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SEC Football Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
Southeastern Conference logo.svg
SEC Logo
Sport Football
Conference Southeastern Conference
Current stadium Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Current location Atlanta, Georgia
Played 1992–present
Last contest 2017
Current champion Georgia
Most championships Alabama (7)
Florida (7)
TV partner(s) CBS
Official website - Football
Dr Pepper (1992–present)
Host stadiums
Legion Field (1992–1993)
Georgia Dome (1994–2016)
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (2017–present)
Host locations
Birmingham, Alabama (1992–1993)
Atlanta, Georgia (1994–present)

The SEC Championship Game (officially SEC Championship on CBS presented by Dr Pepper for broadcast and sponsorship purposes) is an annual American football game that has determined the Southeastern Conference's season champion since 1992. The championship game pits the SEC Western Division regular season champion against the Eastern Division regular season champion. It is typically played on the first Saturday of December.

Ten of the fourteen current SEC members have played in the SEC Championship Game. Kentucky and Vanderbilt have yet to reach the game from the East, while Ole Miss and Texas A&M have yet to reach the game from the West. The overall series is led by the Western Division, 14–12.

While ten SEC members have played in the game, only six have won: Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee of the Eastern Division, and Alabama, Auburn, and LSU of the Western Division. Each of these teams has won the championship multiple times. Georgia is the reigning SEC champion.

The SEC Championship Game has been aired on CBS since 2001; the current broadcast team is Brad Nessler as the play-by-play announcer, Gary Danielson as the color analyst, and Allie LaForce as the sideline reporter. Since 2007, the game is held the first Saturday of December at 4:00 PM Eastern.


The SEC was the first NCAA conference in any division to hold a football championship game that was exempt from NCAA limits on regular-season contests. Such a game was made possible by two separate developments. The first came in 1987, when the NCAA membership approved a proposal sponsored by the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association that allowed any conference with 12 football members to split into divisions and stage a championship game between the divisional winners. The SEC took advantage of this rule by adding the University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina in 1992, bringing the conference membership to 12, and splitting into two football divisions.[1] The format has since been adopted by other conferences to decide their football champion (the first being the Big 12 in 1996).

The first two SEC Championship Games were held at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. From 1994 until 2016 the game was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.[2] With the Georgia Dome scheduled to be demolished after the 2016 season, the SEC chose to keep the title game in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome's replacement, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will be played at the new stadium through 2027.[3]

Blue pog.svg – Eastern division
Red pog.svg – Western division
Green pog.svg – Championship Game site

In 2016, Alabama and Florida met in the SEC Championship Game for the ninth time in the twenty-five year history of the game, the record for the most times any two teams have faced each other in the championship game. And at least one of those two teams has qualified for the game in 14 of 25 seasons. The only other matchup in the SEC Championship played more than twice is Georgia and LSU, which has been played three times. Alabama has faced Florida in nine of their eleven SEC Championship Game appearances. In addition, the 2009 game marked the second consecutive year that the No. 1 (Florida) and No. 2 (Alabama) ranked teams in the AP Poll met in the SEC Championship game. 2009 was the first time any conference championship game had featured two undefeated teams. Alabama won 32–13 and earned a berth in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, which it went on to win as well.

Auburn and Missouri met in the 2013 SEC Championship Game (in Missouri's 2nd year in the SEC). Auburn won the game 59–42, breaking the previous record of 56 points for most points scored by a single team in the SEC Championship Game (previously set by Auburn in 2010).

In recent years, the game has been nicknamed the "national semifinal" for college football. The 2008, 2009, and 2012 games were essentially national semifinal games, as both participating teams were virtually guaranteed a berth in the BCS national championship game with a win. The 2013 game was not thought of as such at the time of the game, but results of other games later that day meant that it effectively was such a semifinal.

Between 2006 and 2013 the winner of the SEC Championship Game went on to play in the BCS National Championship Game eight straight years, posting a 6-2 record in the game. Since 2014, the SEC Championship Game winner has gone on to appear in the College Football Playoff every season.


