SEC Championship Game Preview

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2018

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By Robert Cortinez  

The SEC regular season is over, (except a hurricane make-up game
between South Carolina and Akron), and the HUGE  showdown game between #1 Alabama and #4 Georgia, has the nation’s attention this Saturday.
Imagine football fan’s angst if Georgia beats Alabama and we get the same two SEC powerhouses in this year’s college football
playoffs…again.
My fearless predictions were on target for the SEC East division,
having picked Georgia to finish first, but missed completely on the
surprising second place Kentucky Wildcats who won nine games for the
first time in twenty years. Their wins included a historic victory
over Florida in the Swamp, which hadn’t been done in almost four
decades. Another nice surprise in the East division was 8-4 Missouri.
Two of the Missouri Tiger’s four losses were to #1 Alabama and #4
Georgia, both of whom can beat 99% of the teams in the nation.
Tennessee brought up the rear guard of the East division but showed
promise in HC Jeremy Pruitt’s first year, beating ranked Auburn and
Kentucky.
I missed the West champion pick, going with Auburn instead of
Alabama.  Auburn had a crucial four game road swing against
Mississippi State, Alabama, LSU and Georgia.  I predicted that if
Auburn went 3-1 in that stretch they would be West champs, but
unfortunately for the Tigers, they went 0-4 in those games. I picked
Bama to finish 2nd, obviously underestimating the sheer, unadulterated
power of this Crimson Tide team. The only thing that can stop this
team is a massive implosion from within, as outside influences are
easily shrugged off and discarded.
LSU was a surprise contender in the West and flirted around the
CFP rankings making the Bayou Bengals relevant again.   On the
opposite end of the spectrum, the Arkansas Razorbacks plummeted to
their worst season in Hog history suffering 10 losses. “Woe” Pig
Sooie.
Last week results: Straight 7-1; ATL: 5-3
Season results: Straight: 78-20; ATL: 57-40-1

#1 Alabama (12-0) vs #4 Georgia (11-1)
Saturday, 3:00 P.M CBS
Atlanta, Georgia
Line: Tide -13.5 / 63.5
The SEC championship game will be a rematch of last year’s
championship game, which was won in overtime by Alabama 26-23.  Last
year’s surprise storyline was the emergence of superstar QB Tua
Tagovailoa in the second half to awaken a moribund Tide offense.
Alabama was down 13-0 at halftime and 20-7 midway through the third
quarter. After that it was all Tide and Tua, with a little help from
the refs, Alabama’s football team were National Champs again for the
the fifth time under HC Nick Saban. Bama has not let its foot off the
gas in 2018 winning every game by an average of over four touchdowns.
QB Tua Tagovailoa (36 TD’s, 3189 yds) has played in the fourth quarter
in only three games this season. Don’t underestimate the Tide’s
running backs Damien Harris and Najee Harris, who are both averaging
over six yards a carry. Alabama’s defense is ranked # 6 in the nation
and # 2 in the SEC in total defense in a season in which the first
teamers are usually on the bench by the fourth quarter.
Georgia’s meteoric rise under third-year HC Kirby Smart (32-8
record) has been a welcome sight for the Athens faithful who had tired
of former coach, Mark Richt’s inability to win the big games. Georgia
has its own stellar sophomore QB, with Jake Fromm (24 TD’s, 2246
yards) leading the offense. Fromm doesn’t have to dominate with his
arm due to the Dawg’s stellar running game led by D’andre Swift (962
yds, 9 TD’s) and Elijah Holyfield (896 yards, 7 TD’s). Both are NFL
caliber backs. HC Kirby Smart learned the coaching game from Nick
Saban and it shows on his defensive philosophy as Georgia is ranked #
3 in the SEC in total defense.
Georgia will have the “risk” advantage in this game, as the Dawgs
can throw everything including the kitchen sink at Alabama in effort
to stay in the playoff picture. On the other hand, Alabama has the
“luxury” of knowing it can still get in the playoffs even with a loss.
This Alabama team can probably afford  a minor let down and still
win the SEC Championship.
Pick: Alabama 31  Georgia 23

SEC Championship – Overall Results
1992 #12 Florida 21      #2 Alabama 28
1993 #9 Florida 28      #16 Alabama 13
1994 #6 Florida 24      #3 Alabama 23
1995 #2 Florida 34      #23 Arkansas 3
1996 #4 Florida 45      #11 Alabama 30
1997 #3 Tennessee 30    #11 Auburn 29
1998 #1 Tennessee 24    #23 Mississippi 14
1999 #5 Florida 7         #7 Alabama 34
2000 #7 Florida 28     #18 Auburn 6
2001 #2 Tennessee 20   #21 LSU 31
2002 #4 Georgia 30     #22 Arkansas 3
2003 #5 Georgia 13      #3 LSU 34
2004 #15 Tennessee 28  #3 Auburn 38
2005 #13 Georgia 34     #3 LSU 14
2006 #4 Florida 38     #8 Arkansas 28
2007 #15 Tennessee 14   #5 LSU 21
2008 #2 Florida 31     #1 Alabama 20
2009 #1 Florida 13     #2 Alabama 32
2010 #19 S. Carolina 17    #1 Auburn 56
2011 #12 Georgia 10   #1 LSU 42
2012 #3 Georgia 28    #2 Alabama 32
2013 #5 Missouri 42    #3 Auburn 59
2014 #14 Missouri 13   #1 Alabama 42
2015 #18 Florida 15      #2 Alabama 29
2016 #15 Florida 16     #1 Alabama 54
2017 #6 Georgia 28     #2 Auburn Tigers 7
2018 #1 Alabama         #4 Georgia

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