For the first time since 2000, the coach with more SEC Championship Game appearances than any other will lead his team into the Georgia Dome with a BCS bowl bid on the line. Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks are making their first-ever championship game appearance and have never won the SEC, though Spurrier himself made it to seven of these deals in the 1990s as head coach of the Florida Gators.
They'll meet the juggernaut Auburn Tigers, to whom they lost 37-25 on Sept. 27 in Jordan-Hare Stadium -- making them one of only four teams to come within a score of the Tigers. Whether Heisman Trophy favorite Cam Newton will be playing or not, we'll have to wait and see. Judging by Auburn's All Eyez On Me stance on the matter in word and in deed, you'd have to assume he'll be there.
Auburn hasn't won the SEC since 2004, with ten all-time conference banners.
While Atlanta awaits, both have state rivalry business to take care of. The Tigers need to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide to make good and sure an SEC title equals entry into the BCS Championship Game, while Carolina has a trip to see the Clemson Tigers.