A sloppy SEC Championship Game between No. 18 Florida and No. 2 Alabama is coming down to a battle of special teams.
With the Gators down 2-0 early in the second quarter, Antonio Calloway fielded a deeeep kick and dashed 85 yards for the longest punt return in SEC Championship Game history.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 5, 2015
The return more than made up for several Florida special teams mistakes, including a blocked field goal and a blocked punt that resulted in a safety.
Florida may want to work on that punt protection. 3 Bama players could've blocked this. pic.twitter.com/mCzTgZDaqJ
— Matt Clapp (@Matt2Clapp) December 5, 2015
Later in the second quarter, Alabama kicked a field goal to cut its deficit to 7-5, which sounds like the score of a baseball game. The Tide then scored a touchdown to re-take the lead, 12-7.
This extraordinarily high-stakes game has generally been played like a high-school scrimmage, bringing additional credence to the idea that SEC just isn’t very good this year. The first half reinforces the notion that the conference is getting credit in the rankings for its brand name more than its actual talent level.
If Alabama wins Saturday, it will cruise into the College Football Playoff. A Florida upset would open the door for Ohio State or Stanford to sneak into the playoffs.