Results from all SEC Championship games that have been played.[4] Rankings are from the AP Poll released prior to matchup.

Year Eastern Division Western Division Site Attendance TV Rating MVP
1992 12 Florida Gators 21 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 28 Legion FieldBirmingham, AL 83,091 9.8 CB Antonio Langham, Alabama
1993 9 Florida Gators 28 16 Alabama Crimson Tide 13 76,345 QB Terry Dean, Florida
1994 6 Florida Gators 24 3 Alabama Crimson Tide 23 Georgia DomeAtlanta, GA 74,751 10.5 DT Ellis Johnson, Florida
1995 2 Florida Gators 34 23 Arkansas Razorbacks 3 71,325 7.2 QB Danny Wuerffel, Florida
1996 4 Florida Gators 45 11 Alabama Crimson Tide 30 74,132 7.0 QB Danny Wuerffel, Florida
1997 3 Tennessee Volunteers 30 11 Auburn Tigers 29 74,896 QB Peyton Manning, Tennessee
1998 1 Tennessee Volunteers 24 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 14 74,795 WR Peerless Price, Tennessee
1999 5 Florida Gators 7 7 Alabama Crimson Tide 34 71,500 WR Freddie Milons, Alabama
2000 7 Florida Gators 28 18 Auburn Tigers 6 73,427 QB Rex Grossman, Florida
2001 2 Tennessee Volunteers 20 21 LSU Tigers 31 74,843 7.0 QB Matt Mauck, LSU
2002 4 Georgia Bulldogs 30 22 Arkansas Razorbacks 3 75,835 3.2 QB David Greene, Georgia
2003 5 Georgia Bulldogs 13 3 LSU Tigers 34 74,913 4.1 RB Justin Vincent, LSU
2004 15 Tennessee Volunteers 28 3 Auburn Tigers 38 74,892 4.8 QB Jason Campbell, Auburn
2005 13 Georgia Bulldogs 34 3 LSU Tigers 14 73,717 3.9 QB D. J. Shockley, Georgia
2006 4 Florida Gators 38 8 Arkansas Razorbacks 28 73,374 4.7 WR Percy Harvin, Florida
2007 15 Tennessee Volunteers 14 5 LSU Tigers 21 73,832 6.0 QB Ryan Perrilloux, LSU
2008 2 Florida Gators 31 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 20 75,892 10.4 QB Tim Tebow, Florida
2009 1 Florida Gators 13 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 32 75,514 11.8 QB Greg McElroy, Alabama
2010 19 South Carolina Gamecocks 17 1 Auburn Tigers 56 75,802 6.3 QB Cam Newton, Auburn
2011 12 Georgia Bulldogs 10 1 LSU Tigers 42 74,515 7.4 CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
2012 3 Georgia Bulldogs 28 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 32 75,624 10.0 RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
2013 5 Missouri Tigers 42 3 Auburn Tigers 59 75,632 8.7 RB Tre Mason, Auburn
2014 14 Missouri Tigers 13 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 42 73,526 7.7 QB Blake Sims, Alabama
2015 18 Florida Gators 15 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 29 75,320 8.3[5] RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
2016 15 Florida Gators 16 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 54 74,632 7.0 LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
2017 6 Georgia Bulldogs 28 4 Auburn Tigers 7 Mercedes-Benz Stadium • Atlanta, GA 76,532 8.4 LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

Results by team[edit]

Appearances School Wins Losses Win % Year(s) Won
12 Florida 7 5 .583 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2006, 2008
11 Alabama 7 4 .636 1992, 1999, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
6 Auburn 3 3 .500 2004, 2010, 2013
6 Georgia 3 3 .500 2002, 2005, 2017
5 LSU 4 1 .800 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011
5 Tennessee 2 3 .400 1997, 1998
3 Arkansas 0 3 .000
2 Missouri 0 2 .000
1 Mississippi State 0 1 .000
1 South Carolina 0 1 .000

Home/away designation[edit]

The team designated as the "home" team alternates between division champions. The designation goes to the Eastern champion in even-numbered years and the Western champion in odd-numbered years.

