SEC title game means BCS or bust for Georgia

semerson@macon.comNovember 25, 2012 

ATHENS -- It’s not just a berth in the national championship game that’s at stake Saturday. It’s a berth in a BCS bowl, period.

The loser of the SEC championship, whether it be Alabama or Georgia, will in all likelihood slip out of contention for an at-large berth in the BCS. That’s because Florida, whose season is done, will be ensured of the SEC’s second and final spot in the BCS if it finishes in the top four in the BCS.

Alabama or Georgia, whichever loses, could still finish ahead of Florida and get the Sugar Bowl bid. But it’s more likely that losing in Atlanta will knock the Tide or Bulldogs behind Florida and into the Capital One Bowl or lower.

“For either one of these teams, it’s not a great scenario,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “You play your way into the championship game, which means you’re the best team in your division; they’re the best team in their division. They played their way into the game by a total body of work for the whole season.

“It doesn’t seem quite right. But it is what it is. I don’t really know what me commenting about it is going to do to change it. But I don’t feel good about it for our football team or their football team, either one.

A nose for nose tackles

Saban sees a big similarity, no pun intended, between Georgia nose tackle John Jenkins and Terrence Cody, who anchored Alabama’s defensive line when it won the national title a few years ago.

“He’s hard to block,” Saban said of Jenkins. “Any time you play an odd defense, a 3-4 defense, and can’t block the nose guard, makes it hard to run a lot of plays.”

Blacking out the black-out

The last time Georgia met Alabama was in the infamous “black-out” game, when Georgia was blown out at Sanford Stadium. Considering what happened the next few seasons -- 8-5 in 2009 and 6-7 in 2010 -- Richt was asked if that loss to Alabama had a lasting effect on the program.

“Not that I think. You take one game and look at itself -- the bottom line is we didn’t play well that day,” Richt said. “We just got whipped, obviously. I don’t think how it might’ve affected things other than that day.”

Injury update

Georgia reserve nose tackle Mike Thornton looks unlikely to play Saturday. Thornton, who usually only plays when Jenkins and Kwame Geathers need a break, suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech.

“He got it sprained pretty good, I know that,” Richt said. “Whether or not he’ll make it to the game or not, I’m not certain. My guess is if we were playing a game tomorrow he wouldn’t be able to do it, but we’ll see how he recovers.”

Recruiting update

Georgia has reeled in its second junior college recruit in less than a week.

Defensive back Kennar Johnson of Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College committed late Saturday night, according to various media outlets. Johnson, a native of Clarmont, Fla., is listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds.

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