Travis Stephens dives over the goal line in the first quarter of the Vols’ victory over Florida in 2001. (News-Sentinel file photo by Michael Patrick)
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Are we in a golden era for SEC football?
This list would seem to suggest that we are.
CBS Sports Network will run a countdown of the 10 best SEC games broadcast by CBS starting on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m.
The list was selected by a panel of experts, presumably including writers Bruce Feldman, Dennis Dodd, Jeremy Fowler and Tony Barnhart.
The first thing that stands out about the list is how many of the game occurred in just the last three years. Also, notice how many times Auburn and Alabama are included. I figure that’s appropriate for a state that is going for its fifth consecutive national title next month.
Tennessee makes the list with its thrilling 2001 victory over Florida. Current UT running backs coach Robert Gillespie was a senior on that Gators squad.
Here’s the full list, with game descriptions from CBS:
10. No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M (9/14/2013) – Airs Thursday, Dec. 26, 8 p.m.
Alabama got revenge on Texas A&M with a 49-42 win in College Station behind AJ McCarron’s four passing touchdowns. Not to be outdone, Johnny Manziel threw for five touchdowns and registered 562 yards of total offense.
9. No. 4 Tennessee at No. 2 Florida (12/1/2001) – Airs Friday, Dec. 27, 8 p.m.
Tennessee visits Gainesville as 17.5-point underdogs and upsets Florida to jump into national title contention. The Vols stop the Gators’ two-point conversion attempt with 1:10 left to seal a 34-32 victory.
8. No. 1 LSU at No. 12 Alabama (11/5/2011) – Airs Saturday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.
The “Game of the Century” didn’t feature any touchdowns, but it had an exciting finish in prime time as LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 on a 25-yard field goal in overtime.
7. SEC Championship: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 1 Alabama (12/6/2008) – Airs Saturday, Dec. 28, 8 p.m.
Tim Tebow’s three touchdowns lead Florida to a 31-20 upset win over Alabama and gives the Gators a shot at their second national title in three years.
6. No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (11/10/2012) – Airs Sunday, Dec. 29, 5 p.m.
Johnny Manziel is spectacular in leading Texas A&M past top-ranked Alabama in the Aggies’ first ever trip to Tuscaloosa.