|SEC Football Championship Game|
|Conference Football Championship|
|Current stadium||Mercedes-Benz Stadium|
|Current location||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Most championships||Alabama (7)
|Official website||SECSports.com - Football|
|Dr Pepper (1992–present)|
|Legion Field (1992–1993)
Georgia Dome (1994–2016)
Mercedes-Benz Stadium (2017–present)
|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. 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. 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.
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.
|Year||Eastern Division||Western Division||Site||Attendance||TV Rating||MVP|
|1992||12 Florida Gators||21||2 Alabama Crimson Tide||28||Legion Field • Birmingham, 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 Dome • Atlanta, 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||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|
|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|
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
(Once the tie has been reduced to two teams, go to the two-team tie-breaker format.)
Currently the SEC champion plays in the Sugar Bowl unless they have been selected to play in a College Football Playoff semi-final bowl. 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||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||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||Nebraska, Michigan|
|1998||#1 Tennessee||W 23–16||#2 Florida State||ACC||1999 Fiesta Bowl||Tennessee|
|1999||#5 Alabama||L 34–35 OT||#8 Michigan||Big Ten||2000 Orange Bowl||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||LSU, USC|
|2004||#3 Auburn||W 16–13||#9 Virginia Tech||ACC||2005 Sugar Bowl||USC|
|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||Florida|
|2007||#2 LSU||W 38–24||#1 Ohio State||Big Ten||2008 BCS Champ. Game||LSU|
|2008||#2 Florida||W 24–14||#1 Oklahoma||Big 12||2009 BCS Champ. Game||Florida|
|2009||#1 Alabama||W 37–21||#2 Texas||Big 12||2010 BCS Champ. Game||Alabama|
|2010||#1 Auburn||W 22–19||#2 Oregon||Pac-10||2011 BCS Champ. Game||Auburn|
|2011||#1 LSU||L 0–21||#2 Alabama||SEC||2012 BCS Champ. Game||Alabama|
|2012||#2 Alabama||W 42–14||#1 Notre Dame||Independent||2013 BCS Champ. Game||Alabama|
|2013||#2 Auburn||L 31–34||#1 Florida State||ACC||2014 BCS Champ. Game||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|
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|
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