Archive for the ‘SEC Championship’ Category

Alabama RB pokes fun at UGA

Alabama finally cracked with some smack talk about its SEC Championship opponent on Tuesday afternoon.

And it was an Alabama running back from Georgia, Hillgrove High School’s Kenyan Drake, who fired the shot on Twitter:

Biggest game in 30 years?? We do this every year #rolltide

Drake is a freshman at Alabama, as this is his first season of college football. He was obviously making reference to UGA players or fans being hyped up about Saturday’s contest.

Drake may not be politically correct but he is right. It is UGA’s biggest game in 30 years because a win will give the Bulldogs a shot at winning the national title for the first time since 1980.

But should Drake have said it out loud?

UGA players have been talking a little smack, in bits and pieces, all week – most notably with safety Bacarri Rambo saying “We have better players (than Alabama) across the board.”

Meanwhile, Alabama coach Nick Saban and players have been relatively quiet in media interviews this …

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Mark Richt would burn QB’s redshirt season, if needed, for two games

How bad does Mark Richt want to win the SEC Championship?

So badly that he would burn a year of college eligibility for his No. 2 quarterback, if needed.

Aaron Murray’s backup, Hutson Mason, hasn’t played this season in order to redshirt and have two years to play after this season.

Richt admitted on his radio show on Monday that if Murray suffered a season-ending injury, he would toss that plan and play Mason.

Burn a whole year of eligibility for two games? Yes, UGA hasn’t played in two games with such high stakes in nearly three decades.

If UGA defeats Alabama in the SEC Championship, it would likely advance to play Notre Dame for its first national title since 1980.

Mason has the potential to be just as talented as Murray but hasn’t really been given the opportunity to showcase his skills. Mason considered transferring from UGA after last season, but decided to stay – even though there is the possibility that Murray will return for his senior season because he …

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Muschamp fires back at Saban: “Be careful what you ask for, Nick”

Will Muschamp has fired back at Nick Saban over his BCS bowl complaints.

The loser of Saturday’s SEC Championship between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 UGA will likely drop to a non-BCS bowl game, maybe the Capital One Bowl. Meanwhile, No. 4 Florida will likely make it to the Sugar Bowl, despite not playing for a conference title.

Should Florida get in a BCS bowl over the Alabama-UGA loser?

  • Yes
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Saban is not happy about that. And on this issue, UGA fans might be in agreement with the Alabama coach.

“It’s not really a great scenario,” Saban said on Sunday. “You play your way into the (SEC) Championship game, which means you’re the best team in your division … 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.”

Muschamp responded to the comments from his former boss, Saban.

“Well, I can switch and go to …

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Catching up with former UGA DB CJ Byrd about SEC Championship memories

Former UGA DB CJ Byrd

Former UGA DB CJ Byrd

When CJ Byrd was a freshman at Georgia, the Bulldogs won the 2005 SEC Championship. He thought it was going to be an annual event for Georgia. Byrd was a special teams standout that year, and later ended up being a two-year starter at safety for the Bulldogs. These days, Byrd, 26, works in the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce in business development. He aspires for a career in administration in a collegiate athletics department, or as an athletics director.

  • What do you remember the most about the 2005 championship game? “That was my first year of college. It was a big memory for me. I thought it was easy, to be honest, because I was a freshman and we won the SEC Championship. I was like ‘We can do this every year.’ But I guess one of my biggest memories would be celebrating in the locker room after the game. Everyone was excited. The seniors were there, and tears were shed. We had this running back from Florida, Mike Gilliam. I remember he was the …

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Catching up with 2005 SEC Championship MVP, former UGA QB DJ Shockley

Former UGA QB DJ Shockley (middle) aspires to be a TV network analyst, commentator or studio host for sports (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Former UGA QB DJ Shockley (middle) aspires to be a TV network analyst, commentator or studio host for sports (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

DJ Shockley led Georgia to its most impressive SEC Championship game victory, a 34-14 upset over then No. 3-ranked LSU in 2005. For Shockley, the win concluded one of the most efficient and productive seasons for a quarterback in Georgia’s history, with him completing 55 percent of his passes for 2,588 yards and 24 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

In the 2005 championship, Shockley was named MVP of the game after throwing for two touchdowns and running for another score. Georgia finished that season with a 10-3 record after a 38-35 loss to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl. Shockley was a backup quarterback for five seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

These days, Shockley is still involved with football as a member of the TV and radio media. He is an analyst or co-host for several shows, including CSS’s SEC Football …

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Could best candidate to be next coach at Alabama or UGA be … the SAME person?

