Perhaps you decided to take a three-month sabbatical this autumn and missed the SEC football season. Perhaps you want to re-live a memorable year that provided plenty of signature moments. We’ve got you covered.
SEC Country had your back throughout 2016, and we’ve cobbled together a handy recap here.
Ranked in order of importance and entertainment value, these are the 51 most memorable moments from the Southeastern Conference’s latest offering:
51. “Be careful what you wish for.”
Moments after learning his Washington Huskies would square off against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff, Chris Petersen uttered a memorable line. ESPN studio host Rece Davis asked Petersen about a Huskies fan who held up a “WE WANT BAMA” sign earlier this season, and the coach responded with a laugh, saying, “Sometimes you gotta be careful what you wish for.”
It’s a testament to Alabama’s dominance that an opposing coach would — tongue-in-cheek or otherwise — express fear when discussing a national semifinal matchup.
Coach Chris Petersen: I didn't hold that sign up (we want bama) pic.twitter.com/j6jN3hMKfD
— InsideBamaRecruiting (@RTRnews) December 4, 2016
50. Engram drops Ole Miss from bowl contention
Mississippi had a rough year, but the Rebels appeared ready to drag themselves out of the doldrums (and back to .500) with a big win against Auburn in late October.
Facing a 33-29 deficit, Chad Kelly found Engram over the middle for what looked to be a walk-in touchdown. The All-American tight end took his eyes off the ball, however, and let it fall to the turf. Kelly threw an interception to the Tigers’ Josh Holsey on the following play.
Auburn punched in a score on the other end and won, 40-29. The Tigers are now in the Sugar Bowl while the Rebels are sitting at home this postseason.
49. Western Kentucky gambles vs. Vandy
Nothing moves the needle like a Vanderbilt-Western Kentucky game, right? At least the Commodores and Hilltoppers provided an entertaining contest, matching touchdowns in overtime before WKU coach Jeff Brohm — who was recently hired at Purdue — decided to attempt a 2-point conversion instead of tie it with an extra point.
48. North Texas knocks out Del Rio
Jim McElwain had plenty to be upset about this season, but nothing appeared to make him angrier than a supposed cheap shot by a North Texas pass rusher in September.
In the moments following the blow to Del Rio’s knee, McElwain — being trailed by a group of Gators — stormed around midfield screaming at the referees. Del Rio missed several games and was unable to return to his previous form when he hit the field again.
“I obviously took that low hit on Luke awful personal,” McElwain said after the game.
47. Drunken professor curses out Bielema, gets arrested
There are better ways to express your frustration as a Razorbacks fan than to cuss out the head coach and become verbally abusive toward the police officers who are trying to shut you up.
One Arkansas professor knows that now, but he didn’t when Alabama paid Arkansas a visit in October.
46. Barnett says farewell to Alabama
Sure, 5-star athletes transfer all the time. But in the first month of the season? That’s a new one. Redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Barnett — perhaps the most-hyped quarterback recruit of coach Nick Saban’s career — started Alabama’s first game against USC. True freshman Jalen Hurts quickly supplanted him in the starting lineup.
Apparently frustrated by his limited playing time, Barnett left the program in late September, shocking those inside and outside the Alabama athletics offices. Hurts was so dominant this year that fellow quarterbacks Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell also announced their post-Playoff departures.
45. MacGinnis beats Mississippi State
No SEC kicker hit a better pair of clutch kicks than Kentucky’s Austin MacGinnis this season. We’ll get to the second one later, but first: his 51-yarder against the Bulldogs.
Keep in mind that the Wildcats were down 1 point with 3 seconds remaining; this wasn’t a tie-game kick. Kentucky’s only path to victory was through the uprights, and MacGinnis drilled it.
44. Blankenship leaves helmet, goggles on
Kentucky felt the sting of being on the opposite end of a game-winning kick, too. Needing a win to take sole possession of the SEC East, the Wildcats were at the mercy of Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who did the deed and then delivered an all-time post-game interview.
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) November 6, 2016
43. Fitzgerald flips in OT
Few people watched Mississippi State and BYU duke it out on a Friday night in mid-October. Those who did got a treat. Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald used the first overtime period to show off the athletic ability that made him one of the SEC’s most exciting young players in 2016.
