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Alabama vs. Georgia: SEC championship preview, TV schedule and odds

The No. 2 Crimson Tide and No. 3 Bulldogs play Saturday for the SEC Championship and a berth in the national championship game.

Michael Chang

The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs face off Saturday in one of the season's most anticipated games. The winner earns the SEC Championship and a spot in the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7. For the losing team, it is likely a disappointing trip to the Sugar Bowl. Kickoff from the Georgia Dome is set for 3 p.m. ET Saturday. CBS will handle television broadcast responsibilities.

Two weeks ago, in the wake of their loss to Texas A&M, Alabama looked to be on the outside of the national championship picture. One Saturday night and two upset losses later, and the Crimson Tide again have the pole position for a national championship appearance, potentially their third in four years. While questions of how they would do against NFL opposition might have disappeared after their loss, the consensus opinion that the Crimson Tide are the nation's best team remained. Alabama's defense is first nationally in points allowed, conceding just 9.3 points per contest. The Crimson Tide offense runs with cruel efficiency, averaging 39.0 ppg on the strength of a two-headed running attack and effective play action passing game. Halfbacks Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon have combined for 1,848 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Quarterback A.J. McCarron has completed 67.0% of his pass attempts, crossing the 2,500 yard mark in last week's annihilation of rival Auburn.

Georgia matches Alabama's offense, statistic for statistic. Bulldog backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have outrushed Lacy and Yeldon by ten yards and trail the Alabama backfield duo by just two scores. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has a 66.6% completion percentage and 3,201 yards passing on the season. The Bulldogs defense is hardly a weakness, allowing just 17.7 points per game and letting just one team score more than 24 points in a game this season. The Bulldogs are also the only team in the country with a win over Florida, the nation's No. 4 team. While both schools will have plenty of fans in attendance, Georgia could hold a slight home field advantage; the UGA campus is just 45 minutes from Atlanta.

Game time, TV channel: 3 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: Alabama is a 7.5-point favorite.

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