Tiders Have Won In Championships

AJ McCarron

It was interesting that Georgia Coach Mark Richt pointed out that a difference between his Bulldogs and Alabama is that the Crimson Tide has been successful in a championship game.



Several actually.

In the three years prior to this season, Alabama won two BCS National Championships and one Southeastern Conference title. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide and Georgia will meet in Atlanta to determine the SEC champion and which team goes to Miami for the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame.

The Tide and Bulldogs will kick off at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) at the Georgia Dome. CBS will televise the game. Alabama is ranked second in the nation, Georgia third.

The most notable example of successful championship game experience for Bama is quarterback A.J. McCarron. McCarron, who is ranked second in the nation in quarterback efficiency to Georgia's Aaron Murray, led Alabama to last year's national championship, being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player.

In addition to returning 43 lettermen from last year's team that defeated LSU, 21-0, at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Tide has 21 players who also played in 2009, when Bama defeated Florida for the SEC title and Texas for the national championship. They include 2009 starters Barrett Jones (at right guard in 2009), Michael Williams (tight end), and Nico Johnson (inside linebacker).

Alabama also has Coach Nick Saban, who was 2-0 in SEC Championship Games and 1-0 in BCS National Championship Games at LSU and is 1-1 in SEC games and 2-0 in BCS games at Bama. If Alabama can get past Georgia Saturday, the Tide will be playing for its third national championship in the past four years.

Bama, which won the SEC Western Division this year with a 7-1 record and has an overall record of 11-1, is making its eighth appearance in the SEC Championship Game, which is second to Florida's 10. The Tide is 3-4 in those previous games, all against the Gators.

Georgia, which was co-champion with Florida of the SEC East, is making its fifth appearance in the conference title game, all under Richt. The Bulldogs are 2-2. Last year Georgia was defeated by LSU, 42-10.

Alabama has 22 total SEC championships with Tennessee second with 13 and Georgia third with 12.

This will be the first meeting of Alabama vs. Georgia since the 2008 game in Athens when the Bulldogs declared a "blackout." Georgia wore black jerseys and the Bulldogs fans were encouraged to dress in black. It didn't work out too well. At the half, Bama had a 31-0 lead, and the Crimson Tide coasted to a 41-30 win.

Alabama leads the all-time series with Georgia by 36-25-4.

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