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Thursday, December 3, 2009
SEC championship game prediction

By Chris Low

The SEC flexed its muscle last week with South Carolina taking down Clemson and Georgia knocking off Georgia Tech.

I got one of the two right, but didn’t have the foresight to pick the Bulldogs. I was a ho-hum 5-2 for the week, also missing Mississippi State’s upset of Ole Miss.

For the season, that makes me 80-16 (.833) heading into Saturday’s SEC championship game.

In my contract, it stipulates that I get a limo ride to the Georgia Dome if I’m .800 or better at the time of the SEC championship game.

But that decision has gone to the replay booth, and the replay official is now saying that he’s counting SEC games only. Regrettably, I didn’t finish .800 or better in SEC games, which means I’ll probably be riding the media shuttle to the game.

I’ve got to get a better agent.

Anyway, here goes with my SEC championship game pick. For the record, I correctly picked Florida last year:

Alabama 24, Florida 17: The Tim Tebow factor is difficult to ignore, and I understand he’s the reason a lot of people are picking the Gators. He’s a good reason to do so, and if he plays the way he did in the fourth quarter a year ago, the Gators probably will win. But my money’s on the Alabama defense being able to get some pressure on him and keep him out of those “third-and-Tebow” situations that he’s so good in, the third-and-3s and third-and-4s. Everybody’s making a big deal out of which quarterback is better in the fourth quarter. This season, Alabama’s Greg McElroy hasn’t exactly shriveled up in pressure situations. He’s 11 of 14 passing in the fourth quarter when the Crimson Tide have trailed. But that’s not the reason I’m picking Alabama. I like the Crimson Tide’s ability to be physical in the run game. I like the fact that Julio Jones has been more involved in the offense the last month of the season. I like the fact that Alabama is more complex on defense, according to coaches who’ve played both teams this season, and I like the fact that Nick Saban loses to the same team two times in a row about as many times as tickets go unused to the SEC championship game. I look for another classic battle. And this time, it’s simply Alabama’s turn.