As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the Southeastern Conference is recognizing 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.
Each of the SEC's 14 members submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season. To view the other weeks, click here.Week 12 - SEC Football 150 Greatest Moments (2007-2008)
Date: January 3, 2007
Head coach: Nick Saban
Title: Alabama hires Nick Saban
In December of 2006, Alabama athletics director Mal Moore, who had been part of Paul "Bear" Bryant's first recruiting class at Alabama in 1958, was tasked with finding a replacement for Mike Shula and ending a challenging 10-year run that saw five different head coaches. Moore targeted Saban early in the process, but with Saban in the middle of his NFL season with the Dolphins, the process was slow with many twists and turns. Finally, the deal was done and Saban was in Tuscaloosa, but even the most ardent Alabama supporters could not envision what was in store for years to come. Entering the 2019 season, Saban has led the Tide to five national championships since 2009 and he has earned National Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 12 seasons at Alabama, he has also won six SEC titles and has a 6-1 mark in SEC Championship Games. Saban has compiled a winning percentage of over 90 percent in the past 10 seasons (entering the 2019 campaign), which is the best of any major college school over a 10-year span since Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma in the late 1940s through the late 1950s. Entering the 2019 campaign, UA's 127 wins over the past decade are the most for any FBS school during a 10-year span in the Associated Press poll era (since 1936). Since Saban's second season in Tuscaloosa in 2008, the Tide has played just three regular-season games in which it hasn't been in contention for the national championship - the final three regular season games of the 2010 season - a staggering 131 of 134 games. In Saban's five national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams have gone 17-2 against top-10 opponents. Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for at least one week for 11 straight years, which broke the record of seven established by Miami (1986-92).
Final Score: Florida 41, Ohio State 14
Date: January 8, 2007
Site: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Title: Gators Smother Ohio State to Win BCS National Championship
In the eyes of most fans and pundits outside the south, Florida was not even supposed to be in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Most believed the national title was decided with top-ranked Ohio State's victory over then-No. 2 Michigan in late November, and certainly they did not believe Florida stood a chance against the Buckeyes' explosive offense and defense that allowed just 10.4 points per game. When Ohio State all-purpose star Ted Ginn, Jr. returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, it looked as though those opinions would be validated. But the Gators responded with a 46-yard touchdown drive, followed by a 34-yard touchdown drive, then a 71-yarder and, finally, a punt and some relief for the Buckeyes. Florida added field goals on consecutive drives, and Jarvis Moss' sack and forced fumble just before halftime wound up in Derrick Harvey's hands at the Ohio State five-yard line. Tim Tebow, then a backup to senior Chris Leak, tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell to make it 34-14 with 23 seconds left in the first half. Tebow ran in a one-yard score early in the fourth quarter to put icing on the cake of a 41-14 title-winning victory. Florida held Ohio State's offense to eight first downs and 82 total yards, and it racked up five sacks and two takeaways against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith, who finished with just 35 yards on 4-of-14 passing. Harvey led the defensive charge with three sacks, while Moss added two more.
Date: January 8, 2007
Title: SEC Begins Streak of 7 Straight National Titles
Beginning with a Florida victory over Ohio State in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game in Glendale (following the 2006 season), the Southeastern Conference claimed an unprecedented streak of seven consecutive national titles, with four different SEC schools claiming the crystal football. Following Florida's title with a 13-1 record in 2006, LSU went 12-2 in 2007 and beat Ohio State in the BCS title game in New Orleans, Florida won a second title with a 13-1 record in 2008 and a win over Oklahoma in the BCS title game at Miami, and Alabama finished out the decade by going 14-0 in 2009 and beating Texas in the Rose Bowl for its first BCS title. Auburn started a new decade of dominance for the SEC, recording a 14-0 record in 2010 and beating Oregon in Glendale for the national championship before Alabama won back-to-back national titles in 2011 and 2012, going 13-1 in consecutive years and beating SEC-rival LSU in New Orleans following the '11 campaign before ousting Notre Dame in Miami to take the crown following the '12 season. Overall, the SEC won the national title nine times during the BCS era from 1998-2013, with Tennessee (1998) and LSU (2003) winning titles prior to the SEC's remarkable seven-title win streak.
