SEC Could Decide Champ in Peach Bowl, Paper Says

From Associated Press

Once the Southeastern Conference completes its expansion and splits into divisions, the football championship could be decided in the Peach Bowl, a newspaper reported today.

The Mobile Register reported that an "informal plan" was being discussed that would have the championship decided in the domed stadium planned for Atlanta.

The newspaper, quoting a source requesting anonymity, said the proposal called for the two divisional winners to play for the SEC championship in the Peach Bowl in mid-December, with the winner going on to the Sugar Bowl.

A 12th game within the conference schedule is permissible.

Robert Dale Morgan, the director of the Peach Bowl, could not be reached for comment today. SEC officials were not immediately available for comment this morning.

According to the newspaper, the Peach Bowl plan was the result of a compromise. With a new domed stadium being planned for Atlanta, the Sugar Bowl reportedly feared competition from the Peach Bowl to get the SEC champion.

The Peach Bowl has been struggling with poor attendance and lack of interest. Having the SEC championship game would address those problems.

A spokesman for the All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., acknowledged that there had been speculation about having the SEC championship decided in an existing bowl game but said it wasn't likely to be the All-American Bowl.

"We're certified to be a bowl, and we plan to continue to be a bowl," said Bill Miller, the publicity director for the All-American Bowl.

"But once things settle down and they (the SEC) know how many teams are going to be in the conference, at an appropriate time, there may be informal discussions (about an SEC championship game).

"I think it's too early right now to make any judgments on what we would do or what other bowls would do. We'll have to wait to see how everything shakes down and then start planning."

"I think we're still a number of years away from anything like that. But a lot of things can happen."

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