One could safely point a finger at the Bulldogs defense for the double-overtime loss, because Fitzgerald risked his neck to put MSU ahead with an Elway-esque leap.
42. Smith gets “Kick Six” revenge
Maurice Smith angered Alabama when he transferred to in-conference rival Georgia last offseason. But last month, he provided an olive branch in the form of a crucial touchdown against one of the Crimson Tide’s primary SEC West challengers.
Three years after suffering through the “Kick Six” ending, Smith picked off Auburn quarterback Sean White to tie a game the Bulldogs won, 13-7.
41. Missouri holds on fourth-and-goal
Left for dead after falling behind Arkansas by 17 points on Black Friday, Missouri pulled off an impressive second-half comeback that included a fourth-and-goal stand at the end of the game.
It was the second conference win of Barry Odom’s career, and a final moment of joy for a group of seniors that followed two straight SEC title game appearances with a pair of ugly seasons in Columbia.
40. Toomer’s Corner set ablaze
Internet detectives went on the prowl in October after Auburn’s most prized tradition turned into an inferno. The culprit: a 29-year-old German man who police charged with first-degree mischief (a felony), desecration of a venerable object and public intoxication after the Tigers beat LSU.
39. Hurts announces his arrival
Jalen Hurts’ first play at Alabama qualified as a worst-case scenario; the true freshman quarterback fumbled the ball away to USC on a read option, forcing Hurts to return to the sideline as quickly as he ran onto the field.
Nick Saban stuck with him, though, and Hurts finally put Alabama on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter. This 40-yard touchdown strike to ArDarius Stewart was Hurts’ first statement in a season full of impressive moments.
*Starts day as third stringer*
*Has 118 passing yards and 2 TDs by the third quarter*
Have a day, Jalen Hurts. pic.twitter.com/mCVoL3xnbn
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) September 4, 2016
38. Evans slams door on Rosen, UCLA
Preseasons rankings are notoriously poor indicators of on-field success, and UCLA was one of those doomed teams that never lived up to its August hype. That’s not to say the Bruins didn’t try in Week 1, however; quarterback Drew Rosen helped lead a 15-point fourth-quarter comeback to square UCLA with Texas A&M, 24-24.
UCLA got the ball back at its own 42-yard line with 58 seconds remaining. With the entire stadium expecting a final dagger from the hot Bruins offense, Texas A&M safety Justin Evans leapt high to end the threat, and the Aggies won in overtime.
37. “Star-Spangled Banner” at Bristol
No college football setting was as unique as the Bristol Motor Speedway, which brought hundreds of thousands of college football fans in for a major county concert, tailgating and a football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
We saw some crazy stuff, but the most profound moment came during the pregame ceremony when Jennifer Nettles took the microphone and everyone soaked in the sheer immensity of the event.
36. South Alabama stuns Mississippi State
The college football fashion police would tell Dan Mullen, “That’s what you get for wearing shorts,” but truthfully, no one deserved the ending Mississippi State got against South Alabama.
USA provided a good scare, but MSU had the game in the bag with time running out; all the Bulldogs had to do was hit a 28-yard field goal. Unfortunately for the Hail State faithful, Westin Graves bounced his kick off the left upright, and South Alabama won, 21-20. ESPN’s Football Power Index listed the upset as the country’s biggest since 2011.
35. Tennessee reaches new low at South Carolina
The Vols lost to Texas A&M and Alabama in back to back weeks. But most of their preseason goals remained achievable. Tennessee merely had to win out against a weak stretch of SEC East teams — South Carolina, Missouri and Vanderbilt — and they’d be off to Atlanta for the first time since 2007.
Problem was … injuries littered the UT roster, and a bye week did nothing to aid the Vols’ preparation for their trip to Columbia, S.C. Butch Jones’ team found itself down, 24-21, with a little more than 30 seconds to move from its own 14-yard line into field goal territory.
A pair of big completions — including a circus catch by Jauan Jennings — helped Tennessee move past midfield, and then Josh Dobbs scrambled to set up a 58-yard field goal attempt. It was not enough.
34. Goodbye, Mike VI
LSU fans said farewell to tiger mascot Mike VI this autumn. America’s only on-campus tiger developed several cancerous tumors and growths across his body earlier this year, and passed away in mid-October after various treatments failed.
