Alabama Football: Lots of confusion in and around Gators program

2020 SEC Championship Game - Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
2020 SEC Championship Game - Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /

In Gator Country there is a lot of confusion. A mistake is being made about Alabama Football. Inside the Florida program and apparently widespread among the fanbase is a belief Florida is not far from being on equal terms with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Florida coaches and players should be optimistic about their chances on Saturday. If they don’t believe in themselves, the game is lost before it begins. The reason the Gators’ program is in for a reality check on Saturday goes back to December’s SEC Championship game.

Alabama Football had a tough time putting Florida away in that game. After the Crimson Tide was scoreless in the game’s third quarter, the Tide lead was 35-31. The Tide pushed the lead to 14 points twice in the 4th quarter but the Gators did not quit, making the final margin six points. The game was the Tide’s toughest contest all season.

That six-point margin feeds Gators’ confusion now. Lacking proper context, a presumption is being made the Florida program is close to being equal to the Alabama Football program. Many Florida faithful believe a home win over the Crimson Tide Saturday would define the two programs as equal in stature.

Stoking the ‘we’re ready to take down the Tide’ fervor this week was Steve Spurrier. Spurrier knows something about beating Alabama football teams. Spurrier’s Florida teams beat the Crimson Tide six times in the 1990s. He also notched a win over Nick Saban and the Tide in 2010 as the South Carolina Head Coach. This week, Spurrier said,

"It’s going to be one of the biggest games we’ve had around here in a long time. (Spurrier told Tony Barnhart of SI’s Fan Nation) It’s going to be a loud one, that’s for sure. I really think we’ve got a chance."

For Spurrier, that ‘almost-prediction’ was pretty tame. But credit him and the Gators’ Nation for their enthusiasm. Facts though can be troublesome obstacles to passionate claims. The Florida football program is not close to level with the Alabama Football program. Only a few facts are needed to show why.

Alabama Football and Florida Gators – Facts

  • The Crimson Tide has beaten SEC East teams 31 times since the 2010 loss to South Carolina.
  • In the last three seasons, the Crimson Tide is 26-2 against SEC teams. For the same period, Florida is 19-8.
  • The Gators have lost seven straight to the Tide going back to 2009.
  • The Crimson Tide has won 28 SEC Championships. The Gators have won eight.
  • Alabama Football has won 18 National Championships to just three for the Gators. Narrow that comparison down to the BCS and CFB Playoff era and the Crimson Tide has won six, to Florida’s two.
  • Nineteen former Crimson Tide players are in the College Football Hall of Fame. Florida has nine in the Hall. Note: Technically, it is 20 former Crimson Tide players, but Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant was chosen as a coach.

More comparison points could be added telling the same story. Not too many years ago, Pat Dye honestly stated Auburn could not catch up to the Crimson Tide in 500 years. Dye was purposely exaggerating – somewhat – but his statement rang true. Florida could use some similar reality orientation.

Next. Bold Predictions for Florida Game. dark

Dan Mullen’s head coaching, ‘zero-for- UA and Saban’ stat could have been added to the list of facts. But that might have been ‘piling on.’