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SEC Banter: Never underestimate an underdog
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Everyone loves an underdog. If you’re like SEC Banter, certain underdogs hold a special place in your blessed little heart.

Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid.” The Tri-Lambs in “Revenge of the Nerds.” Rocky. Coach Norman Dale and his Hickory High squad. Happy Gilmore (yes, a 90s flick, but still).

Donald Trump, if a billionaire was ever an underdog. Kevin McAllister in “Home Alone” — no one gave the 8-year-old a chance to fend off those burglars.

These underdogs, of course, have one thing in common: despite long odds, they won.

The University of Florida Gators must overcome long odds to call themselves SEC football champions come Saturday evening in Atlanta.

The pros out in the desert who make odds for a living have installed Florida as a 24.5-point underdog to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Heading into the 25th edition of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game — the last one contested under the Georgia Dome’s tent — Florida has been all but written off.

A familiar foe awaits, as this marks something like the 43rd time Florida and Alabama have met in the game’s 25-year history.

No way Florida emerges victorious. The Gators’ offense, ranked 114th in the country, looks like Les Miles is calling plays — and that’s not good. Alabama’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown since October 22, which seems like ancient history given all that’s happened since then.

Florida’s defense, meanwhile, has been ravaged by injuries and could be without its first, second, and third-string players at every position.

Florida didn’t beat a single good team this year, and lost to some bad ones. A 21-point loss to Arkansas — really, Gators? And a 10-point loss to an awful Tennessee squad looks worse with each passing day.

Florida won its division because every SEC team not coached by Nick Saban stunk this year. Florida stinks, too.

Alabama does not. At least the football team doesn’t; I can’t speak for the state itself.

Pundits nationwide are calling for an Alabama blowout on the Tide’s path to yet another national title. No one gives the Gators a chance.

If there is a chance, it’s even less than Lloyd Christmas’s chance to end up with a girl like Mary Swanson in “Dumb and Dumber.”

They say to never underestimate an underdog. Just ask Ivan Drago, Shooter McGavin and Stan Gable about overconfidence against Rocky, Happy Gilmore, and the Nerds, respectively.

But not even nostalgic underdog magic of the 80s can help Florida in this one.

Bama 27, Florida 6.

Often in error, never in doubt, I’m SEC Banter and I’m out.

Ben Prevost is a contributing columnist for The Times. Follow him on Twitter @SECbanter or contact him at

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