SEC Divisional Titles On the Line

Never before, in the nine previous years of the Southeastern Conference Football Championship Game, has the race for both divisional representatives come down to the final weekend of the regular season. In fact, in seven of the previous nine games, both spots in the game were decided before the Thanksgiving weekend.

Both games this week were originally scheduled for Sept. 15. Below is an in-depth look at how each year's races for the SEC Championship Game looked coming down the stretch:

1992 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida and Georgia (6-2 in the SEC) were co-champions in the Eastern Division. The Gators won the tie-breaker by virtue of a 26-24 win over the Bulldogs earlier in the season. Alabama (8-0) was the outright Western Division champion, even with a game against Auburn in the final weekend, which the Tide won, 17-0.

1993 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division and Alabama won the Western Division. The Gators finished 1/2 game ahead of Tennessee (UT tied Alabama, 17-17). Alabama, at 5-2-1, finished two games ahead second-place Arkansas. Auburn was 8-0 in the SEC, but was ineligible for the conference title.

1994 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division, finishing SEC play at 7-1, two games ahead of Tennessee. Alabama won the Western Division with an 8-0 SEC mark, three games ahead of Miss. State.

1995 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division, finishing SEC play at 8-0, one game ahead of Tennessee. Arkansas won the Western Division with a 6-2 SEC mark, one game ahead of Auburn and Alabama.

1996 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division, finishing SEC play at 8-0, one game ahead of Tennessee. Alabama won the Western Division with a 6-2 SEC mark, tying LSU. However, the Tide defeated the Tigers, 26-0, earlier in the year to win the tie-breaker.

1997 - Eastern Division race not finalized until after the final weekend. Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt, 17-10, to win the division on the final weekend. Tennessee, at 7-1 in the SEC, finished one game ahead of Georgia and Florida. Auburn had won the Western Division with a 6-2 SEC mark, tying LSU. However, Auburn defeated LSU, 31-28, earlier in the year to win the tie-breaker.

1998 - Western Division race not finalized until after the final weekend. Miss. State defeated Ole Miss, 28-6, on Thanksgiving night, to win the division on the final weekend. Arkansas and Miss. State finished in a tie for the division title. However, Miss. State defeated Arkansas, 22-21, earlier that season to win the tie-breaker. Arkansas defeated LSU 41-14 on the final weekend, but when State defeated Ole Miss, the chase for the Championship Game had been won. Tennessee had clinched the Eastern Division before the final weekend and defeated Vanderbilt, 41-0, to finished the SEC at 8-0.

1999 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division, finishing SEC play at 7-1, one game ahead of Tennessee. Alabama won the Western Division with a 7-1 SEC mark, one game ahead of Miss. State.

2000 - Both races decided before final weekend. Florida won the Eastern Division, finishing SEC play at 7-1, two games ahead of South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Auburn won the Western Division with a 6-2 SEC mark, one game ahead of LSU. LSU lost to Arkansas in the final weekend, 14-3. Even if the Tigers would have beaten the Razorbacks, Auburn would have won the tie-breaker over LSU due to a 34-17 win earlier in the season.

2001 - Both races go down to the final weekend. The winner of the Florida-Tennessee game represents the Eastern Division and the winner of the Auburn-LSU game represents the Western Division.


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