After the 2017 contest, the designated "home" team is 15–11 overall in SEC championship games.

In 2009, the Western division champion, Alabama, was the home team, ending a streak where the SEC Western team had worn white jerseys in nine consecutive SEC Championship Games (2000–2008). This was because LSU had represented the Western division in the previous four seasons that the Western division champion was the "home" team, and LSU traditionally chooses to wear white jerseys for home games. Additionally, for the next three years (2010–2012), the Eastern representative wore their home jerseys because in 2011, LSU again represented the Western division.[4]


While SEC schools play every other member of their own division, they do not play every member of the opposite division; thus, the SEC Championship Game is not guaranteed to be a rematch of a regular season game. The SEC Championship game has featured a rematch of a regular season game a total of seven times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2017). The team which won the regular season game is 5–2 in the rematches, the exceptions being 2001 and 2017.

Common matchups[edit]

Matchups that have occurred more than once:

# of Times Eastern Division Western Division Record Years Played
9 Florida Alabama Alabama 5–4 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016
3 Georgia LSU LSU 2–1 2003, 2005, 2011
2 Florida Arkansas Florida 2–0 1995, 2006
2 Tennessee Auburn Tied 1–1 1997, 2004
2 Tennessee LSU LSU 2–0 2001, 2007

Selection criteria[edit]

Division standings are based on each team's overall conference record. The SEC Commissioner's Regulations requires each football team play all eight conference games in a season in order to be eligible to compete for a divisional title and play in the SEC Championship Game. Often, two or more teams tie for the best record in their division and each team is recognized as a divisional co-champion. However, tiebreakers are used to determine who will represent the division in the championship game.[6]

Two-team tie-breaker procedure[edit]

  1. Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams.
  2. Records of the tied teams within the division.
  3. Records against the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last.
  4. Complete record vs. all non-divisional opponents.
  5. Complete record vs. all common non-divisional teams if there be any.
  6. Record vs. common non-divisional opponent (if there be any) with the best overall conference (divisional and non-divisional) record and proceeding through other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within their division.
  7. Best cumulative conference winning percentage of non-divisional opponents
  8. Coin flip of the tied teams

NOTE: Although all division rivals meet during the season and NCAA overtime is played in case of a tie game, the SEC has provisions in case a game ends in a tie under NCAA Rule 3-3-3 (c) and (d), Suspending the Game, or if the two tied teams did not play an official game because of weather, which is possible because numerous conference teams have had games affected by hurricanes. As such, SEC rules still contain the remaining procedures if those circumstances were to happen.[6]

Three or more-team procedure[edit]

(Once the tie has been reduced to two teams, go to the two-team tie-breaker format.)

  1. Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams.
  2. Record of the tied teams within the division.
  3. Records against the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last.
  4. Complete record vs. non-division teams.
  5. Complete record vs. all common non-divisional teams.
  6. Record vs. common non-divisional team with the best overall Conference (divisional and non-divisional) record and proceeding through other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within their division.
  7. Best cumulative Conference winning percentage of non-divisional opponents (Note: If two teams' non-divisional opponents have the same cumulative record, then the two-team tiebreaker procedures apply. If four teams are tied, and three teams' non-divisional opponents have the same cumulative record, the three-team tiebreaker procedures will be used beginning with #1
  8. Coin flip of the tied teams with the team with the odd result being the representative (Example: If there are two teams with tails and one team with heads, the team with heads is the representative)

Winner's bowl performance[edit]

