Everything you need to know about the SEC Championship Game

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ATLANTA - The University of Georgia and Auburn University will meet Saturday afternoon in Atlanta with the SEC Championship on the line.

The game is set to kickoff at 4 p.m. in front of 73,000 people at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

THE TEAMS: Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) is the Eastern Division Champion and the visiting team. Auburn (10-2, 7-1 SEC) is the Western Division Champion and the home team.    


Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are your home for everything SEC Championship this week. Make sure to follow @WSBTV and @AJCSports for updates on Twitter & LIKE the official WSB-TV Facebook page!

The Georgia vs. Auburn game will be broadcast on radio by News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB.


SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The game, which started in 1992, is in its 26th year. It was a result of conference expansion that saw Arkansas and South Carolina become the first members added in SEC history. 

More than 1.8 million fans have witnessed the pageantry of the game first-hand, with 23 sellouts in its history. Only 1993 and 1995 were not sold out.

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 first SEC Championship Game played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

SEC CHAMPIONS: Georgia will be vying for its 13th SEC Championship and first since 2005. Auburn is aiming for its ninth SEC Championship and first since 2013. Auburn will be looking to win its second SEC Championship under Gus Malzahn in five years. 

TELEVISION: CBS Sports will televise the game nationally for the 17th-straight year. Brad Nessler will be on play-by-play, Gary Danielson is the analyst, Allie LaForce is working sidelines and Craig Silver is producing. 

CBS has aired the game nationally since 2001. ABC Sports televised the game from 1992-2000.

TV RATINGS: Last season’s SEC Championship Game, which saw Alabama defeat Florida, was the highest rated championship game in the nation and second highest rated game of the entire 2016 season. 

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).

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Georgia comes into the game as the No. 6-ranked team in the nation in the the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Auburn is the No. 4-ranked team in the nation. In the latest College Football Playoff rankings, Georgia is No. 6 and Auburn is No. 2.

FULL HOUSE: The previous 25 SEC Football Championship Games have a total accumulated attendance of more than 1.8 million fans. The 23 games in The Georgia Dome attracted more than 1.7 million. 

The 74,412 average attendance was over 104 percent of capacity in the 71,500-seat stadium. Twenty-three of the 25 games have been sold out, including the last 21 consecutive contests. 

SERIES: This will be the 122nd game in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, the 74th consecutive season the teams have met on the gridiron and the fifth time they have met as Top 10 teams. Auburn won the previous four such matchups in 1971, 1983, 2004 and earlier this season. 
Georgia leads the all-time series 57-56-8, winning 11 of the last 16 games. Auburn owns a winning record in Athens (18-14), while Georgia has a winning mark on the Plains (16-11-2). 

The Auburn-Georgia series is tied with Oregon-Oregon State as the fourth-most played current FBS series. The series is older than the Georgia-Georgia Tech (110 games) and the Auburn-Alabama series (82 games). This will be the first time the two have played each other twice in the same season.

IN THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: This will be the first-ever meeting between Auburn and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. It is the first rematch the SEC Championship Game has seen since 2010, and the first since the SEC expanded to 14 teams in 2012.

This will be the seventh rematch in SEC Championship history. In the previous six rematches, the regular season winner is 5-1 in the SEC Championship Game.

BOWLING: The winner of the SEC Championship Game automatically qualifies for a spot in the Peach, Cotton or Fiesta Bowls if that team is not selected to participate in the four-team playoff.

If the SEC Champion is selected to participate in the four-team playoff, the team will play in the Sugar or Rose Bowl. The top four teams in the CFP Standings will play in the semifinals, with the winners advancing to the CFP National Championship Game in Atlanta on Jan. 8.

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