Georgia running back Kendall Milton (2) sprints past Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (13) on his way to a 34-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

SEC Championship Game is set: Georgia vs. LSU

At long last, and with many contenders, the 2022 SEC Championship Game is set. No. 1 Georgia (10-0, 7-0 SEC) will face No. 7 LSU (8-2, 6-1 SEC) in a rematch of the 2019 SEC Championship game.–liKpHAf8H6bSRDNNqzA

A Georgia-LSU SEC Championship Game is the second-most common matchup behind only Florida-Alabama (10) with this season being the fifth matchup. The Tigers currently lead the series 3-1, which includes wins in 2019 and 2011, the last time the teams met in Atlanta.

Georgia’s lone victory in the matchup came in 2005, where quarterback D.J. Shockley led the Bulldogs to a 34-14 win over the No. 3 Tigers.

Dawgs back in familiar territory

Georgia officially sealed the Eastern Division title after a 45-19 win over Mississippi State on Saturday, fresh off a 14-point win over then-No. 1 Tennessee the week before. Since 2017, Georgia has won the Eastern Division five times out of six seasons (2017-2019, 2021-2022).

The reigning national champions continued their dominance immediately with a 49-3 win over Oregon to open the season. Sitting at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in SEC play, only Tennessee stood in their way for a quest for third-straight division title. Tennessee was also 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff poll.

The ranking and hype for the Volunteers did not phase the Bulldogs as they rolled to a 27-13 win at home behind 257 passing yards and two touchdowns from Stetson Bennett IV. The win put Georgia in the driver’s seat, and its win over Mississippi State sealed the deal.

Although it took 10 years for the Bulldogs to make an SEC title game, they rank third in the league in total appearances with their tenth coming this December. However, their 33% winning percentage is the lowest amongst teams who have won a title.

After wins in 2002 and 2005, Georgia has lost five of its last six appearances. Its lone win came in 2017 over Auburn before finishing the season with a win over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and a loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Georgia looks to finish the regular season undefeated in SEC play for the second season in a row with a road trip to Kentucky on Saturday. The Bulldogs conclude the regular season at home against in-state rival Georgia Tech on Nov. 26.

LSU’s return to dominance under new regime

LSU’s road to a division title started off slow.

The Tigers began the season with a disappointing 24-23 loss to Florida State in New Orleans off a missed PAT to end the game. Since then, LSU has rallied to win eight of its last nine, including its last four.–liKpHAf8H6bSRDNNqzA

A 40-13 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 8 dropped it to No. 3 with Ole Miss and Alabama ahead. However, Brian Kelly’s Tigers bounced back with wins over the Rebels and Crimson Tide in back-to-back weeks. A sluggish 13-10 win over Arkansas on Saturday combined with Alabama’s win over Ole Miss sealed the West for the Bayou Bengals.

Historically, the Tigers have made the SEC Championship Game a total of six times, not including this season, winning five of them (2001, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2019) with their lone loss coming in 2005 against Georgia. Their 83% winning percentage leads the league.

The Tigers host UAB for the final home game of the season on Saturday before concluding the regular season at Texas A&M on Nov. 26.

SEC Championship: Date, time, history

Since the introduction of the SEC Championship Game in 1992, 10 of the SEC’s 14 teams have made the trip to Atlanta (and Birmingham if you’re Alabama and Florida) with six different teams – Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee –  winning the title. Four teams – Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt – have yet to make an appearance in the conference championship.

Alabama, who has won the last two SEC Championships and seven of the last ten, lead the conference with 10 total wins in 14 appearances. The Crimson Tide won the inaugural SEC Championship Game in 1992 with a 28-21 win over Florida.

Florida is second in the league with both appearances (13) and wins (six) with its last appearance in 2020, a 52-46 loss to Alabama. The Gators are 0-4 in their last conference championship appearances since their 31-20 win over the Crimson Tide in 2008.

This season’s edition of the SEC Championship Game kicks-off on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. with television coverage on CBS.

About Cam Parker

Cam is a fourth-year broadcast journalism sports and media major at the University of Florida. In addition to writing and recording radio trendings for WRUF, Cam covers North Florida HS football for The Prep Zone and Mainstreet Daily News and UF football and basketball for Inside the Gators.

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