Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers: Which Team Needs This Win More?
This Saturday the LSU Tigers travel to the Swamp to face off against the Florida Gators. It has been a down year for both the Tigers and Gators to their standards early on this season. This game on Saturday will go a long ways in determining how the rest of this 2014 season plays out for both teams.
So, the question entering this game is which team needs this victory more, the Gators or the Tigers? It is a question that you have to think about in several different ways.
First off, this game isn’t getting nearly the national attention it has in past years. It is easy to forget that these two teams have combined to win three national titles since 2006. This contest usually has significant national title implications, but this year both have come on hard times and just staying alive in their respective SEC division is all that is at stake.
The Gators have had their issues on offense despite bringing in Kurt Roper from Duke to help Gators’ quarterback Jeff Driskel in the passing game. Driskel has yet to show any signs of major improvement this season and most of the Gators’ success on offense has come from running the football.
Florida plays in the SEC East, which luckily for them is the much easier of the two divisions in the SEC. Florida is 2-1 in SEC play, but listening to people you would swear they were 0-3. The Gators could get a huge boost with a win on Saturday against the Tigers in their quest to win the SEC East.
On the other side the LSU Tigers are in the midst of one of their worst seasons in the past decade. The Tigers had to rally from 24-7 in week one to beat Wisconsin and it has gone downhill from there.
LSU sets at 0-2 in the SEC and unfortunately for them in the tough SEC West that start is basically a death nail for them just a month into the season. The Tigers are in a different position than the Gators this season however.
LSU has had a run of success the past couple of seasons while the Gators were struggling following the departure of Urban Meyer and hiring of Will Muschamp. The Tigers were in contention to play for the national title at some point of the season each of the last four seasons. That is something the Gators cannot say, especially following their 4-8 season last year.
So, Florida clearly needs this game more for the fact Florida’s coach Will Muschamp is on the hot seat, Florida is in need of a winning season and most of all they are still alive in the SEC East. The Gators cannot afford another average season, whereas the Tigers of LSU realize it’s a rebuilding period with freshman quarterback Brandon Harris.
The Gators have a veteran quarterback in Driskel that is expected to win this season and a coach that knows he is gone if the Gators don’t get to nine or ten wins this season. If the Gators lose at home Saturday against LSU, then the hot seat talk picks up once again for Muschamp and their season is basically over in terms of winning the SEC championship.
I believe this game will be a great one to watch despite it not receiving the national attention it does in a normal year. The Gators are in a must win, but the Tigers are in a position where getting valuable road SEC experience is great in itself.
Yes, fans of LSU don’t want to hear this and every game is a must win for every fan base, but in the grand scheme of things I believe 2015 LSU will be right back in the national title conversation.
Florida must win on Saturday and if not the scene is Gainesville, Florida will be a depressing one for Gator fans. It will be an interesting matchup on Saturday in the Swamp, but who comes out on top will go a long way in determining how these two teams finish out the 2014 season.