In 1992, South Carolina and Arkansas joined the SEC and allowed the conference to add an official championship game to the schedule per NCAA rules of conferences with more than 12 members. That season, the league's best offense Florida faced Alabama and the SEC's best defense in the inaugural championship Game. The Tide's Antonio Langham's pick six with three minutes remaining stopped a Gator comeback and broke a 21-21 tie to put Alabama ahead into the Sugar Bowl with a 28-21 win. Watch the moment here. Currently, the Western Division leads the series all-time, 12-11. Florida has won the most championship games at seven with Alabama close behind with six.
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The SEC Championship Game found a permanent home in 1994 when the game moved to the Georgia Dome. As they had in the two years prior, the title matchup saw Florida vs. Alabama. The Gators came in ranked No. 6, Alabama ranked No. 3. Bama got on the board first, but Florida took a 17-10 lead into halftime. The Tide took the lead 23-17 early in the fourth quarter with a pick six but opted to kick an extra point instead of going for two. Fast forward to about six minutes left in the game, Florida converts a fourth-and-one to keep its drive alive. On the next series of downs, Gators head coach Steve Spurrier calls a trick play, a double pass to get the Gators down to the two-yard line. Florida scores and makes the extra point to go-ahead for good 24-23. Watch the moment here.
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On the first drive of the 1997 SEC Championship Game, No. 3 Tennessee senior QB Peyton Manning hit Peerless Price (pictured) for a 40-yard touchdown to get the Vols going early. But it was No. 11 Auburn that would capitalize on Tennessee mistakes to control the first half, taking a 20-10 lead into halftime. After trading touchdowns early in the third quarter, Manning hit Price again for another touchdown, but the Tigers blocked the PAT and ran it back all the way for two points and a 29-23 lead. With just over 11 minutes left to play, Manning hit Marcus Nash for a quick catch-and-run 73-touchdown pass to put the Vols ahead 30-29. The Vols defense would do the rest, giving Manning his only his only SEC Championship. Watch the moment here.
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Beginning of the BCS
The 1998 SEC Championship Game was the beginning of the BCS-era craziness that college football fans loved to hate. While the final score may have been predictable with the undefeated No. 1 Tennessee beat Mississippi State 24-14 in the Bulldogs' only appearance in the title bout, it certainly wasn't guaranteed. Going into the regular season's final week, Tennessee, UCLA and Kansas State were all undefeated. UCLA played first that Saturday and lost to Miami. Kansas State was up next ... and lost to Texas A&M. The Vols -- the last to play that day -- were trailing 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter. QB Tee Martin led a comeback with two touchdowns in a span of 32 seconds to seal the Vols' back-to-back SEC championships and a trip the national title game. Watch the moment here.
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Rise & Fall
The 2001 SEC Championship Game could be argued as the turning points for two programs. Tennessee entered 10-1, ranked No. 2 and playing for a trip to the national championship at the Rose Bowl. The No. 21 LSU Tigers were playing in their first SEC Championship Game. The Vols had won the season's earlier matchup with the Tigers 26-18, so Tennessee fans were feeling confident. Some were spotted with roses at the Georgia Dome. But the Rose Bowl wasn't going to happen. The Vols took a 17-10 lead into halftime, but the defense fell apart in the second half. The Tigers went on to dominate the second half and take the 31-20 win and a BCS bowl game. The Vols have been 0-3 in SEC title games since; LSU 3-1. Watch the moment here.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
The Legend of Tim Tebow
No. 1 Alabama returned to the SEC Championship Game in 2008 for the first time since 1999. In 2008, No. 2 Florida had Tim Tebow. With a win, one of the teams was practically guaranteed a trip to the national championship game. Alabama trailed at halftime for the first time all season but took a 20-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Then, it was Tebow Time. He passed and ran to lead two touchdown drives to give the Gators a 31-20 win en route to a national championship. Watch the moment here.
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Out of Time
In 2012, No. 2 Alabama was up against No. 3 Georgia. The Tide took a 10-7 advantage into halftime. But Georgia would score two touchdowns quick out of the gate after halftime. 'Bama answered with a touchdown and two-point conversion to cut Georgia’s lead to 21-18 heading into the final quarter. First, the Tide took the lead 25-21 with an Eddie Lacy touchdown run. Two minutes later, Todd Gurley scored his own rushing TD to put Georgia back on top 28-25. With three minutes left, 'Bama QB A.J. McCarron found Amari Cooper for a 45-yard touchdown to take back the lead 32-28. Georgia had one final drive but no timeouts. The Bulldogs got all the way down to the five-yard line, but a receiver caught a pass outside of the endzone and the clock ticked away. 'Bama won, 32-28. Watch the moment here.