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2 chiefs in Athens make a bet and Bama fan loses
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Georgia Tech isn’t the only team on Georgia football players' minds this week
MARC WEISZER  | Athens Banner-Herald
The question posed to Georgia football inside linebacker Channing Tindall Monday afternoon concerned the Bulldogs playing back-to-back games in Atlanta the next two Saturdays.
So, Tindall was asked, what’s it like to prepare for this rivalry game?
“Well, Alabama, an 0-2 record right now,” Tindall said referring to Georgia losses in the 2018 SEC championship game to the Crimson Tide and 2020 in Tuscaloosa when he was on the team. “We’re trying to change that. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’re going to come in there right now and focus on Georgia Tech and take it one step at a time, but like when that time comes, I can speak more on that.”
Actually, Tindall was told the rivalry that the media member was referring to was Georgia Tech, the in-state rival from Atlanta, which the Bulldogs will play Saturday at 12 p.m. on ABC.
More: 5 takeaways from No. 1 Georgia football's win over Charleston Southern
Alabama isn’t considered a rival like the Yellow Jackets, Florida or Auburn because it isn't annually on the schedule, but considering the No. 1 and undefeated Bulldogs are trying to unseat the defending national champion Crimson Tide who have dealt Georgia some painful defeats in recent years, it’s understandable that Tindall was thinking of the Crimson Tide.
And as coach Kirby Smart said not long before at his weekly press conference speaking about 3-8 Georgia Tech: “Who’s not our rival?”
Georgia and Alabama are playing for the SEC championship Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Each school is allotted 16,300 tickets with the rest of the tickets going to the SEC office, sponsors, suite holders, Mercedes-Benz lease holders and SEC championship season ticket holders, according to information posted by Georgia on its website.
Bulldog Club donors accounted for 11,000 of UGA’s tickets with the rest going to faculty and staff, students and “other institutional needs.”
More: Georgia-Alabama for SEC championship is big. Georgia-Georgia Tech could be bigger. Here's why
The Crimson Tide already have one loss and have had some close calls in others including a 42-35 win over Arkansas Saturday when they clinched the SEC West and a spot in the title game.
Tindall didn’t watch that game, but said he saw the Texas A&M’s 41-38 upset of the Crimson Tide on Oct. 9.
“I feel like we can stack up against anybody,” Tindall said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. I feel like the odds are always with us. That’s how I always want to feel regardless of who it is.”
Offensive tackle Warren McClendon, who chooses his words carefully, had his blinders on with his comments when asked if he’s thought at all about the Alabama matchup.
“Not at all,” McClendon said. “We’re worried about Georgia Tech right now and we’ll worry about them next week.”
He did admit he watched the end of Alabama’s game Saturday night against the Razorbacks and coach Sam Pittman, his former position coach at Georgia.
More: SEC championship game showdown set: Georgia vs. Alabama again in Atlanta
Former Georgia assistant coach, wide receiver and interim head coach Bryan McClendon, Warren’s uncle, is now offensive coordinator at Oregon. The Ducks were in the thick of contention for a College Football Playoff spot before losing 38-7 at Utah Saturday to fall to 9-2.
Warren McClendon said he knew Oregon was doing well this season, but hasn’t talked to his uncle since before the season. He said he’s not paying too much attention to the other teams vying for the top four spots.
“I’ve just been focused on us and our journey,” McClendon said.
Tindall said he’s trying to tune out thinking about Alabama.
“You can’t be focused on other teams when you have more games to play,” he said. “When you do that, you kind of overwhelm your head. It just kind of goes all over the place. …Right now we’re just worried about Georgia Tech and we’re just going to leave it at that.”
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