The moment Steve Spurrier has been waiting for is here -- or almost here. At his introductory press conference in 2004, Spurrier told the adoring South Carolina faithful that his ultimate vision was "to win that game in the Georgia Dome." He was referring, of course, to the SEC Championship Game, which the Gamecocks have yet to reach during Spurrier's tenure. But if Spurrier can win Saturday in the stadium he once made the most feared in the nation, the Gamecocks will win the SEC East and punch their ticket to Atlanta. Florida, despite an ugly midseason three-game losing streak, can also reach Atlanta with a win. A winner-takes-all game for the SEC East would normally feature top 10 teams, but this game remains appointment viewing despite each team being ranked in the 20s.
Florida enters as a 6.5-point favorite. The Gators are 1-5 against the spread in their last six SEC home games, though they do own a 4-1 mark versus the number in their last five home games against South Carolina. Over the last two years, the Gamecocks have covered the spread in seven of the 10 games in which they were underdogs. Slight lean in the betting world toward South Carolina.
Over the last five years, Florida is 23-1 versus the SEC East.
Garcia's performance against No. 1 Alabama in October bodes well for this winner-takes-all game in Gainesville. South Carolina won't pile up a ton of points, but it should be able to put some drives together, especially if Lattimore establishes the run. And while Arkansas picked apart South Carolina, Florida's aerial attack is a far cry from that of the Mallett-led Razorbacks. Florida is playing better than it has all season, and as delicious as a Florida-Auburn SEC championship would be (Cam Newton, anyone?), the Gamecocks will pull it out in the fourth quarter.