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December 07, 2009
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December 07, 2009

The Vault

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College Football

High-Stakes Game

SI.com's Stewart Mandel examines this weekend's SEC championship matchup between Mark Ingram's Crimson Tide and Tim Tebow's Gators. The winner plays for the BCS Title

The Gators and the Tide have looked vulnerable at times. Some might argue that Florida, which has averaged a modest 27.6 points in SEC play, isn't as dominant as it was a year ago when the eventual national champs routinely put up 40- or 50-plus points against conference opponents. Some might also argue that Alabama's come-from-behind 26--21 win at 7--5 Auburn last weekend exposed the Tide as overrated. Still, the Gators and the Tide so thoroughly dominated the nation's purportedly toughest conference that they each nailed down their spot in Saturday's title game by Nov. 7. Florida won its division by a staggering four games; Alabama by three. "College football wants this game," said Gators coach Urban Meyer. "I've been hearing it for a long time, trying to ignore it, push it back, but now it's here."

SI writers also take an in-depth look at fourth-ranked TCU (with Jerry Hughes, No. 98), fifth-ranked Cincinnati (with Mardy Gilyard, No. 1) and other elite teams who may be left out of a BCS title shot at SI.com/cfb Plus ...

Snap Judgments, Power Rankings and coverage of Oregon and Oregon State's Civil War by Andy Staples

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