The winner of the SEC championship game between Alabama and Georgia has a spot in the BCS National Championship game. The loser may not even be in the BCS.
The stakes are highest in the SEC. The conference is so deep, it brings out one of the major flaws with the BCS system.
Alabama and Georgia kick off at 3 p.m. CT Saturday for the coveted SEC title. Five of the last six national champions and and participants in the the last six BCS National Championship games have beeen SEC champs.
The loser of this game, however, looks to be out of the BCS completely.
The Crimson Tide recovered from a 29-24 loss against Texas A&M to clinch the SEC West title, and the Bulldogs overcame a 35-7 blowout loss to South Carolina to win the East. Florida's loss to Georgia put them second in the East, but a Gator win Saturday along with a Georgia loss would likely put Florida in the BCS as opposed to the Bulldogs.
Call the SEC championship the national semifinal.
Such is the way of things in the best conference in the land. The SEC has never lost to another conference's memeber in the BCS National Championship game. On the plus side, the winner will take on Notre Dame (12-0) in the BCS National Championship game Jan. 7 in Miami.
Alabama is a 7.5 point favorite despite playing in Atlanta. They'll be without wide receiver Kenny Bell, who broke his leg against Auburn Nov. 24. He led the Tide with 25.4 yards per catch this season.
Georgia enters this game on a six-game winning streak, and has only allowed 67 points in those six games. They'll be facing the nation's top-ranked scoring defense in Alabama (9.3 points per game), a team that's coming off back-to-back 49-0 wins over Western Carolina and Auburn, respectively.