Hurricane Matthew quickly is making its way up the Southeast and putting several SEC football games in peril.
While this would be an inconvenience to fans who bought tickets, the conference is no stranger to poor weather. Playing in this region of the country, hurricanes and tornadoes are expected. Heavy rain is just part of living in the South. However, there’s more than one instance in which cold snuck up on unsuspecting players.
Here are five notable SEC games played in inclement weather.
Do you remember another game that should be included? Let us know in the comments. Stay safe!
1972 Clemson vs. South Carolina
This game is a throwback to USC’s ACC days but deserves consideration thanks to the driving rain, which is tremendously ironic considering Clemson’s Memorial Stadium’s “Death Valley” moniker. As if the rain weren’t enough, temperatures were around freezing throughout the game and might have gotten as low as 28 degrees in Clemson.
The quality on the field suffered greatly. The two teams combined to score 13 points in a 7-6 Clemson home win. Likely the only thing keeping fans warm was the fiery passion of supporting their respective teams.
1993 SEC Championship Game
The weather wasn’t necessarily as bad as the other games, but rain played a factor in Florida’s victory against Alabama. More important, the inclement weather eventually helped steer the game away from Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Florida QB Terry Dean threw for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns in a return to his hometown.
After a muddy 28-13 Florida victory to clinch a spot in the Sugar Bowl against West Virginia, the SEC decided to open its mind to the possibility of moving the game from Birmingham. While the stadium and location were draws for the conference, the SEC decided to move the game to Atlanta beginning in 1994.
2000 Independence Bowl
Playing in the Southeast is supposed to mean the weather is warm and humid all year. However, during an eventful week in Shreveport, La., of all places, the SEC experienced its most notable Snow Bowl at the 2000 Independence Bowl.
Mississippi State and Texas A&M, the latter still in the Big 12 at the time, played in a sloppy game that quickly turned into an exciting contest. With both passing games rendered somewhat ineffective, the running game became the focus. Despite the snow, the teams combined to score 12 touchdowns and 84 points in a Mississippi State overtime victory.
2009 Auburn vs. West Virginia
It might have seen torrential rain and delays throughout, but this matchup between first-year head coach Gene Chizik and second-year WVU coach Bill Stewart still produced fireworks. The teams combined for 71 points and 909 yards in the matchup at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
West Virginia held a 30-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Auburn quarterback Chris Todd tossed a touchdown pass to give the Tigers a lead. Jarrett Brown iced the game with a 15-yard pick-6 with minutes remaining. It’s miraculous these players were able to move effectively on the field’s natural grass.
2014 Auburn vs. Mississippi State
Is it an overreaction to call this the biggest win in Mississippi State history? The Bulldogs were ranked No. 3 and Auburn was ranked No. 2 coming off a national title-game appearance the previous year. Fans were perhaps as mobilized as they’ve ever been in Starkville because the region was taken with personable quarterback Dak Prescott.
However, what started as a sunny day in Mississippi quickly turned into torrential rain that took over the football field at the end of the second and beginning of the third quarter. The rain subsided, but the field and ball remained slippery and muddied up the game – literally and figuratively. The rain did nothing to extinguish the fire in the stands at Davis Wade Stadium, and the Bulldogs pulled off a 38-23 victory.