College football: Georgia, Alabama have their eyes on a bigger championship game
SEC Championship winner will get a shot at national crown.
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Atlanta • The national championship could be decided with a dream matchup between two of college football's most storied programs: Notre Dame vs. Alabama.

Of course, Georgia might have something to say about that.

The third-ranked Bulldogs are eager to wake up some echoes of their own.

Coach Mark Richt's team will take on No. 2 Alabama in a Southeastern Conference title game that essentially serves as a national semifinal. The winner of Saturday's contest at the Georgia Dome will surely land a spot against top-ranked Notre Dame in the BCS title game at Miami on Jan. 7.

While Alabama (11-1) is a seven-point favorite to remain on course for its third crown in four years, Georgia (11-1) wants to carve out its own legacy, something beyond the great teams of the early 1980s led by Herschel Walker.

"We respect and honor those guys that played ahead of us, but we really need to give the fans something else to talk about," linebacker Christian Robinson said. "If that's all we have to talk about, we must not be doing anything special."

A year ago, the Crimson Tide didn't even make it to Atlanta for the SEC championship game — LSU won the Western Division — but Alabama got a do-over against the Tigers for the BCS title. Even with a resounding 21-0 victory, there are still those who think the Tide didn't deserve a second chance after losing to LSU in the regular season.

If Alabama beats Georgia and Notre Dame, no one can say the Tide didn't earn it, despite an upset loss to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M.

"There is a lot more pressure, but that is what we like," running back Eddie Lacy said. "You come to Alabama to be in situations like this and play in games like this."

Big Ten

Indianapolis • On Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, No. 14 Nebraska will rely on some of the lessons from losses in the 2009 and 2010 Big 12 title games as they try to claim their first Big Ten crown. It's been such a strange year in the Big Ten that Nebraska isn't even facing a ranked opponent in Indy.

The league's best team, No. 4 Ohio State (12-0), can't play because it is ineligible for the postseason under NCAA sanctions. Resurgent Penn State couldn't play, either, because of the same reason. The only other ranked teams in the league, No. 21 Michigan and No. 22 Northwestern, are in the same division as Nebraska, putting the stumbling Badgers (7-5, 4-4) in the title game.

ACC

Charlotte, N.C. • Florida State has no option but to stop the option — if the Seminoles want to win their 13th ACC title.

Jimbo Fisher said Friday the key to the Seminoles winning another Atlantic Coast Conference championship and clinching an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl is shutting down Georgia Tech's triple option offense.

The 13th-ranked Seminoles (10-2, 7-1 ACC) are two-touchdown favorites over unranked Georgia Tech in Saturday night's matchup. Still, Fisher knows defending the Yellow Jackets' deceiving offense can be a monumental task if you're not properly prepared.

The Yellow Jackets (6-6, 5-3) averaged 40 points per game during ACC play and their running game ranks third-best in the nation, averaging 323.3 yards per game.

Whatever happens, both teams could be heading for a bowl game.

The NCAA on Thursday granted Georgia Tech a waiver to ensure it would be bowl eligible even it loses and drops to 6-7 on the season.