Something Else At Stake Saturday

It looks like Alabama and Florida are playing for one more extra on Saturday. The most important things at stake when Bama hosts the Gators are things like national ranking and Southeastern Conference standings. But another spoil to the winner will likely be another CBS telecast.

Alabama and Florida will meet at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium with CBS televising the game nationwide. Both teams are 4-0 with the Crimson Tide ranked first in the nation and the Gators ranked seventh.

This is a much-anticipated match-up of the last two national championship teams (Florida in 2008 and Alabama in 2009) and the last two SEC Championship Game opponents.

On Monday, the SEC announced that CBS has elected to use a six-day option for selection of games October 9. The games being held are Alabama at South Carolina and LSU at Florida.

South Carolina is open this week and LSU is a heavy favorite to defeat visiting Tennessee, making it appear that CBS will take the winner of the Alabama-Florida game. The Crimson Tide was also on CBS last week in a win over Arkansas in Fayetteville.

CBS will show either the Bama-South Carolina or the Florida-LSU game for 3:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 p.m. central time) with the game it does not select being shown either on ESPN or ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. EDT (6:30 central).

The decision will be finalized by CBS sometime Sunday at the latest. In all probability, the decision will be announced at or near the conclusion of the Tide game against the Gators.

In any event, the South Carolina game will be Alabama's fourth nationally televised contest this season. The Crimson Tide has appeared nationally on ESPN (vs. Penn State) and CBS (at Arkansas). Saturday's game against Florida is also being carried by CBS. UA has been on national television a total of 10 times in each of the last two seasons.

Alabama football continues to garner high ratings for its nationally-televised games. Last Saturday's Alabama at Arkansas game posted a 5.4/13 rating, the highest rating for a regular season college football game on CBS since the Alabama vs. LSU game on November 8, 2008, that achieved a 5.5/12 rating. For perspective, Alabama's appearances in the last two SEC Championship Games on CBS earned ratings of 11.8/24 in 2009 and 10.4/32 in 2008.

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