We got a chance to stop by his habitat a week later to read fans’ messages and speak with some of Mike’s biggest supporters.
33. Arkansas strikes early vs. Florida
There were so many moments in 2016 when you would’ve been allowed to say, “Man, the SEC East is a dumpster fire.” But was there one more obvious than the beginning of Arkansas-Florida?
The Gators were 5.5-point road favorites supposedly ready to shut down a Razorbacks squad that suffered an embarrassing 53-point loss at Auburn the week before. Then we remembered an important snag: “Wait, how is Florida going to move the football?”
32. Chubb seals two comebacks with 55-yard touchdown
Week 1 was picture perfect for Georgia. Kirby Smart’s team overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat North Carolina — the defending ACC Coastal champions — despite playing a true freshman quarterback in the second half.
Star running back Nick Chubb was the catalyst. Coming off knee surgery, the versatile runner piled up 222 yards and 2 touchdowns on 32 carries (so much for easing him back in), including a 55-yard score that gave UGA the lead and proved Chubb was, once again, a dangerous man.
31. Auburn gets Bo grinning
For a few weeks, Auburn looked as if it were ready to give Alabama a run for its SEC West money. The Tigers found a groove on offense, with quarterback Sean White providing a crucial cog — “capable passer” — while Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway ran roughshod over defenses.
The Auburn attack hit its peak against Arkansas in October, building a 28-3 halftime lead before pouring it on in the second half. By the time Pettway rumbled in for a 23-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter, most of the conference was staring in shock (and Bo Jackson couldn’t help but crack a smile).
30. Florida fails to get out of its own way in SEC title game
The 2016 SEC Championship Game could not have set up more perfectly for Florida. Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier scripted the perfect opening drive, and the Gators found themselves up, 7-0, against a team that had not previously allowed a touchdown since October.
Florida’s defense was locked in, too. It forced a three-and-out from Jalen Hurts and Alabama, giving UF the ball back with a chance to build an early two-score lead. Then: chaos.
Quarterback Austin Appleby tossed interceptions on consecutive drives, and when Alabama blocked a Florida punt later in the quarter, the Crimson Tide took a 16-7 lead despite recording negative-7 yards on offense.
29. Kiffin reaches expert trolling level in Knoxville
Moments after his Alabama offense decimated Tennessee — his former employer — Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin completed a pass that surely sent Rocky Top’s blood past its boiling point.
28. Allen shuts down Texas A&M’s upset bid
For a brief moment, we felt as if we were seeing a repeat of Texas A&M’s massive 2013 upset of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Trevor Knight, playing the part of Johnny Manziel, tossed a touchdown pass to give the Aggies a 14-13 lead in the third quarter.
But Bryant-Denny Stadium didn’t have much time for hand wringing. Jalen Hurts led a 14-play touchdown drive to regain the lead, and the Alabama front seven extinguished A&M’s hope later in the quarter.
27. Mr. Heisman fumbles game
Lamar Jackson was ready for the kill. Louisville’s superstar quarterback had just tied a rivalry game vs. Kentucky with a touchdown run, then christened it as his Heisman “moment” by striking the familiar pose.
On the next drive, he led the Cardinals into the red zone, but fumbled. The turnover gave Kentucky new life, and Austin MacGinnis drained a 47-yard field goal to win.
26. Cunningham stuffs Georgia
All-purpose star Isaiah McKenzie appeared headed for an easy fourth-and-1 conversion with less than a minute remaining against Vanderbilt. Facing a 17-16 deficit, Georgia only needed one more first down to get into game-winning field goal territory.
That’s when Vandy linebacker Zach Cunningham reached out — from nowhere, it seemed — and pulled McKenzie down behind the yellow line. It was the first mega-highlight in Cunningham’s bulletproof All-America candidacy.
25. Saban and Ragnow share a moment
Alabama coach Nick Saban sought out Razorbacks offensive lineman Frank Ragnow following a blowout Crimson Tide win in Fayetteville.
The 6-foot-5, 319-pound junior had lost his father to a heart attack the previous Saturday, and Saban wanted to offer his condolences. He, too, had lost his father in his early 20s, and offered his “thoughts and prayers” before leaving the field.
24. Hurd shocks the conference with goodbye
This August, we asked a panel of experts to rate the 101 best football players in the SEC, and it decided Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd was No. 9.
