The first game to decide an SEC football champion was held in 1992 at Legion Stadium in Birmingham. It was the first conference championship game ever in the sport and forever changed the way college football conference championships are decided. Soon, all the other power conferences would follow the SEC lead. The game was moved to Atlanta in 1994 and since that time, the Georgia Dome has been the home of one of the premier events in college football.
Here are the five best games ever played. I am sure you have one or two of your own that you would add:
5. ) Tennessee 30, Auburn 29, December 6, 1997
The 1997 game was the first time a team other than the Florida Gators represented the SEC East. Auburn, under head coach Terry Bowden, was in the game for the first time as well. The third ranked Vols were down 20-7 in the second quarter but came back to clip the #11 Tigers with a 73 yard TD pass from game MVP Peyton Manning to Marcus Nash. The win propelled Tennessee to the Bowl Alliance National Championship game at the 1998 Orange Bowl where they were whipped by Nebraska.
4.) Tennessee 24, Mississippi State 14, December 5, 1998
In their only appearance in the SEC Championship game, the Bulldogs led the top ranked Vols by a 14-10 score in the fourth quarter on an 83 yard punt return for a touchdown by Kevin Prentiss. But two touchdown passes by Tee Martin in the final quarter sealed the win and sent Tennessee to the first ever BCS National Championship game against Florida State. They won the national championship to cap off a perfect 13-0 season.
3.) Florida 31, Alabama 20, December 6, 2008
No game exemplified the Tim Tebow era at Florida more than the 2008 game at the Georgia Dome. Alabama entered the game 12-0 and ranked number one while the Gators were 11-1 and ranked second. The Crimson Tide led by three points heading to the final quarter. However, Tebow led the Gators on two touchdown drives–one of 62 yards and the other of 65–to give Florida the win, a trip to the Orange Bowl and the BCS Championship Game. Florida won that game as well, a 24-14 win over Oklahoma.
2.) Alabama 32, Georgia 28, December 1, 2012
A classic between number two Alabama and number three Georgia checks in at number two as probably the best college football ever played at the Georgia Dome. The Dawgs took a 21-18 lead to the fourth quarter on an Alec Ogletree 55 yard touchdown on a blocked field goal. The game see-sawed in the fourth quarter with UGA falling five yards short with :09 to play. Alabama went on to win the BCS Championship by whipping an overrated Notre Dame team.
1.) Alabama 28, Florida 21, December 5, 1992
The first one is still the best one. In front of over 80-thousand fans at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama and Florida met in the first ever Division 1-A championship game pitting two division winners. The decisive play came with 3:16 to go in the fourth quarter. Florida was on its own 21 when the Crimson Tide cornerback Antonio Langham returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. The “pick-six” earned Langham the MVP award and sent coach Gene Stallings and Alabama to the Sugar Bowl where a win over Miami gave the SEC it’s 12th national title and Alabama its first since the 1979 Bear Bryant team. The play spawned a documentary entitled: “The Play That Changed College Football.”