January 20, 2018

Tuscaloosa & Athens mayors make friendly wager on National Championship Game

08 January 2018, 03:26 | Rodolfo Wallace

Nick Saban, Kirby Smart not taking rivalry personally

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and then-defensive coordinator

On one side, the Crimson Tide tout the nation's top-ranked scoring defense (11.5 points per game) and 10th-ranked rushing offense (255.8 yards per game).

But they say none of it will be a distraction. Alabama practiced at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The city is expecting 100,000 people for events connected with the title game and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has promised a "safe, smooth and secure" championship despite the presidential motorcade in Atlanta's typically crowded downtown.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. "Definitely think it's great". And just a few days after the new corporate sponsorship was announced, the theater will be showing the championship game on a 50 inch screen.

If Alabama wins, then Nick Saban will tie the legendary coach Bear Bryant for most national titles.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he and his players weren't concerned about anything that wasn't part of the game, including a visit by Trump.

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The last time Alabama and Georgia met in Atlanta, it was for the conference championship in 2012 and the game was an instant classic.

I don't know if he meant it as motivation for Georgia, but it sure had that effect.

And it would be really gracious of me as a lifelong Alabama fan, who saw Derrick Thomas almost obliterate the Penn State quarterback in my first in-person game at age 7, to suggest that maybe we've won enough for a while and Georgia should have this one. "That didn't come out too well, so you just got to be careful".

The game will not only be shown on TVs but also on three projectors.

35-minute mark: I take a look at some other SEC headlines, including Tennessee's chances of pulling a recruiting upset with 4-star linebacker JJ Peterson, 4-star wide receiver Anthony Schwartz's commitment to Auburn, the latest on the coaching drama at LSU involving offensive coordinator Matt Canada, Martez Ivy's decision to return to Florida and Texas A&M's hiring of Mike Elko as defensive coordinator.

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