SEC West Looks to Continue Dominance in SEC Championship Game
When the Southeastern Conference's divisional champions square off in Atlanta on Saturday, Alabama will look to continue the West's recent dominance in the title game.
When you look at the first 22 years of the SEC Championship Game, the two divisions have hoisted the trophy exactly 11 times each. It's been a perfectly balanced event that has produced some of the most significant college football games of the past 25 years.
But momentum has shifted firmly to the west.
Over the past five years, the winner of the SEC Championship has all come from the same division. Alabama (2), Auburn (2), and LSU have all claimed the title since Florida last won from the East in 2008.
It's not just about wins, either. All but one of the past five games has been a blowout. Georgia fell a few yards short of upsetting Alabama in 2012, but the other four games have finished with an average score of 47-21. Not exactly what you'd expect from a matchup of the two best teams from the nation's best conference.
This year's game doesn't look like it will buck the recent trend. At least on paper. Vegas oddsmakers have made Alabama a 14.5-point favorite over Missouri and rightfully so. The Tigers, while making a second-straight trip to Atlanta, haven't beaten an SEC team with a winning conference record all season. Plus, Gary Pinkel's team benefited from facing the worst two teams in the SEC West.
We've seen crazier things happen in college football, but it would take a major upset to prevent the Crimson Tide from continuing the streak.