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2012 SEC Championship: Saban, familiar with Richt's Bulldogs, readies for showdown with Georgia

Nick Saban has plenty of praise for Georgia in preparation for next weekend's SEC title game.

Kevin C. Cox

For the first time since 2008, the Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the Georgia Bulldogs, and the stakes this time are certainly high — as the two will square off for the SEC title and a likely berth in the BCS National Championship Game with a win.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, during his weekend teleconference with Georgia coach Mark Richt, had plenty of compliments for a revitalized Georgia team, but saw a team that he recognized even from back during his time as coach of the LSU Tigers.

"They have a very, very good team," Saban said. "They haven't changed systemically in terms of what they do too dramatically. I think what they do, they do extremely well. They really win the game on execution, being able to make positive plays, getting in the right play."

Saban, who is all too familiar with the BCS system, also avoided comment on a BCS quirk that could spell the game's loser landing outside of the BCS with the Florida Gators getting a bid despite not playing in the SEC title game.

"For either one of these teams it's not really a great scenario," Saban said. "You play your way into the championship game, which means you're the best team in your division; they're the best team in their division. They played their way into the game by a total body of work for the whole season."

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.