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Alabama Versus Florida Will be Much Closer Than You Think

"Florida is way better than anybody here thinks. Way better," said Nick Saban, and boy, did he say it adamantly.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Jameis Winston story, the NFL's assault-turned madness, and even Mississippi State versus LSU have all made headlines heading into week four of the college football season. Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, and their Crimson Tide squad? Well, as a Crimson Tide football fan watching ESPN this week -- because yes, all Alabama fans believe their team deserves national media attention daily -- you're mad your team hasn't been in the headlines for a game this weekend against the Florida Gators.

"Florida is way better than anybody here thinks. Way better," said Nick Saban, and boy, did he say it adamantly. He has a reason to say this and a pretty solid reason at that. I know you're thinking: "Are you kidding? Florida went to triple overtime against Kentucky. We're going to kill the Gators." Well, yeah, I understand your thought process, but have you seen Demarcus Robinson? Do you have any idea who Kurt Roper is? And I won't even ask you about a Gators defense that tops your Tide's -- on paper, at least.

When the Gators -- led by Saban disciple Will Muschamp -- make their walk to Bryant-Denny Saturday in their Dr. Dre Beats and coats and ties,  they'll be thinking "win." They won't be thinking Kentucky. Jeff Driskel is healthy, as of now. Kelvin Taylor has had great success on the ground. And Vernon Hargreaves III, cornerback for the Gators, has played All-American football for the Gators and is hoping to continue to do so against Alabama's best receiver since Julio Jones: Amari Cooper.

As an Alabama fan, you have faith in Cooper, and you have faith in your boy Lane Kiffin. Supposedly, he hasn't even showed half of the playbook; isn't that exciting? O.J. Howard has been targeted once, and he's arguably the greatest match-up problem behind Cooper on the entire Crimson Tide roster.

This should be a good game, and this will be a good game. I must admit, last year for the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game, I got the same feeling I'm getting here. That game? Possibly the most lopsided game that was played in the SEC all of last year. I don't expect that; I expect points, I expect Blake Sims to play a solid game (not Jake Coker), and I expect Florida to put the pressure on Alabama.

But will putting the pressure be enough? What's the Alabama-Florida series record in Tuscaloosa? A surprising 5-5. The Gators' record against Saban? 1-1. But neither of those factor in Muschamp, and neither of those take into account Blake Sims, Demarcus Robinson, Jeff Driskel, Landon Collins, and the rest of the stars that'll take the field come Saturday.

So tune in if you want, tune in if you're with me. Tune in if you're an Alabama or a Florida fan that knows your team is going to win. Nick Saban says Florida will be a challenge, so I figure, why not agree with the man who still sits at the top of college football's coaching pedestal?