Final score: Kentucky 40, Louisville 34
Date: September 15, 2007
Site: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky
Head coach: Rich Brooks
Title: "Stevie Got Loose"
Andre' Woodson's 57-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver Steve Johnson with 28 seconds left lifted Kentucky to a 40-34 win over No. 9-ranked Louisville to mark Kentucky's first victory over a Top 10 team in three decades. The game was a see-saw of emotion, with five lead changes in the second half as the teams alternated touchdowns in a close game. Louisville scored with only 1:45 remaining to take a 34-33 edge. The game became known in Wildcat lore as "Stevie Got Loose" when Johnson got behind the Cardinal defense and streaked down the home sideline after hauling in the strike from Woodson, the last of four touchdowns he threw that night, two of which went to Johnson.
Final Score: LSU 28, Florida 24
Date: October 6, 2007
Site: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Head Coach: Les Miles
Title: The Fourth-Down Game
In what was an epic battle of two college football heavyweights, LSU willed itself, behind the play of Jacob Hester and the gutsy play calling of Les Miles, to a 28-24 win over seventh-ranked Florida in Tiger Stadium. Trailing 24-14 entering fourth quarter, the Tiger offense dominated the final 15 minutes of the game, possessing the ball for 12 minutes and scoring 14 points during that final frame. LSU took its first and only lead of the contest on its last possession of the game, going 60 yards on 15 plays, capped with a 2-yard Hester TD run that put the Tigers up 28-24 with just over a minute left. LSU converted two fourth downs on the game-winning drive, the first on fourth-and-1 from its own 49 and the second coming on fourth-and-1 at the Florida 7-yard line. LSU's defense turned away Florida on its final possession to seal the victory in front of a school-record 92,910 fans. For the game, LSU converted all five of its fourth down attempts with keeping drives alive that eventually led to touchdowns. Matt Flynn scored on fourth-and-3 at the Florida 4-yard line to pull LSU to within 24-21 early in the fourth quarter, while Ryan Perrilloux scored on a fourth-and-goal situation in the first quarter for the Tigers' first points of the game.
Final score: Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3 OT)
Date: October 13, 2007
Site: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky
Head coach: Rich Brooks
Title: Cats Knock Off No. 1 LSU
In front of a sellout crowd and a national television audience on CBS, Andre' Woodson's seven-yard pass to wide receiver Steve Johnson in triple overtime gave No. 17-ranked Kentucky its first win against a No. 1 team since 1964 as the Wildcats knocked off top-ranked LSU. Trailing 27-14 late in the third quarter, UK rallied to tie at 27 and send the game to extra periods. After the teams traded scores in the first two OTs, Woodson found Johnson alone in the right side of the end zone to put the Wildcats ahead. With LSU facing fourth-and-two at the UK 17-yard line, linebacker Braxton Kelley stopped the Tigers one yard short to clinch the victory and ignite a raucous celebration in Commonwealth Stadium.
