By Chris Dufresne
3:45 PM PST, November 25, 2012
Alabama and Georgia are playing Saturday for the first time since ... 2008.
Such is the nature of scheduling in the Southeastern Conference and the quirks of the Bowl Championship Series.
Alabama, for example, won the BCS title last season when Georgia won the SEC East.
The teams avoided each other in the SEC title game, however, because Alabama made the BCS title game without winning the SEC West. LSU won the division and then defeated Georgia. The Tigers were "rewarded" with a rematch against Alabama that the Tigers lost at the Superdome.
Alabama and Georgia will collide this week in the SEC title game in Atlanta, with the winner advancing to play Notre Dame for the BCS national title.
For teams that haven't played in four years, Alabama and Georgia sure do look alike. Both play pro-style offenses and 3-4 defenses. Both schools have solid running games and expect their quarterbacks to efficiently manage games.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, in fact, leads the NCAA in passing efficiency with a rating of 177.5. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is second with a rating of 176.26.
"I think, philosophically, there are a lot of similarities," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said Sunday during a conference call. "There's not a whole lot of tricks or gimmicks with us or them."
Alabama won the last meeting with Georgia in 2008 on the way to the SEC West title. The Crimson Tide lost the title game to Florida, which then won the BCS title over Oklahoma.
Georgia Coach Mark Richt said he would like to be similar to Alabama in other ways.
"They've been national champions and we have not," Richt said of Alabama's 2009 and 2011 BCS titles. "They've been SEC champions and we have not."
Both schools have lost one game this year -- although Georgia's 35-7 defeat at South Carolina was a lot worse than Alabama's heartbreaking 29-24 home defeat to Texas A&M.
"We knew it was just one game," Richt said of the South Carolina loss. "We lost together and we regrouped together. We didn't panic, we just went back to work."
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