Alabama head coach Nick Saban had high praise for his upcoming SEC Championship Game opponent during the first press conference of the week, calling Florida one of the best teams on the Crimson Tide's schedule.

"This is a very talented team; they're extremely well-coached," Saban said. "Jim McElwain has done an outstanding job there. They've won 10 games this year. They're probably the best overall team that we've played against all year long."

Alabama travels to Atlanta to face the Gators with another SEC Championship and College Football Playoff appearance at stake. Florida won its first six games under a first-year head coach before losing two of its final six, which included a 27-2 defeat to rival Florida State last Saturday.

Despite the Gators' downward trend in the past month, Saban is quick to remind people that this is still a very talented team.

"This is an outstanding team that we're playing," Saban said. "They wouldn't be in the SEC Championship Game if they weren't. And I think anybody out there that thinks this is not going to be a real challenge and a real test for our team, I don't know what you're thinking."

Saturday's game will mark the 8th time in 10 appearances that Alabama has faced Florida in the SEC Championship Game.