keep the score close for a while, but eventually the Crimson Tide will pull away and win by four touchdowns.
Alabama 28, Florida 0
Talal Elmasry: If Florida, maybe the worst offense in the entire country, somehow finds a gear it hasn’t shown over the last four games against what I view as the best defense in the country, we should all just give up when it comes to making predictions. The Crimson Tide is the most complete team in the nation, especially when you factor in how Cyrus Jones has been returning punts lately, and Florida will be punting often. The Gators will get themselves into an early hole, and that’s going to allow Derrick Henry and the running game to wear out Florida’s defense in the second half despite a valiant effort in the first. I believe we’ll see a change at QB for the Gators at some point in this one to Josh Grady, the graduate transfer from Vanderbilt.
Alabama 27, Florida 7
Tom Brew: I just don’t see how Florida is going to be able to score in this game at all to keep it close. It’s one thing to get blanked by Florida State – the two points were a gift – but it’s so much more than that. The Gators offense has been struggling for a month, as we’ve seen in narrow wins against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida Atlantic. Meanwhile, Alabama has been rolling. This Gators defense is good, but I don’t think they’ve got an answer for the Tide. Derrick Henry has another big day and Jake Coker makes just enough big throws.
Alabama 31, Florida 7