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William Correro column

Let’s prepare for 16th SEC championship

The end of this regular season for college football is past as you read this. I am getting ready for this last weekend with a double header: First, Arkansas at LSU and then on to Gainesville for Florida State at Florida.

We’ll see how all this goes in the next installment after I get back. Then it’s off to Atlanta to work the sixteenth Southeastern Conference Football Championship. This will be my fourth time to have this honor. It seems like the 2006 version was just last week.

It will be the fourteenth in the Georgia Dome with the first two being played at Legion Field in Birmingham. Since Alabama stopped playing any regular season games at Legion Field several years ago I was glad that I got to work one Alabama – Vandy game there back in 2000.

Only four of our teams have never made the trip to the Championship Game: South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. Ole Miss came the closest out of these four with a three-point regular season loss to LSU in 2003. A win in this game and Ole Miss was Atlanta bound. Most remember that one when Eli Manning and Ole Miss were working on a score late and an offensive lineman stepped back on Eli’s foot tripping him and ending their chance to go to the Championship Game.

I had an opportunity to show off some local football the night before the LSU – Ole Miss game last week. The Referee for that game, Penn Wagers, is a very close friend and stayed with us for the weekend. We had to run down to see South Panola win its first round playoff game and he was really impressed. He has a son who plays at a huge school just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, where there were over two hundred and fifty trying out for their team back in August. His first comments were regarding their size, “huge,” and their strength, “incredible,” that was so apparent. It wasn’t long before “fast” worked into the evaluation also.

As I’ve mentioned before. Having to write this for publication a week later makes it tough to anticipate future events. So I’ll send along a “Hope you had a great Thanksgiving” at this point. By now that bloated feeling ought to have subsided somewhat.