SEC Championship -- The Most Important Game In The History Of Football

Posted on November 30, 2012 

If the above headline may seem like hyperbole to you, you have to consider what Saturday's matchup between UGA and Alabama (CBS, 4 p.m.) for the SEC title and a spot in the National Championship game against Notre Dame means to me and my family.

After my father emigrated to this country, he attended Alabama during the Bear Bryant glory years. I'm fairly certain he considers the Bear and Winston Churchill as the two most important figures of the 20th century.

So my brother and I were raised to root for the Tide even as we were growing up in Georgia during UGA's glory year of 1980 -- when it beat Notre Dame for the national title.

I went to UGA in the early 1990s, where I had to suffer through the Ray Goff years. My brother went to Bama for a year, then finished out college at UGA and suffered through the Jim Donnan years.

To make this season even more impactful if you are a Ramati, my brother's wife is an Oregon grad, and it was the Ducks' loss (along with Kansas State losing) that set up the scenario that will allow the SEC to have a team in the title game, no matter who wins tomorrow.

But really there are no losers in our family no matter which team comes out on top. After all, my brother and I usually pull for Bama if UGA is out of the running, and my father notes how much money he paid in tuition to UGA over the years, so he has something of a vested interest in seeing the Dogs do well.

If anyone is stuck after tomorrow's game, it's my long-suffering mom, who will have to provide consolation to someone no matter who wins.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Speaking of college football, in the "Who Cares?" category, UCLA plays Stanford tonight (Fox, 8 p.m.) for the Pac-12 title.

ABC has new episodes of "Last Man Standing" and "Malibu Country" from 8-9 p.m., while CBS is all-new with "Undercover Boss," "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods." The CW has moved "Nikita" up an hour earlier, to 8 p.m.

On cable, "Hunted" (MAX, 10 p.m.) is new.

On Saturday, there's other college football going on (if anyone cares), including the ACC "championship" between Florida State and Georgia Tech (ESPN, 8 p.m.) Yes, one of those teams enters the game with a losing record, while the other one is Florida State.

CBS offers a new "Made In Jersey" as it burns episodes off at 8 p.m., while NBC gives us the holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," at 8 p.m. (My mom's favorite movie, coming at the perfect time in the aftermath of the SEC title game).

On Sunday, I don't know if my nerves can make it through the midseason finale of "The Walking Dead," as the group finally squares off with the Governor to save Glenn and Maggie. You have to admire a show in which you could lose one or more main characters each week, which provides real tension. And how great was the wordless scene between Rick and Carol last week when he discovered she was alive and she learned that Lori died after giving birth.

ABC is all new with "Once Upon A Time," "Revenge" and "666 Park Ave." from 8-11 p.m., while CBS airs "The Amazing Race," "The Good Wife" and "The Mentalist," tentatively beginning at 8:30 p.m. depending on how long the NFL runs over.

It's the season finale of "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 9 p.m.), while "Dexter" (Showtime, 9 p.m.) and "Homeland" are new. I felt "Homeland" finally got back on track a little bit after last week's episode, though if the terrorists end up taking out Brody's daughter, I won't be terribly disappointed.

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