Hurd’s powerful running style was supposed to help the Volunteers win their first division title in nearly a decade, and he appeared on several All-SEC ballots and Heisman watch lists this preseason. But by the first week of November, he was gone.
— Jalen Hurd (@MrHurd_1) November 7, 2016
23. Allen finishes off TCU in game of his life
There’s no quicker way to stardom than an overtime road win against a ranked opponent in which you throw 3 touchdowns, rush for another and catch a 2-point conversion pass. Austin Allen became one of the league’s top quarterbacks by accomplishing all that at TCU in September.
His scoring run doubled as the game’s final play, and it got him out of his brother Brandon’s shadow only two weeks into his tenure.
22. Knight lost during Starkville shocker
What was more shocking: the College Football Playoff committee putting Texas A&M at No. 4 in its first ranking, or the first-half scoreboard at Mississippi State the following Saturday?
We’ll go with the latter, which read 28-7 at one point. Texas A&M closed the gap late, but it did so without star quarterback Trevor Knight, who suffered a severe shoulder injury in the second quarter. Fans might not have realized it, but the hit signaled the end of the Aggies’ championship hopes.
21. Ole Miss blows 22-point lead in season opener
The biggest game of opening week took place just outside Walt Disney World in Orlando. No. 11 Ole Miss got up early on No. 4 Florida State, building a 28-6 second-quarter lead behind a near-perfect half from quarterback Chad Kelly.
The only nationally televised game on the Monday night of Labor Day weekend was shaping up to be an excellent showcase for the Mississippi Rebels football program.
From there, the “Most Magical Place on Earth” turned into a nightmare. Florida State piled up seven scoring drives in the second half to erase the deficit and build a strong lead of its own. Kelly imploded, and the championship-minded Rebels began their prolonged slide out of the Top 25.
20. Guice goes 96 yards as Coach O makes statement
Did Ed Orgeron blow his shot at the LSU job by losing to Alabama? Some wondered if the university would move on from the idea of Coach O as the full-time answer, while others clamored for him to get the job after an impressive defensive performance.
Either way, a 38-10 win at Arkansas the following week didn’t hurt. Orgeron’s running backs put in a performance to remember; Leonard Fournette scored three times, while Derrius Guice (252 rushing yards) took a fourth-quarter carry 96 yards to the house to seal a big “W.”
19. Cunningham does it again
Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham came into the season as one of the SEC’s best players, and then solidified his reputation with a game-saving tackle against Georgia (see No. 26 on this list).
The one play that boosted him from easy All-SEC selection to consensus All-American was his instant highlight at Auburn. With Vandy down by a touchdown and time running out, Cunningham leapt over the Tigers line and stuffed a Daniel Carlson field goal attempt. The play gave the ‘Dores a chance to win, and still bothers Carlson despite Auburn’s eventual victory.
Zach Cunningham is a special player. If he had the exposure of playing for Alabama or Ohio State, he would be in the Heisman conversation.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) November 5, 2016
18. Uncle Verne tears up
CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist said goodbye to America during the Army-Navy game on Dec. 10, but got a special message from color analyst Gary Danielson during the SEC championship game one week earlier.
“College football and the SEC is gonna miss you more, my friend,” Danielson said, to which a a teary-eyed Lundquist replied: “It’s been my privilege to sit by your side for 11 years.”
17. LSU gives Coach O the keys full-time
Perhaps the primary factor was Tom Herman’s high asking price moreso than Ed Orgeron’s on-field product, but LSU went with the interim Coach O when it made it’s final hiring decision in November.
“We’ve had our man here all along,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said during the introductory press conference.
16. Webb knocks Tennessee out of the Sugar Bowl
Expected to finish at least 6 or 7 wins apart this season, in-state rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt both surprised the conference in 2016. The Vols were a disappointment, but still had a Sugar Bowl berth within reach entering the final week’s trip to Nashville.
Vandy was likely going to a bowl game with 5 wins, but beating UT was an extra-sweet ending to a regular season that solidified Derek Mason’s job status and continued the program’s upward trajectory. When Ralph Webb provided a 28-yard nail in the Tennessee coffin, Vanderbilt instantly became a dark horse in the 2017 SEC East race.