Currently the SEC champion plays in the Sugar Bowl unless they have been selected to play in a College Football Playoff semi-final bowl.[7] In the SEC Championship Game era, eleven winners of the game have gone on to win the national title (outright or shared), with thirteen SEC teams winning national titles overall, including seven consecutive titles from the 2006–2012 seasons. There are two occasions when the SEC champion advanced to the BCS or CFP but lost to another SEC team which won the national championship: In 2011 LSU won the SEC Championship Game and advanced to the BCS National Championship Game which they lost 21–0 to fellow SEC member Alabama, and in 2017 Georgia won the SEC Championship Game and advanced to the College Football Playoff, defeating Oklahoma in the semifinal and advancing to the CFP final game, which they lost 26-23 to SEC member Alabama.

Rankings are from the AP Poll at the time the game was played.

Season SEC Champ Result Opponent Opp. Conference Bowl Game National Champion
1992 #2 Alabama W 34–13 #1 Miami Big East 1993 Sugar Bowl[8] Alabama
1993 #8 Florida W 41–7 #3 West Virginia Big East 1994 Sugar Bowl Florida State
1994 #5 Florida L 17–23 #7 Florida State ACC 1995 Sugar Bowl Nebraska
1995 #2 Florida L 24–62 #1 Nebraska Big 8 1996 Fiesta Bowl[8] Nebraska
1996 #3 Florida W 52–20 #1 Florida State ACC 1997 Sugar Bowl Florida
1997 #3 Tennessee L 17–42 #2 Nebraska Big 12 1998 Orange Bowl[8] Nebraska, Michigan[9]
1998 #1 Tennessee W 23–16 #2 Florida State ACC 1999 Fiesta Bowl[10] Tennessee
1999 #5 Alabama L 34–35 OT #8 Michigan Big Ten 2000 Orange Bowl[11] Florida State
2000 #7 Florida L 20–37 #2 Miami Big East 2001 Sugar Bowl Oklahoma
2001 #12 LSU W 47–34 #7 Illinois Big Ten 2002 Sugar Bowl Miami
2002 #4 Georgia W 26–13 #16 Florida State ACC 2003 Sugar Bowl Ohio State
2003 #3 LSU W 21–14 #2 Oklahoma Big 12 2004 Sugar Bowl[10] LSU, USC[12][13]
2004 #3 Auburn W 16–13 #9 Virginia Tech ACC 2005 Sugar Bowl USC[14]
2005 #8 Georgia L 35–38 #13 West Virginia Big East 2006 Sugar Bowl Texas
2006 #2 Florida W 41–14 #1 Ohio State Big Ten 2007 BCS Champ. Game[10] Florida
2007 #2 LSU W 38–24 #1 Ohio State Big Ten 2008 BCS Champ. Game[10] LSU
2008 #2 Florida W 24–14 #1 Oklahoma Big 12 2009 BCS Champ. Game[10] Florida
2009 #1 Alabama W 37–21 #2 Texas Big 12 2010 BCS Champ. Game[10] Alabama
2010 #1 Auburn W 22–19 #2 Oregon Pac-10 2011 BCS Champ. Game[10] Auburn
2011 #1 LSU L 0–21 #2 Alabama SEC 2012 BCS Champ. Game[10] Alabama
2012 #2 Alabama W 42–14 #1 Notre Dame Independent 2013 BCS Champ. Game[10] Alabama
2013 #2 Auburn L 31–34 #1 Florida State ACC 2014 BCS Champ. Game[10] Florida State
2014 #1 Alabama L 35–42 #4 Ohio State Big Ten 2015 Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal) Ohio State
2015 #2 Alabama W 38–0 #3 Michigan State Big Ten 2015 Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal) Alabama
W 45–40 #1 Clemson ACC 2016 CFP National Championship
2016 #1 Alabama W 24-7 #4 Washington Pac-12 2016 Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal) Clemson
L 31–35 #2 Clemson ACC 2017 CFP National Championship
2017 #3 Georgia W 54-48 #2 Oklahoma Big 12 2018 Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal) Alabama
L 23-26 OT #4 Alabama SEC 2018 CFP National Championship

Runner up's bowl performance[edit]

Rankings are from the AP Poll at the time the game was played.

