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Better Know an SEC Opponent: Florida

Florida heads to Nashville with hopes of avenging last year's loss to Vanderbilt - their first since 1988. If Vandy wants to make it two in a row, they'll have to get past a Gator team that just wrecked the #11 team in the country.

Sam Greenwood

The School: The University of Florida

Record: 4-3 (3-3 SEC). 4-8 in 2013, including losses to Vandy and Georgia Southern.

Ranking: Florida is ranked 36th in the Real Time RPI (nearly 70 spots in front of Vandy, who is 104th this week) and are ranked 44th in Warren Nolan's rankings (Vanderbilt is 108th).

Mascot: Albert and Alberta E. Gator. I don't get it. Are they brother and sister? A couple? Has the Provost at UF gotten angry letters about how these mascots are living in sin? Since Albert was introduced in 1970 and Alberta in 1984, do they have a weird sugar daddy relationship going? Your mascots should not raise these types of hard-hitting questions, Florida.

Location: Gainesville, FL. A poster on this forum warns against ever moving to Gainesville because the population there still loves a good tailgate. Personally, the glut of alligators, strip malls, and strip malls run by alligators would be more of a turnoff than some day drinking on the weekends.

Conference: The SEC. You knew this.

All-Time vs. Vanderbilt: 35-10-2. Vanderbilt hasn't won two in a row against the Gators since 1955.

In the past 10 years vs. Vanderbilt: 9-1. In fact, they haven't won two games against the Gators in the past 32 years. This is why Florida schedules Vandy for Homecoming every other season.

The Last Time We Saw These Guys: Vanderbilt broke into the depths of their wine cellar and pulled out a 25-year vintage, taking deep pulls from a bottle that hadn't been opened sine 1988. Of course, Georgia Southern showed up a few weeks later to beat the Gators and show us that our source wine was just a bottle of Manischevitz, but still. Special nonetheless.

Is Vanderbilt Favored?: Nope. Vandy's a two-touchdown underdog (+14) in a line that would probably have been closer to 10 points had the Gators not stomped out Mark Richt's Georgia team on Saturday.

Most Potent Offensive Threat: Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones, running backs. Florida demolished Georgia last week despite attempting just six passes. Their brief transformation into Navy was kept afloat by Taylor and Jones, who gashed the 'Dawgs for 388 rushing yards in that 38-20 blowout. They'll get the call to carry UF's offensive load again on Saturday.

Most Potent Defensive Threat: Dante Fowler Jr., DE. Fowler is a bad, bad man when it comes to pressuring opposing quarterbacks. The All-SEC lineman has used a combination of speed and power techniques on the outside to bullrush his way to the backfield. The results? 7.5 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hurries. Johnny McCrary will have to ramp up his composure on Saturday, because he's going to have to make a bunch of throws with Fowler in his face.

Matchup to Watch: Will Muschamp vs. His Job. One thing that Vanderbilt got very good at under James Franklin was dispatching opposing head coaches. Derek Dooley, Jim Grobe, Joker Phillips, and Gene Chizik all hit the unemployment line within weeks of losing to the Commodores over the past three seasons. An upset win on Saturday would almost certainly send Muschamp spiraling to the same fate.

Interesting Fact: Florida was originally known as the Florida Agricultural College before a group of angry women from the local Christian Temperance Union took offense at the school's potentially offensive acronym. "I won't support a school so closely related to the Devil's word, Mr. Roosevelt," wrote CTU Secretary Fannie Harper.

Bonus Fact!: Florida and Florida State began their football rivalry back when FSU was still a women's-only college. Those games were not. close.

If Florida wins, we: Make New Year's plans. Well, that's it for bowl eligibility. Tell the kids we're not going to Birmingham this year, if you can bear to see the disappointment in their eyes.