Notre Dame earned its spot in title game

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WHO’S HOT

Notre Dame. Give it up to the Irish, who defeated four top-20 opponents (three top-10) to reach the national championship.

WHO’S NOT

Gene Chizik. Two years removed from the Cam Newton controversy/national title, the former Auburn coach saw his team finish 3-9, the worst in 62 years for the Tigers. According to ESPN.com, Chizik will receive a buyout worth $208,334 for the next 36 months. That’s a lot of Powerball tickets.

SEC WEST IS THE BEST?

The past three Southeastern Conference titles have been won by the Western Division champion. Though the East leads the West, 11-9, in SEC Championship Games, the West has claimed eight of the past 13 in the series. Alabama is 3-4 in the title game, while Georgia is 2-2.

RANKING THE BIG FOUR

1. Georgia (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference). We’ll find out Saturday if the Bulldogs took advantage of their schedule or if they’re for real.

2. South Carolina (10-2, 6-2 SEC). With a fourth consecutive win over Clemson, Steve Spurrier is starting to make Dabo Swinney look like the second coming of Ray Goff.

3. Clemson (10-2, 7-1 ACC). Tigers appear locked into the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

4. Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3 ACC). Orange Bowl or bust for the Yellow Jackets.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

• Central Arkansas at Georgia Southern, 2 p.m. (No TV)

• Alabama vs. Georgia, 4 p.m. (CBS-Ch. 12)

• Georgia Tech vs. Florida State, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

THIS WEEK’S STORYLINES

Clemson: Tigers have plenty of time to shore up their defense before the bowl game .

Georgia: Aaron Murray and “Gurshall” vs. the No. 1 defense in the land.

Georgia Tech: Jackets have to figure out a way to break the league’s top rushing defense.

South Carolina: Gamecocks can sit back and await that Outback Bowl bid.


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