Twenty years ago Jay Barker led Alabama past Florida in the first-ever SEC Championship game, giving the Crimson Tide a berth in the national championship. After Alabma's win over Georgia on Saturday in the SEC championship, they will be heading to Miami for a showdown with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship.
Georgia was no easy task, however. In an up and down game, which Georgia led much of, Alabama's defense made a goal-line stop, giving them the honor of being the best in the Southeastern Conference, defeating the Bulldogs 32 to 28.
Here are five things we learned from Saturday's historic game.
1. They play grown man's football in the SEC.
If you're a typical, modern-day fan who likes flashy, throw- the- ball- around, high-scoring, no defense kind of football games, you probably didn't enjoy Saturday's game. Although a cheap hit, we all know Quinton Dial came to play after seeing him lay the wood on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. Hits like this should be expected, though, when you have athletes like Alabama's C.J. Mosley and Georgia's Jarvis Jones. The score does not indicate how hard these defenses fought. Their efforts on the field wore them out, leading to late scores by the offenses.
2. Alabama has a bright future ahead of them at the running back position.
Alabama ran for 350 yards and for the first time in SEC championship game history, had two rushers with over one hundred yards. Junior running back Eddie Lacey rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, as freshman sensation T.J. Yeldon added 153 yards and another score. Assuming Lacey returns for his senior season, this will be the best backfield in the country - as good, if not better than the Mark Ingram-Trent Richardson combo. Lacey has gotten better as the season has gone on, after suffering an early-season injury, and will likely get better next season. Yeldon, undoubtedly will get better. He is only a freshman and has shown star potential. Alabama, 2013 national champions?
3. In the end, the Alabama defense saves the day.
In the past years it had been Alabama's defense that had led the team, while the offense controlled the clock and ran the ball. This year however, the offense has been more powerful than usual. It was quarterback A.J. McCarron's screen pass to T.J. Yeldon that won the game over LSU earlier this season. With Georgia threatening at the Alabama six yard line, they had a first and goal. The Crimson Tide defense had to make a stop, with only a 32 to 28 lead, and they did. An Alabama defender got a piece of Murray's pass, sending it in the direction of Chris Conley, who caught it and fell to the ground. With no timeouts left, all Georgia could do was walk to the locker room.
4. Alabama will face off with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship.
This win sealed up Alabama's spot in the national title against undefeated Notre Dame. This will be a game between two of the most historical teams in college football history. The two, combining for 16 national titles, that is right Alabama, you do not have 14 national championships. It is a game between the two most dominant defenses in the nation. It will be exciting.
5. Georgia will get snubbed by the bowl system.
Georgia's bowl hopes aren't looking so great, after nearly defeating the most talented teams in the country. The rule that each conference can only send two teams to a BCS Bowl is a joke. The fact that Northern Illinois will likely be playing in the Orange Bowl, but Georgia could drop to the Capital One Bowl is unbelieveable. The SEC has the seven best teams in the country, but they can only send two to a BCS Bowl? Yes, I said the seven best teams, Notre Dame would finish eighth in the SEC.