The journey was a bit winding, but the match-up that many preseason prognosticators figured would play out in the 2012 SEC Championship Game has indeed come to fruition. And, once again, the contest sets up as a quasi national semi-final game, with the winner advancing to the BCS Championship game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the game looking for their second consecutive national championship game appearance and a chance to play for the crystal ball for the third time in four years. However, along the way, the Crimson Tide seem to have lost their air of invincibility with a close call win against LSU followed up by an upset loss at home to Texas A&M in the final month of the season. All of a sudden, chinks in the Alabama armor have developed, whether real or perceived.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Bulldogs enter their second consecutive SEC Championship Game and fifth overall looking to shed the underachiever label. Georgia has long been thought to have the talent to compete for championships, but always seems to stumble along the way.
The Bulldogs were the darlings of the SEC East by virtue of their loaded roster and the fact that they did not have to play Alabama, LSU, or Texas A&M in the regular season. But once again, a 35-7 trouncing at South Carolina seemed to all but end Georgia’s SEC title aspirations, only to see the Dawgs rebound with a rivalry win over Florida to position themselves to finally live up to others’ expectations.
If any team in the East is capable of toppling the Crimson Tide, it is Georgia. The Bulldogs have a high-octane offense led by QB Aaron Murray, one of the most prolific passers in SEC history (top 10 all time in career total offense and second behind only Peyton Manning in career touchdown passes) and a rushing attack that can give Bama fits. While it’s difficult to pick against Nick Saban and AJ McCarron in a game of this magnitude, Georgia’s past tells you that at some point, it will be the Bulldogs’ year. After all, Notre Dame has already done the unthinkable. Why not make it a double?
#2 ALABAMA vs #3 GEORGIA
SAT. DEC. 1 – 3:00PM / CBS