ESPN’s Jake Trotter ranked the 20 best college football games this season, and there’s some SEC flavor included within the list.
Trotter named UCLA’s 45-44 victory against Texas A&M on Sept. 3 in Pasadena, Calif., as the best of the year. In retrospect, the massive comeback by the Bruins likely marked the beginning of the end for Kevin Sumlin in College Station. Sumlin was fired after the Aggies finished 7-5 in the regular season. Since, former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has been named as Texas A&M’s new coach.
Here’s how Trotter describes the Aggies’ loss to the Bruins:
UCLA capped a 34-point comeback with quarterback Josh Rosen’s fake-spike, game-winning touchdown pass to receiver Jordan Lasley with 43 seconds remaining. The Bruins’ win, however, didn’t save coach Jim Mora’s job. And all but sealed Kevin Sumlin’s fate at Texas A&M.
Meanwhile, Trotter ranked Florida’s victory against Tennessee on Sept. 16 as the No. 13 game, Georgia’s win against Notre Dame on Sept. 9 as the No. 16 contest, Tennessee’s victory against Georgia Tech on Sept. 4 as the No. 17 game and Alabama edging out Mississippi State on Nov. 11 as the No. 19 contest.
A few of those are debatable. After all, the Gators’ victory against the Volunteers included a dramatic ending with quarterback Feleipe Franks throwing a 63-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland at the end. But the game before that point was a sloppy mess and in no way worthy of inclusion within the top 20.
If anything, the Alabama-Mississippi State is underrated with how the Bulldogs pushed the Crimson Tide to the brink before Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts led his team to a fourth-quarter rally. The Tennessee-Georgia Tech game was dramatic as well, even if we learned later that the Vols were a flawed team.
A list like this definitely provides room for debate. Click here to read the full ranking.