Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Bulldogs
- Alabama holds a 36-25-4 lead with Georgia in a series that dates back to 1895. Alabama won the last meeting between the two teams in 2008 in Athens, defeating the third-ranked Bulldogs, 41-30.
- Alabama, coming off back-to-back 49-0 victories over Western Carolina and Auburn, has won four of their last six games against AP Top 5 competition. In their last three games against Top 5 teams, the Crimson Tide have allowed a total of just 26 points.
- The Bulldogs have won 12 SEC Championships with the most recent one coming in 2005. That tally ranks third in league history behind Alabama (22) and Tennessee (13).
- Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (9.25 ppg) and total defense (233.67 ypg). Alabama is second in rush defense (77.0 ypg), third in pass defense (156.67 ypg) and fifth in pass efficiency defense (98.66).
- There have been only two teams in Bulldog history to register at least 12 wins in a season. Vince Dooley's 1980 national champions went 12-0, capped by a 17-10 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Richt's 2002 SEC championship squad finished 13-1 after defeating Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
- With the 42-10 victory over Georgia Tech, Georgia set a school record for points in a season with 456. The old mark was 450 by the 2002 team in 14 games.
- Since 1996, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is the only FBS player to have at least 25 passing touchdowns and less than three interceptions (two this season) in a season.
- Aaron Murray has become the first SEC QB in history to have three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons after completing 14-of-17 for 215 and two touchdowns versus Georgia Tech.
- Kansas lands Miami of Ohio WR Harwell
- 9-game schedule next potential SEC tweak
- Oregon releases notice of allegations
- Spanier wants criminal charges dismissed
- Elon joining CAA in latest expansion
(AP) -- Alabama coach Nick Saban finds plenty to like about competing in a league where the champion has a near-automatic reservation to the BCS national title game.
That's the case again for Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship game between the second-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3 Georgia. The winner advances to meet No. 1 Notre Dame with a chance to keep the national championship in the SEC for a seventh straight year.
And the loser? Well, that team might be shut out of the BCS picture because No. 5 Florida is in line to grab that spot. Saban is less thrilled about that prospect - another side effect of playing in the SEC.
"For either one of these teams, it's not really a great scenario," Saban said on a conference call Sunday. "You play your way into the championship game, which means you're the best team in your division. They're the best team in their division. They played their way into the game by a total body of work for the whole season. It doesn't seem quite right, but it is what it is.
"I don't really know what me commenting about it is going to do to change it, but I don't feel good about it for our football team or their football team."
Then again, he wasn't complaining when the Tide (11-1, 7-1) landed in the BCS title game against LSU last season without winning the West.
The Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1) rebounded from a 35-7 loss at South Carolina on Oct. 6 to win the East for the second straight season.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said he doesn't want his team getting caught up in the stakes and magnitude of the game.
"All you can do is get your staff and your team as prepared as possible to go play a game," Richt said. "That's what we're going to do. If you think about what the game means, this that and the other, it doesn't really help you win the game. The only thing that helps you win the game is preparation and getting your mind ready to go to battle. That's what you've got to do.
"Physically, mentally, be ready to handle your business when the ball kicks off. That's my only focus. I don't worry about all that stuff."
Coincidentally, Georgia beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl for its only AP title to end the 1980 season.
Richt isn't drawing too much from that history.
"That's the first time anybody's brought that up to me," he said. "I can't worry about all that stuff. We're just working like mad trying to get a game plan ready to go this week. That's all I can say."
Georgia earned the trip down the road to Atlanta with a win over Florida to claim the tiebreaker. The Gators were ranked third at the time, but Richt can still draw from that win when asked how his team will handle a big game even if his memory is a touch off.
"We've already played the No. 2 team in the country once this year and had a good day against Florida," he said.
Both teams are coming off blowout wins over in-state rivals.
The Tide produced its fourth shutout of the season with a 49-0 win over Auburn. Georgia dispatched Georgia Tech 42-10.
This is Alabama's eighth time in an SEC championship game but the first time the team has played someone other than the Gators.
The Tide is aiming for its second straight national title and third in four years. Saban still talks like a guy gunning for his first.
"Regardless of what you've accomplished in the past, this is the most important game we're going to play this entire year for our team," he said.
"I'm always looking forward to the next challenge. When I can't do that, I probably shouldn't do this anymore."
The Tide will be dealing with a depleted receiving corps this week as deep threat Kenny Bell suffered a broken leg against Auburn. Bell is averaging a team-high 25.4 yards per catch.
Saban said he's considering playing highly touted freshman receiver Chris Black, who had shoulder surgery in August, over the final two games.
Updated November 27, 2012