15. Eason tosses first career game-winner
For a few weeks in September, it appeared as if Georgia had the ammunition to get to Atlanta. True freshman Jacob Eason’s clutch touchdown pass at Missouri played over and over in Bulldogs fans’ heads.
Georgia’s second-half defense was the real star, but Eason capped the comeback with a fourth-and-10 strike that — should he develop into the star everyone expects him to be — will always be viewed as the launching point for the kid from Lake Stevens, Wash.
The legend of Jacob Eason is born
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 18, 2016
14. Tennessee covers its final mistake in heart-stopping opener
From the first night of the 2016 season, we knew this Tennessee iteration was going to make Vols fans pull out their hair. A first-half deficit against Appalachian State had Neyland Stadium sweating bullets, and it took a missed Mountaineers extra point to send the game to overtime.
On the opening drive of the extra period, Vols quarterback Josh Dobbs dove for the end zone but fumbled before he crossed the plane. A mad scrum ensued. Neyland held its breath. And Jalen Hurd — the star running back who left the program two months later — played the hero.
13. Florida-LSU postponed
Nothing was more confusing than the public relations battle waged between Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and his LSU counterpart, Joe Alleva, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Florida-LSU was postponed and then reportedly cancelled, much to the ire of third-party Tennessee. In the end, the sides agreed to play in Baton Rouge in November.
The lasting memory: Foley and Alleva both trying to blame the other for screwing up the rescheduling process, and the rest of us trying to figure out what really happened behind the scenes.
(SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi did an excellent job of explaining Florida’s decision making in a “separating fact from fiction” piece that week.)
12. Hurts breaks open Alabama-LSU
Perhaps the most important game of the SEC season took place in Baton Rouge in early November. Alabama, Louisiana State and resurgent Auburn were engaged in a three-team SEC West race, and the Crimson Tide and Tigers engaged in a dogfight that captivated viewers across the country.
It’s fair to say the Tide looked stronger through the first three frames, but the teams were tied 0-0 entering the fourth quarter. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts broke the tie — and capped a 12-play, 90-yard drive — with a 21-yard touchdown scamper on third-and-9 that decided the game and the division.
11. Guice sets LSU record during Thanksgiving barnburner
If you happened to grow tired of NFL action on Thanksgiving night and switched over to LSU-Texas A&M, you caught one high-powered post-turkey game. The Tigers and Aggies combined for 93 total points in College Station, with the Louisiana State offense reaching the 50-point mark on Derrius Guice’s fourth touchdown run of the day.
The win ensured coach Ed Orgeron would remain a strong candidate for the head coaching job he would earn soon after, and Guice (285 yards) came away with a new single-game LSU rushing record.
10. Tigers fans drop their jaws during Fournette’s record-setting night
In late October, LSU running back Leonard Fournette returned from a nagging ankle injury and blew through the Ole Miss defense for several big plays.
The crowd recognized his excellent performance, but no one seemed to realize just how big of a night No. 7 was putting together. Moments after another big run, the jumbotron flashed Fournette’s stats: 7 rushes for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns.
At 35.6 yards per carry, it had to have been one of the most impressive snapshots in college football history (especially considering he also had a 22-yard catch to his name). Fournette finished with 284 yards — a school record later broken by teammate Derrius Guice (see No. 11) — and 309 total yards from scrimmage.
9. Harris tosses away season opener at Lambeau
One of the SEC’s biggest offseason questions was whether LSU quarterback Brandon Harris would be able to improve as a passer after a mostly dismal sophomore year. Both coach Les Miles and running back Leonard Fournette swore Harris was a changed man, and prognosticators took the bait (ESPN’s Football Power Index rated LSU as the country’s No. 1 team).
In Week 1, Harris led a potential game-winning drive vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field, and had the Tigers in position for a crucial field goal. What followed was the depressing realization that nothing had changed at all.
Amazing waste of talent at LSU. Never seen anything quite like it. Wisconsin outplayed, out hustled and importantly out Coached LSU.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) September 3, 2016
8. Tennessee burns Tabor, erases deficit, exorcises demon
For all the negative energy surrounding Tennessee’s 2016 campaign, there were a few major bright spots, including the removal of a gigantic blue-and-orange monkey from UT’s back.
