Georgia eager to carve out new legacy vs. Alabama

By PAUL NEWBERRY

AP sportswriter

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

1BAMA IS BALANCED: Lots of coaches like LSU’s Les Miles talk about striving for offensive balance, but Alabama takes it to another level. The Crimson Tide has thrown for 2,626 yards and rushed for 2,570 this season, an SEC-low differential of 56 yards.

2COOL QUARTERBACKS: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron are ranked 1-2 nationally in passing efficiency. Murray, who has thrown for 3,201 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions, has a rating of 177.2 McCarron (2,507 yards, 25 TDs, 2 INTs) has a rating of 176.3.

3JUST PLAIN POSSESSIVE: Alabama has committed just 13 turnovers this season, one more than SEC leader Florida. Georgia has committed just 16, tied for fourth-best in the SEC with LSU and Kentucky.

WHO HAS THE EDGE

OFFENSE 4

4 DEFENSE

4 SPECIAL TEAMS

INTANGIBLES 4

PREDICTIONs

This shapes up on paper as one of the most competitive SEC Championship Games ever. Both teams pass efficiently, run effectively with two physical backs, are stingy with turnovers and have excellent linebackers (Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Bama’s C.J. Mosley). LSU fans will tire of hearing it, but Alabama’s edge in coaching will be enough to carry the Crimson Tide to the SEC title and a BCS championship game berth.

CRIMSON TIDE 29, BULLDOGS 25

Scott Rabalais