Gators, Tide getting a head start?

November, 18, 2009
11/18/09
11:01
AM ET
Somewhere in the offices of the Alabama football complex, they’re dissecting tape of Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman's tendencies on third down.

Meyer/Saban
US PresswireUrban Meyer's and Nick Saban's teams are set to meet for the SEC championship in a few weeks.
And down at Florida, they’re doing the same with Florida International quarterback Paul McCall, who’s already gone up against the Crimson Tide this season.

So at least the Gators have the luxury of seeing how McCall fared against an attacking SEC defense.

OK, we’ll stop right there.

Who genuinely believes that Alabama and Florida are doing any extensive planning for their opponents this week?

What about for each other, given their showdown in the SEC championship game is just around the corner and they both have glorified scrimmages this Saturday?

Nobody’s ever going to admit it, but you know Florida has been mentioned a few times around the Alabama complex this week and that Alabama has been mentioned a few times around the Florida complex.

That said, I believe Alabama coach Nick Saban when he says the Crimson Tide’s goal this week is to get better as a football team. That’s their goal every week under Saban, and it doesn’t matter if they’re playing the Pittsburgh Steelers or Fort Payne (Ala.) High School.

But you also know both teams are taking this opportunity -- be it in the film room, in their planning, in their strategy sessions or just on their own time -- to get ready for what looms as perhaps the biggest game in SEC history.

Yes, the two teams were No. 1 and No. 2 in the BCS standings when they met a year ago in Atlanta.

But this year, they’re on track to both be unbeaten as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS standings when they meet for the right to play in the BCS National Championship Game.

So here’s what I want to know:

Who’s playing Tim Tebow on the scout team at Alabama this week?

Who’s playing Julio Jones on the scout team at Florida?

How many reps has Tebow taken against those corner blitzes the Crimson Tide have been so successful with this season?

Has Alabama designated Rolando McClain as a spy on Tebow on third down, especially given the way Tebow got it done on third down a year ago against the Crimson Tide?

Have the Gators been working on any run blitzes to keep Mark Ingram from getting started? Of course, with Ingram, it’s not so much how he starts that’s dangerous as it is how he finishes.

Can Alabama get pressure on Tebow without selling out to the blitz, as Arkansas and Tennessee did earlier this season?

Can Florida take away the pass and make Alabama one-dimensional, similar to what happened to the Crimson Tide against South Carolina and Tennessee?

How prepared are the Alabama offensive tackles, James Carpenter and Drew Davis, to block Florida ends Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham?

How prepared are Florida’s receivers to get open and make plays down the field against Javier Arenas & Co.?

Who’s more equipped to break a big play on special teams?

Aren’t both Brandon James and Arenas due in the return game?

Which of these two great defenses is the one that rises to the challenge?

Which of these two future Hall of Fame coaches do you like best in a big game?

Why do we have to wait two more weeks?

Something tells me they aren't in Tuscaloosa and Gainesville.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12