Alabama Football: Why the Gators are no match for the Crimson Tide

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football: Flash versus substance will not work for the Florida Gators against the Crimson Tide.

There are many reasons why Alabama football is a better team than the Florida Gators. Just a few of the main reasons are enough to show the Gators are a two-plus touchdown underdog. The Gators have one solid component; a sizzling passing attack. The Kyles and Kadarius Toney are tremendous football players. Dan Mullen is an innovative coach and his Gators offense will put up points. Those sincere compliments don’t compensate for a team lacking in other components.

Breaking down the Florida offense, the Gators are more capable of running the football than their production indicates. Dan Mullen chooses to under-utilize his run game. Mullen, like many designers of explosive offense, prefers home-run plays. He and Lane Kiffin share a keen desire for properly executed ‘perfect’ calls.

The Alabama football offense is every bit as explosive as the Gators. How often do Crimson Tide fans see a big Steve Sarkisian a Kiffin-like, sideline celebration? Not often, after a score, Sark is too busy plotting his next attack. Offensive play-callers, adept at outsmarting opposing defenses, can get in their own way. Many don’t enjoy grind-it-out plays. Sark is intent on the precise use, of every necessary component, of his Crimson Tide offense. Dan Mullen has a different offensive mind. With all the changes in college football, substance trumps style in big games. The recent history of Big 12 teams is a good example.

The Alabama football offense is a mismatch for the Florida defense. The Gators have talented defensive players, but they have a talent dropoff at some positions. Worse, Todd Grantham is one of college football’s most predictable, defensive play-callers. His defenses make big plays and also surrender big plays. Multiple Tide receivers will be open when Grantham calls a blitz. Mac Jones will find them. Though boring by Dan Mullen standards, the Tide’s two-tight end rushing plays will rough up the Gators. Also, the Gators, more than the Crimson Tide go into the game, roughed up.

Offensive success against the Gators is aided by patience and Sark has that trait. He also has an array of athletic talent that plays as a team. The Gators, like LSU, are more talented as individuals than as team units. Credit Nick Saban for that difference.

Most importantly, there is the mentality of the two teams. The Gators like big talk and bold gestures. The result of such unconstrained exuberance has led to a halftime melee and the most eventful shoe throw in SEC football history. The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, sticks to business. The difference comes from the two head coaches. One who dresses up like Darth Vader, the other, fearful without a costume.

The Gators will be fever-pitched. Brash talk and chest-thumping will precede the game and continue until their emotion wanes. A not sky-high Crimson Tide will drain the fight out of them.

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On Saturday night, Alabama football will win its ninth SEC Championship game and its 28th SEC Championship. It won’t be close and Dan Mullen will be 0-10 vs. Nick Saban.