We've spent a lot of time previewing the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party this week, so much so that I'm not sure there's that much more to say. It comes down to a few things -- a more offensive team in Georgia vs. a more defensive team in Florida, recent history vs. more recent history and a team that's looked iffy but hasn't been challenged much vs. a team that's beaten even its more difficult opponents.
How does Georgia respond in a game like this? We really don't know. The only game against a highly regarded team was the 35-7 demolition at South Carolina, and that game was really over by the end of the first quarter. Assuming that Georgia can actually avoid that kind of early implosion in Jacksonville, it's not inconceivable that the Dawgs could win this one.
But Florida has shown how it reacts to games like this -- by shutting down the opponent's offense and, if need be, adding in some special-teams work to clinch the victory. I'm just not sure that Georgia can move the ball enough against that defense to win the game. Florida's defense ranks in the top 10 nationally in rushing defense, passing efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. It might not always be pretty, but Florida always wins the game.
Meanwhile, Florida should be able -- should be able -- to move the ball enough against the Georgia defense. The Florida offense hasn't been that great this year. But the rushing offense is able to generate 212.7 yards per game, and that will offset a lot from a less-than-overwhelming passing game.
That's enough to give the edge to Florida in this one. The SEC East title goes to Gainesville for the first time since 2009.
Florida 24, Georgia 14