(1) Florida at (4) LSU

Steve O Speak

By contributing Fanspeak writer Geoff Nelowet

The Florida Gators head into Tiger Stadium on Saturday to take on SEC rival LSU. This game, as ranking indicates, has major BCS implications, and the winner will undoubtedly be in the center of the national title picture.

The Gators, though, have big worries, and they come in the form of Tim Tebow’s health. Tebow suffered a concussion in a 41-7 win over Kentucky two weeks ago, and he is a game-time decision for Saturday’s match-up. If Tebow can’t go, the offense should be in good hands with Sophomore QB John Brantley. He’s a talented young quarterback, and he has played well in spot duty.

LSU is coming off a big win at Georgia last week, and coupled with their national ranking, their confidence is as high as can be. Les Miles has his young team playing at a peak level, and they’ve found a way to win ugly. LSU still ranks at the bottom of the SEC statistically, so there is some doubt as to how well this team will play against the ultra-talented Gators.

With or without Tebow, Florida is the superior team. The Gators may have the best defense in the country led by junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap and senior linebacker Brandon Spikes. They have the ability to completely shut down LSU’s marginal offensive attack. Brantley is good enough to guide the offense and manage the game, and that probably isn’t giving him enough credit. Brantley hasn’t been tested, but he has the ability to give Florida more of a vertical passing game than Tebow. Brantley, like the Gators’ entire roster, is very talented, so it would come at no surprise if Florida scores a lot of points against their top SEC rival.

When it comes down to it, LSU is a tough team, and their 5-0 record is an indicator of that, but they are not the fourth-best team in the nation, and they are not on the same level as Florida. They don’t have the size, speed or experience that the Gators posess. With or without Tebow, Florida wins this game. Final score: Florida 28 LSU 10

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