ATHENS -- SEC Eastern Division championship? Check (clinched Nov. 10 at Auburn).
Victory against rival Georgia Tech? Check (42-10 on Saturday at Sanford Stadium).
Date with Alabama in the Georgia Dome with a national championship berth on the line? Coming this week.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) cleared their last hurdle toward making next week’s SEC Championship game matchup against the No. 2 Crimson Tide (11-1) the most meaningful game for Georgia in three decades. The last time Georgia had this much on the line in one game was at the end of the 1982 season when the No. 1-ranked and undefeated Bulldogs took on No. 2 Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. The Nittany Lions won that one 27-23, and Herschel Walker turned pro a few weeks later.
Bama, the defending national champion, easily defeated Auburn on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to secure the Western Division’s bid into the SEC Championship game.
“Well, the Southeastern Conference championship, first of all, stands alone as a very important event,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “The chance to get back to Atlanta is fantastic. To have a chance to win our league in any year is huge. That means a lot to us. What happens beyond that, of course, will be decided by the voters and all that kind of thing. But it does look like the winner of the game … more than likely is going to go play for the national championship.”
- Chip Towers of the AJC staff
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