Season SEC Runner Up Result Opponent Opp. Conference Bowl Game
1992 #14 Florida W 27–10 #12 NC State ACC 1992 Gator Bowl
1993 #18 Alabama W 24–10 #12 North Carolina ACC 1993 Gator Bowl
1994 #6 Alabama W 24–17 #13 Ohio State Big Ten 1995 Citrus Bowl
1995 #24 Arkansas L 10–20 North Carolina ACC 1995 Carquest Bowl
1996 #16 Alabama W 17–14 #15 Michigan Big Ten 1997 Outback Bowl
1997 #13 Auburn W 21–17 Clemson ACC 1998 Peach Bowl
1998 #25 Mississippi State L 11–38 #20 Texas Big 12 1999 Cotton Bowl
1999 #10 Florida L 34–37 #9 Michigan State Big Ten 2000 Citrus Bowl
2000 #20 Auburn L 28–31 #17 Michigan Big Ten 2001 Citrus Bowl
2001 #8 Tennessee W 45–17 #17 Michigan Big Ten 2002 Citrus Bowl
2002 #25 Arkansas L 14–29 Minnesota Big Ten 2002 Music City Bowl
2003 #11 Georgia W 34–27 #12 Purdue Big Ten 2004 Capital One Bowl
2004 #15 Tennessee W 38–7 #22 Texas A&M Big 12 2005 Cotton Bowl
2005 #10 LSU W 40–3 #9 Miami ACC 2005 Peach Bowl
2006 #12 Arkansas L 14–17 #6 Wisconsin Big Ten 2007 Capital One Bowl
2007 #16 Tennessee W 21–17 #18 Wisconsin Big Ten 2008 Outback Bowl
2008 #4 Alabama L 17–31 #6 Utah Mountain West 2009 Sugar Bowl
2009 #5 Florida W 51–24 #4 Cincinnati Big East 2010 Sugar Bowl
2010 #19 South Carolina L 17–26 #23 Florida State ACC 2010 Chick-Fil-A Bowl
2011 #18 Georgia L 30–33 3OT #12 Michigan State Big Ten 2012 Outback Bowl
2012 #7 Georgia W 45–31 #16 Nebraska Big Ten 2013 Capital One Bowl
2013 #9 Missouri W 41–31 #13 Oklahoma State Big 12 2014 Cotton Bowl Classic
2014 #16 Missouri W 33–17 #25 Minnesota Big Ten 2015 Citrus Bowl
2015 #19 Florida L 7–41 #14 Michigan Big Ten 2016 Citrus Bowl
2016 #20 Florida W 30–3 #21 Iowa Big Ten 2017 Outback Bowl
2017 #7 Auburn L 27-34 #10 UCF American 2018 Peach Bowl


  1. ^ Staples, Andy (May 16, 2014). "Should NCAA alter title game requirements? Look at the rule's origin". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Southeastern Conference". Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. 
  3. ^ "SEC Championship Game to remain in Atlanta until 2027". ESPN. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Southeastern Conference". Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. 
  5. ^ "CFB Week 14 Overnights: SEC Championship Top Game of Season - Sports Media Watch". 6 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Southeastern Conference". 
  7. ^ "". 
  8. ^ a b c Bowl Coalition (1992-1994) or Bowl Alliance (1995-1997) Championship Game
  9. ^ Nebraska shared the 1997 NCAA title with Michigan
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j BCS National Championship Game
  11. ^ Alabama took the spot of ACC champion Florida State in the Orange Bowl, as the Seminoles were selected to play in the BCS national championship game in the Sugar Bowl.
  12. ^ "Maisel: Power to the people". 14 July 2004. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Southern California won the BCS Championship but the title was vacated following an investigation into improper payments to various players. USC retained its AP National Championship.

See also[edit]


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