It's another Gators and Tigers affair (12:21 p.m, ET; SEC Network).
GAINESVILLE -- The bumpy road to Atlanta -- technically -- runs through Gainesville.
No. 22 Florida -- down five starters with a daunting schedule ahead -- hasn’t lost hope of winning the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division title for the first time since 2009.
Despite all the season-ending injuries, ugly warts on offense and special teams snafus, the Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) control their own destiny.
“All of our goals are still in front of us,” senior guard Jon Halapio said. “But if we don't handle business and play like how we usually play, then those goals don't mean nothing.”
Also… a short piece on Florida’s theoretical high standards for both the defense and offense. Go ahead, giggle.
4-2 last week.
Scoreboard: 24-16-1 ATS, 2-4 selecting Florida games
This week's six-pack:
Oklahoma State (7.5) vs. TCU
Ohio State (-16) vs. Iowa
Alabama (-28) vs. Arkansas
LSU (-7) at Ole Miss
Clemson (+3.5) vs. FSU
And finally… Mizzou (+3.5) vs. Florida. Earlier in the week I was pretty sure I’d pick the Gators with the Tigers starting a redshirt freshman quarterback against a vulturous (yea I made up a word) UF secondary. Remember Nathan Peterman? But then I woke up and remembered Florida’s own offensive issues.
This is UF’s biggest game of the season -- and not just because it’s the next game. If the Gators -- even with brutal injury luck -- fall in Columbia, the ship will start sinking faster than the Titanic in Gainesville. Only an upset win over Georgia (possible) or FSU (unlikely) could “salvage” a season with so many lofty preseason expectations.
Florida will be without defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (injury unknown) and starting strong-side linebacker/end Ronald Powell (ankle) today, so an already beleaguered front must overcome even more adversity.
It’s chilly up in Columbia -- with a game-high temperature of 44 degrees.
With Florida’s offense already frozen though, I’m not so sure the weather actually matters.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are without star cornerback E.J. Gaines.
Enjoy the game, everybody.
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