Saturday, Sept. 24, began in nightmarish fashion for Butch Jones’ team. But the Vols defense stepped up after allowing a 21-0 Florida lead. Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs completed an epic comeback by firing a touchdown pass over the head of outspoken Gators cornerback Jalen Tabor, who wondered earlier that week if the Vols had “been kind of slacking around” during a slow start to the year.
7. Ole Miss builds 24-3 lead on Alabama
The tweets came fast and furious after Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes crushed Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to force a fumble that Rebels teammate John Youngblood scooped up for a 44-yard touchdown return. Sensing a third straight Ole Miss win over ‘Bama, the internet was ready to call the game in favor of Hugh Freeze’s team.
Thanks to the gift of hindsight, we now know that Ole Miss is not eligible for a bowl and Alabama is one of the best teams of all-time, a combination that was set into motion by an impressive Crimson Tide rally in Oxford. But the scoop-and-score was a snapshot of “what could’ve been” in 2016.
Bye Bye Alabama. 24-3. Game O V E R
— Arnie Spanier (@StinkinGenius1) September 17, 2016
6. Patterson channels Manziel in first career start
In the first game of his college career, Ole Miss freshman Shea Patterson engineered a big fourth-quarter comeback against a ranked Texas A&M team that had dominated the Rebels through three quarters.
With one play, Patterson swung the momentum … and had fans wondering if a former Aggies Heisman winner had momentarily snuck into a Mississippi uniform.
5. Champions of Life
Unless Butch Jones accomplishes something unforgettably great in 2017 — say, an SEC championship or College Football Playoff appearance — he will forever be defined by a misguided statement he made following UT’s elimination from the SEC East race this November.
“They’ve won the biggest championship,” Jones said of his departing senior class. “That’s the championship of life.”
Jones was crushed for this, and deservedly so. Tennessee was not only expected to run away with the SEC East in 2016, but compete for a playoff spot and a national title. Instead of admitting his team’s failure to reach those big goals, Jones opened up the program to further humiliation and backtracked on his own personal mantra: “Own it.”
4. Florida meets Guice at the goal line
We got a Hollywood ending to all of the football brouhaha stirred up by Hurricane Matthew. As noted in item No. 13 on this list, the postponement of Florida-LSU resulted in plenty of theatrics, and the teams finally — finally! — agreed to meet in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19.
A good game turned into a great one when Florida quarterback Austin Appleby found Tyrie Cleveland for a 98-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Then, it became an instant classic when LSU — trailing 16-10 — found itself facing fourth-and-goal with 3 seconds remaining.
3. Vols squeeze out final ounce of magic at Texas A&M
Tennessee fans hated the word “magic” all season, as if it tainted what the Volunteers were accomplishing on the field. And, sure, there was plenty of talent involved; plenty of effort; plenty of what-have-you. But there also seemed to be some invisible force helping them along in key moments. They just … wouldn’t … die.
Take, for instance, the moment Texas A&M appeared to wrap up a big win against Tennessee. Aggies running back Trayveon Williams broke free down the left sideline for what was going to be a 73-yard touchdown that would give A&M a 14-point lead with less than 2 minutes remaining.
The coast was clear; the broadcast team was ready to call it a day. Then, Malik Foreman made the play of his life. The Vols cornerback caught up with Williams at the 1-yard-line and popped the ball out of Williams’ right arm. Tennessee took the football at its own 20 and drove for the game-tying score.
The Vols fell in overtime, but it couldn’t erase the Foreman’s unbelievable — and yes, magical — play to momentarily keep UT’s undefeated season alive.
2. Miles beats Auburn, then loses
Les Miles saved his job … and then he didn’t. Louisiana State quarterback Danny Etling found receiver D.J. Chark for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown at Auburn with no time remaining on the clock. The visiting Tigers sprinted around, hooting and hollering, before piling up near the goal line in celebration.
But Auburn coach Gus Malzahn — on the hottest of hot seats — didn’t take off his gear. He knew a replay was coming, and ensuing “no touchdown” ruling turned around his team’s season.
Now, Auburn is headed for the Sugar Bowl while Miles has been unemployed for two months. No single play affected the 2016 SEC season more than this one.
1. The Heave Between the Hedges
For maximum effect, it’s best to watch the entire final sequence again in real time.
Did we miss one? Let us know what your favorite moment of 2016 was in the comments section below, and be sure to download our smartphone app to keep up with your favorite conference during bowl season.