AP Photo/Joshua L. Jones, via Athens-Banner Herald
Greg Sankey gets to celebrate whoever wins the college football national title.
The Southeastern Conference Commissioner is getting used to this feeling. When Alabama and Georgia play in the championship game Monday night, it will mark the third All-SEC title matchup of the past 10 months.
South Carolina won its first national title in women’s basketball with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State, which had opened the Final Four by ending UConn’s 111-game winning streak.
Then Florida swept LSU in the College World Series for its first baseball national title, clinching it with a 6-1 victory.
In football, Alabama ended the 2011 season with a 21-0 win over SEC West rival LSU in the national championship game.
“It is very different,” Sankey said of having two SEC teams meet up in the finale. “It is relaxing by comparison to what happens on a weekly basis or during bowl season. It'll be special and memorable. It's one where the fans of these two universities, and particularly the fans of our conference, need to understand how special this is. This is not easy to achieve.
“I would argue even more challenging and difficult than when it happened in 2011 because there was another game involved in this case against the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the country.”
Sankey attended Georgia’s Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma because the Bulldogs won the league title. Alabama was in control of the Sugar Bowl against Clemson by the time he reached a TV set.
He says he’s “very proud” that two SEC teams made it this far in a game that President Trump is scheduled to attend.
“As you asked that question, I sat up a little bit straighter and taller,” Sankey said. “I've been doing that regularly throughout the week.”