Final Score: Missouri 36, Kansas 28
Date: November 24, 2007
Site: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel
Title: "Armageddon at Arrowhead"
No one would have guessed it prior to the 2007 season, but the annual game between longtime bitter rivals Mizzou and Kansas would prove to be one of the most important games of the college football season. A perfect storm of events took place that saw both teams begin the season in relative obscurity, only to have both win early and often to rise up the rankings throughout the year. It just so happened that 2007 was the first year of a multi-year agreement between the schools to play their game at Arrowhead Stadium and that distinction added to the flavor of the historic matchup which featured third-ranked Mizzou (10-1 overall, 6-1 in Big 12 play) and second-ranked Kansas (11-0, 7-0). With No. 1 LSU losing the night before, suddenly the winner of this already historic game would move to the top spot in the polls, owning an inside track to the BCS National Championship Game in the coming weeks. Like a heavyweight title bout, the teams took a while to get their sea legs, and the Tigers struck the first of several blows late in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from QB Chase Daniel to All-American TE Martin Rucker. Mizzou's opportunistic defense held KU's potent offense in check, allowing the Tiger offense to get in rhythm. Daniel and company obliged by driving for another score before half to take a 14-0 lead into intermission, and then tacking on a short TD run by RB Jimmy Jackson in the third for a 21-0 advantage. The Tigers would hold a 28-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Jayhawks, behind gritty QB Todd Reesing, wouldn't go away. Reesing rallied the mythical birds with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, and a touchdown keeper of his own, to pull close. Mizzou's offense was kept out of the end zone in the final period, settling for a pair of Jeff Wolfert field goals, and MU clung to a 34-28 lead in the final moments. After a Tiger drive stalled, MU punted and downed the ball deep inside KU territory. That led to a sack of Reesing in the end zone for a safety by DT Lorenzo Williams with :17 seconds left to account for the final score. The Tigers received the free kick and ran out the clock for a win that gave them their first Big 12 North Division championship and a berth in the conference title game. When the polls came out the next day, it was Mizzou atop of them all for the first time since 1960. Daniel was masterful on the biggest stage of his career, throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns on 40-of-49 passing, with no interceptions. His play in this game undoubtedly led to him receiving an invite to attend the 2007 Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he would eventually finish fourth in the final voting.
Final Score: Ole Miss 31, Florida 30
Date: September 27, 2008
Site: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
Head Coach: Houston Nutt
Title: Lockett Block It
Jevan Snead threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score and led the Rebels to a stunning 31-30 victory at No. 4 Florida. Snead outplayed Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and he did it in The Swamp, where Florida had won 21 of its last 22 games. Tebow brought the Gators back, driving them 78 yards in about 2 minutes, but the game-tying extra point was blocked by defensive lineman Kentrell Lockett. Florida forced a punt and had one more chance, but Tebow was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Ole Miss 32-yard line.
Final score: Vanderbilt 14, Auburn 13
Date: October 4, 2008
Site: Nashville, Tenn.
Head Coach: Bobby Johnson
Title: "Geeks Rule"
With ESPN's College GameDay show on campus, Mackenzi Adams came off the bench and threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 19 Vanderbilt beat 13th-ranked Auburn 14-13 to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1943. The Commodores improved to 3-0 in the SEC for only the third time ever -- the first since 1950. The win kept them undefeated atop the SEC East while also snapping a 13-game skid to Auburn. It was Vandy's first win in the series since the 1955 Gator Bowl, and the fewest points Auburn has scored in the series since that bowl game. Trying to preserve a one-point lead, Vandy had to punt the ball back to Auburn one last time with 2:16 left, but Brett Upson kicked it 55 yards and Alan Strong downed it at the Tigers 3. On the next play, Myron Lewis intercepted Chris Todd's pass intended for Rodgeriqus Smith. All that was left was for Adams to take a knee a couple of times, and the party was on for one of the biggest wins in the history of the program. After leaving the field, the Commodores returned for a curtain call and received a standing ovation from their adoring fans. Fans were celebrating the Commodores' first appearance in the top 25 since 1984 even before the game started, sporting signs that boasted "Geeks Rule."
Final Score: Florida 31, Alabama 20
Date: December 6, 2008
Site: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Title: Gators Take 2008 SEC Title Game Over Bama
It remains one of the greatest games in league history, if not the greatest of all time. A trip to the national championship was on the line. Tim Tebow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, squared off with the vaunted Alabama defense. Urban Meyer's spread offense pitted against Nick Saban's pro-style offense and power running game. This game had it all, and the Gators emerged victorious with a dominant fourth quarter. The Gators trailed 20-17 entering the final frame, then Tebow led the Gators on an 11-play, 62-yard drive, which speedster Jeff Demps capped with a one-yard touchdown run. Tebow's five-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper with just under three minutes to play sealed the SEC title. Florida totaled 127 yards on its two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and it held Alabama to a mere six yards on six plays after the Tide took their 20-17 lead. Tebow finished 14-of-22 passing, with three touchdowns and 216 yards.