NOTASULGA, AL (WTVM) – The 2017 SEC Championship game will feature the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.
Auburn and Georgia are both completing strong regular season play will meet at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to battle it out for the championship.
There is one man who has been around the Auburn program for as long as most people can remember, he also happened to play for Georgia when he was in college. The man is Coach Pat Dye.
Coach Dye led the Tigers to victory in the SEC Championship four times during his tenure as coach. He is one of only a handful of coaches to do it three times in a row (1987, 1988 and 1989).
Coach is quick to tell you, "We would have one another had Georgia not beat us."
Dye recalls some of the historic moments of the rivalry game, in 1958, Dye's Sophomore year, the game was held in the Fountain City.
This is not the first time Auburn and Georgia have met this season. Just a few weeks ago Auburn in a dominating victory took down a then top-ranked Georgia 40 to 17.
"I expect it to be an entirely different ball game. Georgia has a home-field advantage" says Dye
Rumors have been spreading in recent days surrounding the Tigers' current coach Gus Malzahn. Some believe the coach is preparing to pack his bags and head to Arkansas.
With questions about the coach staying or going some wonder about how that affects players, Dye says it won't.
"Coach Malzahn has done a great job." says Dye "They don't even know that conversation is on the street "
Coach Dye also served as Athletic Director at Auburn from 1981–1991. He says he can't be sure if Jay Jacobs stepping down amid several recent scandals is best for the program or not.
"Who knows," said Dye. "There has been a lot of progress here over 15 years, and Jay was in the middle of that… and now here we are."
Here is a look at Coaches picks for this weekend's games:
- In the Pac 12: coach picked USC over Stanford
- In the Big 10: coach picked Wisconsin over Ohio State
- In the Big 12: coach picked Oklahoma over TCU
- In the ACC: coach picked Clemson over Miami
In the SEC, coach said he won't be picking a winner– He wants it to be "decided in the dirt."