I’ve been pondering this prediction for weeks (even before LSU looked very average at Auburn and against Towson), and wondering: will I make the same mistake I made a year ago?
To refresh your memory, I ventured out on quite a limb and picked the Gators to beat Alabama. Insane, right. But at the time, it didn’t seem all that far-fetched. UF was 4-0, John Brantley was playing well, Charlie Weis seemed to really know what he was doing and the Gators had great momentum heading into a huge SEC game in The Swamp.
Picking Florida felt right.
By halftime, of course, it looked like a really dumb pick.
So, am I ready to go there again — pick 4-0 Florida to upset LSU in The Swamp?
The situation looks similar on the surface, but it is not. This is a much better Florida team than a year ago — stronger, tougher, deeper, more experienced, better coached on offense, more driven to succeed. And LSU has looked vulnerable.
I’m sure the Tigers will not look anything like they did in their struggle against Towson. They will come to Florida Field focused and ready to play their best game of the season. Given their past two shaky performance, the Tigers will be looking at this as a statement game for them.
But I see this being a statement game for Will Muschamp and the Gators, who have risen back into the top 10 nationally and plan to stay there.
LSU’s defense is an offensive coordinator’s nightmare. But I think Brent Pease really likes this challenge, and will rise to it with a great game plan that will keep Jeff Driskel on his feet and the offense moving the chains.
Defensively, UF will load the box with eight men to stop the run and try to get LSU in some obvious passing situations, where LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger has had problems with turnovers and negative plays.
I think The Swamp will rise to the challenge as well. The energy will be back, so will the noise and the great homefield advantage the Gators used to enjoy.
Call me crazy, but. … Florida 17, LSU 13.