SEC Championship Game Has A Few Huge Fans This Weekend


It is the annual first Saturday in December when the SEC Championship takes over the Georgia Dome and this year some familiar teams are set to do battle. For the second time in the last three years, Alabama is back inside the dome taking on back-to-back SEC East champs Missouri.

This is a football game that is going to have the entire nation watching this game and four players inside the Atlanta Falcons locker room are watching it very closely. For Alabama, wide receiver Julio Jones and cornerback Javier Arenas are tuned in and ready for tomorrow. On the other side, safety William Moore and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon are watching their Tigers very closely.

All four players had great careers at their universities and are grateful for their time on campus. They have all said they’ll be in attendance watching their alma mater’s vie for the championship.

This week also provided an opportunity to look back on their time in their respective programs and players like Javier Arenas says the past seasons are still talked about in the Falcons locker room. Arenas final season in Tuscaloosa was capped off with a national title win against Texas in Pasasdena, California. He says he and Julio still reminisce about those glory days.

“We talk about that year (2009) and how much fun we had,” Arenas said. “We talked about it before the game on Sunday (against the Cardinals). It’s fun to talk about and fun to think back on. It’s a new day, it’s a new era, and the same thing is still going on over there. So, I think that says a lot about the program.”

During the discussion with Arenas, he didn’t talk any trash about Missouri or any of his teammates that went there. So, I asked him if that’s just how confident he is that Alabama is going to beat Missouri.

“We’re more so going to let them see for themselves that this is a different side of the SEC figuratively and literally,” Arenas said with a smile. “Trash talk isn’t needed. We’ve been doing it all year, so it gets old. This is put up or shut up. So, I’m just as excited to see it as they are.”

In terms of motivation for this game, Arenas says the SEC Championship Game should be enough to get you fired up to win. There’s a team standing in between your team and heading to the College Football Playoff.

When you talk Alabama Crimson Tide Football you have to think of two words, “The Process.” For Arenas those words still makes him think of one name.

“Coach (Nick) Saban,” Arenas said. “The process is throughout the whole season. There’s going to be ups and downs, just keep your focus on the goal. I think you have a real good chance of getting there, especially with all the players that they have over there.”

Fans probably don’t know this, but William Moore and Javier Arenas are locker room neighbors. So, I asked Moore if he contemplated moving lockers this week or moving Javier somewhere else.

“Not yet man, we’re going to wait until the weekend,” Moore said. “We’re looking forward to that battle and we’re both supposed to be on the sidelines. We’re going to get our guys right. I know we’re going to come out with the win though.”

When asked about whether or not bets are being made this week, Moore quickly and in a joking manner said, “no comment.”

Moore spent four seasons playing for head coach Gary Pinkel in Columbia, Missouri. During his time with the Tigers he racked up 280 tackles, 17 for a loss, 11 interceptions, and forced six fumbles. They went 37-16 during those seasons.

Pinkel is still the head coach in Columbia and has a record of 112 wins/65 losses with the Tigers.

Even with his impressive track record and continued success at Mizzou, you never hear Pinkel’s name in the running for other jobs around college football. Some could even call him an underrated coach. Moore definitely thinks that is the case.

“No doubt about it,” Moore said. “His record states for itself. What he’s done and what he’s proven. I feel like he should he get a little bit more respect than what he does. They only talk about Mizzou when we’re doing bad. We’re a great football program.”

Of all the Falcons mentioned with ties to these two programs, Julio Jones is probably the most recognizable for his work with the Crimson Tide.

During his time at Alabama, Jones put up 2,653 yards receiving with 15 touchdowns over a three year career. He agrees that the trash talk isn’t in large supply in Flowery Branch this week.

“Those guys don’t want to talk trash,” Jones said. “William Moore and Spoon (Sean Weatherspoon) over there, they’re really not talking too much. Because, they know what’s going to happen.”

More importantly for Jones’ alma mater, he’s just glad to see them back inside the Dome.

“I’m very excited just to see them back there,” Jones said. “Last year we had a couple slip ups and this year we’ve got to win this we’re back there. We’ve just got to win this SEC Championship Game and hopefully go on to get into the playoffs. This is the first time with the playoffs and hope we win it.”

Alabama is currently number one in the College Football Playoff Committee rankings. A win this weekend does assure them a chance to win their third national title in the last three seasons.

My prediction for this game? Alabama wins it 42-17. Sorry Willy Mo and Spoon…  Don’t be upset with me.

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