SEC Championship Game notes and score prediction

Jacksonville, FL – October 27, 2018 – TIAA Bank Field: Jeremiah Holloman (9) of the University of Georgia Bulldogs during a regular season game (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

It is time for some SEC football predictions, as I do each week on here on my blog, Vince’s View.

There’s one make-up game and the SEC Championship Game.

The point spreads are simply as a gauge of favorites with straight-up winners, not picked against the spread.

Notes below are from the league office.

2018 Week 13 Prediction Record: 8-1
Season Prediction Record: 87-24 (78%)

Akron (4-7) at South Carolina (6-5, 4-4 SEC)
Series: First Meeting
Noon ET • SEC Network Alternate Channel
Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Sirius: N/A • XM: 389
Line: South Carolina -30 ½
Score Prediction: South Carolina 55 Akron 17

2018 SEC Championship Game
Alabama (V) 12-0 vs. Georgia (H) 11-1
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 • 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT)
Atlanta, Ga. • Mercedes-Benz Stadium (73,000) • CBS Sports

THE TEAMS: Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) is the Western Division Champion and the visiting team. Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) is the Eastern Division Champion and the home team.

NATIONAL RANKINGS:  Alabama comes into the game as the No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Georgia is the No. 4-ranked team in the nation. This is the first top five matchup in the SEC Championship Game since 2013.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The game, which started in 1992, is in its 27th year. It was a result of conference expansion, which saw Arkansas and South Carolina become the first members added in SEC history. Over 1.8 million fans have witnessed the pageantry of the game first-hand, with 24 sellouts in its history, including the last 22 consecutive contests. (Only 1993 and 1995 were not). The first two games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham and the game was played at the Georgia Dome from 1994-2016. This will mark the second SEC Championship Game played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

SEC CHAMPIONS: Georgia will be vying for its 14th SEC Championship and second consecutive. Alabama is aiming for its 27th SEC Championship and first since 2016.

TELEVISION: CBS Sports will televise the game nationally for the 18th straight year (BRAD NESSLER, Play-by-Play; GARY DANIELSON, Analyst; JAMIE ERDAHL, Sidelines; CRAIG SILVER, Producer). CBS has aired the game nationally since 2001. ABC Sports televised the game from 1992-2000.

TV RATINGS: Last season’s SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Auburn was the highest-rated college football game nationally of the regular season. The game earned an 8.0 rating and 13.5 million viewers on CBS, up 21% in ratings and viewership from the previous year (6.6, 11.1M) and up 3% and 6% respectively from 2015 (7.8, 12.8M). It was the highest rated and most-watched SEC Championship since 2013. The 2009 SEC Championship Game earned an 11.8 rating and a 24 share, marking the highest-rated SEC Championship Game in history. The game matched the No. 1 Florida Gators (12-0) vs. the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0).

RADIO: Managed by IMG College, the SEC Radio Network will broadcast the game to the 11-state SEC region and around the nation on SiriusXM. (SEC Radio Network: DAVE NEAL, Play-by-Play; DAVE ARCHER, Analyst; STEPHEN HARTZELL, Sidelines). The broadcast can be heard on Sirius 127, XM 191. The Georgia Radio Network is on Sirius 146, XM 190 and the Alabama Radio Network is on Sirius 84, XM 84.

SERIES: Alabama leads the series history over Georgia 39-25-4. The last meeting also took place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The teams met in that venue in last season’s College Football Playoff National Championship as the No. 4 Crimson Tide won 26-23 in overtime. Georgia’s last win over Alabama came in 2007 with a 26-23 overtime thriller in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 16 at the time while Alabama was No. 22. Since then, the Crimson Tide have won four in a row in the series (2008: 41-30 in Athens; 2012 SEC Championship: 32-28 in Atlanta; 2015: 38-10 in Athens; 2018 National Championship Game: 26-23 in OT in Atlanta).

IN THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Georgia and Alabama last squared off for an SEC title in 2012, and then the No. 2 Crimson Tide held on for a 32-28 decision over No. 3 Georgia. That game also was decided on the last play as Georgia ran out of time at the Alabama 5-yard line. The 2012 SEC Championship Game marked the only time the Bulldogs have faced the Crimson Tide in an SECCG. The 2012 SEC Championship Game also was played on Dec. 1.

Line: Alabama -13
Score Prediction: Alabama 35 Georgia 27

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