The SEC was the first conference to take advantage of a rule the NCAA passed in 1987 that allowed conferences with at least 12 members to split into two divisions and hold a conference championship game between the division winners.
To meet that requirement, the SEC added South Carolina and Arkansas in 1992, split into two divisions (East and West), and held the first SEC Championship Game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 1994. It will move to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017.
Florida has appeared in the game more than any other team (12) followed by Alabama (11) including the first one won by Alabama (28-21). The Gators went on to win the next four beating Alabama in three of them. Both teams have won the game seven times.
From 2006-2013, the winner of the game went on to play in the BCS Championship game. With the exception of the 2013 game (won by Florida State over Auburn), they went on to win the national championship as well.
Last season, Alabama faced Florida in the game for the ninth time in the 25-year history of the game. The Gators didn’t stand a chance as Alabama rolled to an easy 54-16 win making the Crimson Tide SEC Champions for the third year in a row (fourth in the last five).
Other than Florida and Alabama, the only other teams to win the conference championship game are LSU (four times), Auburn (three), Georgia (two), and Tennessee (two). Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi State, and South Carolina have played in it, but have not won.
Four teams have yet to play in the SEC Championship game, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M and Ole Miss will be hard-pressed to make it this season with both having to replace players at key positions this year—and they have to beat Alabama.
Georgia and Florida are favored in the East and will not make it easy for Kentucky or Vanderbilt to make it in either.