10 best SEC games ever broadcast on CBS? Vols-Gators game in 2001 lands at No. 9

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.

5. No. 9 Florida at No. 1 LSU (10/6/2007) – Airs Sunday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.

Playing as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time since 1959, LSU took advantage of two second-half turnovers by Florida to secure a come-from-behind 28-24 win over the Gators.

Auburn WR Ricardo Louis reaches out to make the “Immaculate Deflection.” (photo by Albert Cesare/Opelika-Auburn News via Associated Press)

4. No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn (11/16/2013) – Airs Monday, Dec. 30, 8:00 p.m.

The “Immaculate Deflection.” Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall connects with Ricardo Louis on a miracle 4th-and-18 pass from the Tigers 27-yard-line with 26 seconds left for a 73-yard touchdown that gave Auburn a remarkable 43-38 win.

3. No. 2 Auburn at No. 11 Alabama (11/26/2010) – Airs Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m.

Cam Newton and the Tigers erase a 24-point Alabama lead to win 28-27 win in the biggest comeback victory in school history.

2. SEC Championship: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama (12/1/2012) – Airs Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5 p.m.

Alabama stops Aaron Murray and Georgia at the five-yard-line to secure a 32-28 victory and a place in the 2012 National Championship.

1. No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn (11/30/2013) – Airs Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.

An Iron Bowl for the ages. Auburn’s Chris Davis returned Alabama’s missed field goal 109 yards with time expired to give the Tigers a 34-28 win and a place in the SEC Championship game.