For many teams, the NCAA season has ended, but for the fortunate few, there is still much more to play for and work that is for now, unfinished.
This is the case for #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia, who both finished their respective seasons at 11-1, earning them a spot in the SEC Championship on Saturday, December 1 in Atlanta. Getting the opportunity to play in a conference title game would be good enough for most schools, but not these two. These teams are playing to not only represent the SEC as conference champions, but to represent the SEC in the BCS National Championship game.
The SEC has become accustom to competing for national titles and accustom to winning them. In fact, the last six BCS champions have come from the SEC, ushering in an era of SEC dominance in major college football. Alabama has won two of those titles, with the most recent coming last season in a win over fellow SEC member LSU.
Although Alabama lost several of its players to the NFL and to graduation over the offseason, this year’s Crimson Tide squad is just as strong as the unit that won it all a year ago. The Tide have a defense that ranks 1st in the nation in points allowed, giving up fewer than 10 per game and as they say, “Defense wins championships.”
Georgia has something else. Along with a stout defense, the Bulldogs have a balanced offensive attack that ranks in the top 40 in both passing and rushing yards and puts up nearly 40 points per game, and mind you, that’s against mostly SEC foes.
Whoever emerges from the SEC rumble in Atlanta, will certainly have a good chance to make it seven BCS titles in a row for the conference, but it also won’t be easy. The opponent awaiting the SEC winner is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who although escaped by the skin of their teeth several times during the season, is the only team that finished the regular season with an unblemished 12-0 record, giving them the #1 BCS ranking. The Irish are another defensive minded squad (2nd in points allowed with 10.3 given up per game) with an effective running game that produces more than 200 yards per contest.
There’s no question that this is the time of year you appreciate being a football fan the most. With so many big-time battles and epic clashes, you are sure to see some amazing football, no matter who is playing.