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Alabama, Georgia in de facto semifinal

Published November 25, 2012 11:48 pm

College football • Winner of SEC finale to face Irish.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

College football won't have a four-team playoff in place for another two years, but Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta will have the same impact as a national semifinal.

Sunday's penultimate BCS standings confirmed that the winner between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia will earn a spot in the Jan. 7 national championship game opposite Notre Dame, which clinched the top position and capped off a 12-0 season with a 22-13 victory at Southern Cal.

This will be the seventh consecutive year the winner of the SEC championship game qualifies for the national title game. With No. 4 Florida locked in at 11-1 and ranked No. 2 in five of the six computer formulas, it would be impossible at this point for No. 5 Oregon, which didn't qualify for the Pac-12 championship game, to pass the Gators. No. 6 Kansas State will try to clinch the Big 12 championship Saturday against Texas.

By sitting out this week, Florida will pass the loser of the SEC championship game and move up to No. 3 in the final standings, clinching a spot in a BCS bowl.