Today I’ll continue to walk through the SEC schedule and discuss which game is the can’t miss for each week of the season. These are the appointment television games you can’t miss each week. The fourth week of the season features three conference games, but only one game stands out as one that no fan will want to miss.
This is a huge game for both teams, but especially for Will Muschamp and the Gators. After a disappointing year in 2013 marred by injury, fans and boosters will be looking for progress. This game against Nick Saban and Bama will be the first opportunity to show the Gators are for real and last season was a fluke.
Florida opens with two easy, non-conference games followed by a game in the Swamp against the hapless Kentucky Wildcats. Those games prove nothing, and if Muschamp loses one of those he probably won’t make it to the game against the Tide. In all likelihood the Gators roll into Bryant-Denny at 3-0 with a chance to make some noise.
The Gators don’t necessarily have to win this game to be in the chase for the SEC Championship, but they have to prove they can hang with the elite in the conference. If they get blown out in this one, Muschamp’s seat will get a little warmer and the pressure will mount. They need to push the Tide and at least make it a real game, but an upset would be nice too.
On the other side, the Crimson Tide will be opening conference play and can’t afford to drop one early. Florida has a little room for error as the eastern division is not as deep as the western division. With games still remaining against the Ole Miss Rebels, LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers, the Tide don’t want to start in a hole they have to dig out of. A loss at home to the Gators would be an egregious offense to the Crimson Tide faithful and create unnecessary pressure for Saban and his team.
Not to mention the potential blow to the confidence of new quarterback Jacob Coker as he tries to replace star A.J. McCarron. While it certainly wouldn’t kill Alabama’s season, it would be in their best interest to put this one in the win column.
When it comes down to it, an upset seems to be a tall task for the Gators. They will be competitive and at least keep fans from jumping ship, but the Crimson Tide at home will be too much to overcome. Alabama takes care of business and moves on undefeated.
Final score: Alabama 24, Florida 17