Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.
Florida and Alabama have played each other in the SEC Championship Game seven times in the past 18 years. (Orlando Sentinel photo)
On Saturday, when the SEC Championship Game kicks off at the Georgia Dome, two teams that thought they’d be playing will be watching. With Alabama and Florida at home, is there a changing of the guard in the SEC?
Not quite, but No. 19 South Carolina makes its first appearance in the title game while No. 1 Auburn tries to win its second title. That both made it to Atlanta in a year when the Crimson Tide and Gators entered the year ranked in the top five shows an increased parity in the SEC.
“Remember the topic of the SEC media days in Birmingham was, ‘Is it good for the conference that Alabama and Florida have distanced themselves from the rest of the conference?’” said CBS analyst Gary Danielson, who will call the game with Verne Lundquist. “Boy, that seems like a long time ago. What I think is coming to fruition here is what I’ve been predicting for three years and it hasn’t come yet. We’re going to see more parity. These teams are better coached.”
For Florida and Alabama, that could be bad news. With eight losses between them this year, both programs are in rebuilding mode.
Florida coach Urban Meyer assured fans he would rebuild. After the Gators’ fifth loss of the season, he promised to spend this month before the bowl game improving for the immediate future and next season.
If this year’s title game is any indication, though, it’s going to be more difficult than ever to get back to Atlanta.
“It’s not going to be easy this year or in the future for Alabama or Florida to just roll their helmets out there and win,” Danielson said. “No one is intimidated by Florida or Alabama anymore.”
A LOOK AT THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 1992-2009