If you somehow made it through this season without getting alcohol poisoning form watching the Vols, then hats off to you. Although the coaching search may want to make you drink, there won’t be a bowl game — so don’t stress there — hopefully this weekend won’t take as much of a toll on your liver.
Championship weekend is upon us, and there are major College Football Playoff implications on the line all over the land, with no game bigger than the SEC Championship, perhaps.
Since 2010, the west division has had only one representative from outside the state of Alabama. On the other hand, the east has had sent a variety of teams to Atlanta, as Georgia appears in this game for the first time since 2012 in the title game’s first edition in Mercedez-Benz Stadium.
Gear up with your drinks as the No. 6 Bulldogs take on No. 4 Auburn in Atlanta.
1. When Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson say this game will send a winner to the College Football Playoff, drink!
This is a not a matter of if, but when. The last time this game did not send the winner to either the national semi final or to the national championship was 2005, so this game has been the center of college football for over a decade.
2. When the broadcast shows highlights of the first Georgia-Auburn game this season, drink!
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry has that name for a reason. These two teams have met in the regular season 121 times which started in 1892. This year, the Dawgs came in as the number one team in the nation, but Auburn made them look a little foolish. However, these two teams have never met to decide the conference. Should be a good one in the ATL.
3. When highlights of the Iron Bowl grace your television, drink!
Yes highlights again, because this is the first time in four years that the conference championship game won’t feature Alabama. Though the Tide have been in this game for the majority in the past seven seasons, regardless of who the west has sent to Atlanta they have won. The east hasn’t won the conference since 2008.
4. When Gus Malzahn being on the hot seat before the season is mentioned, drink!
I’m sure the War Eagle faithful are 100% behind their head coach now, but they were singing a different tune at the beginning of the season. It was going to be a make or break season for t he Tigers’ head coach and he felt the heat. They had two loses in the middle of the season and there were some people calling for his head, but was able to knock off the number one team, twice.
5. If the crew mentions that Verne Lundquist isn’t in the booth, take a shot!
Good ol’ Uncle Verne Lundquist was a constant in the booth for the 3:30 SEC game on CBS for years. This will be the first conference championship game that won’t feature Lundquist. We can all admit he was starting to wear out his welcome as he began pronouncing names wrong. Although the broadcast may be a little bit clearer, it will be a different sound without him.
6. If Nick Chubb breaks three or more tackles on a play, drink!
Nick Chubb has been incredible throughout his career, to say the least. He dominates defenses and his prowess alone is enough to strike fear in defensive coordinators. Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will have to load up the box and force Georgia to go to the air.
7. When the Tennessee coaching search is brought up, take a shot!
This is not a matter of if, but when. This story has taken over big headlines in sports over the past week. Tennessee has interviewed what seems like everyone in the country with no luck on any of them. On top of that, athletic director, John Currie was relieved of his duties on Friday and Phillip Fulmer was introduced as new athletic director.
8. If “Kirby Smart’s first time in the SEC Championship without Alabama” is mentioned, finish your drink!
Nick Saban has had one of the nations top defenses for a very long time, but who was the one running that defense before 2016? That’d be Georgia coach Kirby Smart. Smart went to the SEC title game five times with the Crimson Tide, but he has never appeared in the game as a head coach. He has lead this Bulldog team to an 11-1 mark and a sweep of the SEC East for the first time in program history, and he’ll rightfully get the chance to roam the sidelines leading a team.
9. If Kerryon Johnson breaks a 25+ yard run, pound another!
ALL everyone has heard all season is how unbelievable that Goergia defense is. Whether it was “Junkyard Dawgs” or “New Savages,” the unit made quite the name for itself — until it ran into Auburn. Jarrett Stidham threw three touchdown passes and Kerryon Johnson ran for 167 yards in that one. While Johnson is a game-time decision, he would be a huge factor should he play. Either way, Georgia will have to be better against the Tigers’ ground game.
10. If Georgia wins, chug!
Auburn is favored by 2.5 points as it stands right now, and judging by the game played earlier in the season, you could argue that it should be more. A lot is said about the trio of running backs that Georgia features, but they are missing one thing that Auburn has — the conference’s leading rusher, Kerryon Johnson. With the Tigers trying to play for a spot inside the nations top four so they are looking to keep the train rolling. The Dawgs will have a lot to control if they should end this skid for the east.