Smart has a better chance to be future head coach at …

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Could the best candidate to be the next football coach at both Alabama and UGA be the same person?

Before we say more, let’s point out that there are no signs of UGA’s Mark Richt or especially Alabama’s Nick Saban slowing down at all. They both appear to be peaking in their respective careers.

But nothing lasts forever. See Bear Bryant.

Who is a common candidate to one day succeed Saban or Richt? One suggestion is Kirby Smart, the former UGA football player who is now Alabama’s defensive coordinator.

AL.columnist Kevin Scarbinksy addressed the issue in his live chat on Monday:

Former UGA DB Kirby Smart is now Alabama's defensive coordinator (AP)

Former UGA DB Kirby Smart is now Alabama's defensive coordinator (AP)

I believe Kirby may be an unofficial and unannounced coach in waiting at Alabama but it would be hard to say no to UGA if that job opened first.

Some more background on Smart: He played defensive back at UGA from …

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SEC Championship Week: Beware of counterfeit tickets, SEC warns

Get a great deal on tickets to the SEC Championship game? It may be too good to be true.

Saturday’s showdown between No. 2-ranked Alabama and No. 3 UGA at the Georgia Dome is officially sold out.

Beware of counterfeit tickets obtained on the secondary market, the SEC said in a press release on Monday.

When purchasing tickets on the secondary market, fans are advised to look for the authentic SEC holographic foil on several locations of the tickets.  Two strips of the foil are located at the top of the ticket. The championship game logo in the middle of the ticket also contains the foil.  Within the foil, the SEC circle logo and the words “Southeastern Conference” should be visible to the human eye when rotating the ticket back and forth.

Just in case you think your ticket may be fake, the SEC and Georgia Dome will be opening a “Ticket Validation Window” at the main box office of the Georgia Dome beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

And some final advice from the SEC: …

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SEC Championship “cheap seats” priced around $400

Chip Towers, the AJC’s beat writer for UGA, may have said it best: If you thought it was hard for Georgia to make the SEC Championship game, try getting a ticket in the Georgia Dome for Saturday’s game.

It’s one of the most expensive non-Bowl tickets in college football.

On Sunday night, the cheapest ticket on StubHub.com was $320 – and that doesn’t include shipping and handling (It ends up being closer to $400).

And those were seats in the upper, upper section of the Georgia Dome and in the corner of the end zone. But at least you could say you were there, right?

What if you’re a Georgia fan, you think this is the first must-see game since the 1980 national championship, and you want tickets on the 50-yard line? Those will run you anywhere from $794 to $1,176. Maybe an early Christmas gift to yourself?

The winner of Alabama-Georgia will advance to the BCS championship game.

And if you’re confident of your team winning, whether it be Alabama or Georgia, and you …

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Nick Saban gives some love to Todd Grantham

Nick Saban gave out a lot of love for UGA during his Sunday teleconference for the SEC Championship game

Much of Saban’s love was for Todd Grantham, UGA’s intense defensive coordinator. Grantham worked under Saban at Michigan State as an assistant from 1996-98.

Nick Saban hired Todd Grantham as an assistant at Michigan State (AP)

Nick Saban hired Todd Grantham as an assistant at Michigan State (AP)

The way Saban reminisced, it was like the two were together drawing up X’s and O’s yesterday. Saban dared to rank Grantham as one of his best ever assistants – a group that includes Derek Dooley, Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart.

Here’s what Saban said:

“Todd is an outstanding coach, coached on our staff way back at Michigan State. That seems like a long time ago.  But had a lot of good experience in the NFL. I’ve always been really close to Todd professionally and personally.  I think he’s done a phenomenal job there (at Georgia). There are some similarities in the system and scheme they use relative to what we use.  But I just think …

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Georgia still third in BCS standings — barely

Georgia remained third in the new BCS standings Sunday night, narrowly staying ahead of Florida despite a 42-10 win over Georgia Tech Saturday.

Florida gained points from a 37-26 win over Florida State Saturday but still stood fourth, just behind Georgia. The Bulldogs have .8911 points in the new BCS poll, the Gators are at .8882.

Notre Dame (.9979) was No. 1 and Alabama (.9236) No. 2 in the new standings. The Bulldogs play Alabama for the SEC championship Saturday and would earn a berth in the national title game against Notre Dame if they beat the Crimson Tide.

More details to come.

AJC’s SEC CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE

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