SEC Football: Ranking The Top 5 Conference Games at The Halfway Point
Here we are at the halfway point of the SEC conference slate for most teams.
The league has again produced the most exciting, jaw-dropping, great football in the country. We've had wild finishes, stunning upsets, dominant performances and uniformly great atmospheres.
Here we rank the five best conference games thus far.
This is, obviously, a subjective ranking, but I tried to base it on two criterias:
1. Importance of the game.
2. How exciting the game was.
So while Ole Miss and Vandy may well have played an exciting game, it scores so low on the "importance factor" that it's not making this list.
Similarly, while LSU v. Tennessee may have been the most exciting finish in the league this year, it takes a slight hit in importance because Tennessee isn't going anywhere.
No. 5: South Carolina Gamecocks v. Auburn Tigers: Sept. 25
This one may not have been quite as close as some of the other games on this list.
However, that's saying something, because South Carolina had a chance to tie the game up until the very end. South Carolina, in fact, led for most of the game, at one point leading 20-7.
Alshon Jeffery had his hand on a ball in the end zone that, had he caught it, could have been a potentially-tying score (with a successful two-point conversion).
The game also had, perhaps, the best individual performance in the SEC thus far. Cam Newton, more or less, put Auburn on his back and refused to let them lose, with backbreaking long runs.
He did this against a defense that came in first in the SEC in rush defense, and just held Alabama to 36 yards rushing.
The game may also have featured the best individual performance in the SEC this year in a losing effort, with Alshon Jeffery's 192 receiving yards, two-TD performance.
It measures off the charts in "importance" as well, as both teams are in first place in their perspective divisions and both are currently top-10 teams in the AP poll.
Finally, the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare Stadium was absolutely electric.
No. 4: Arkansas Razorbacks v. Georgia Bulldogs: Sept. 18
High on the exciting-finish scale, a little lower on the importance scale, but Arkansas could very well be in the hunt for a major bowl, so it just squeaks in.
The one negative of this game: Having to hear "Childs please" approximately 293,874,293,857 times on SportsCenter.
The game featured lots of back and forth and Ryan Mallett and Greg Childs at their best, with a last-second touchdown, and then almost a last-second Hail Mary by Aaron Murray.
No. 3: Tennessee Volunteers v. LSU Tigers: Oct. 2
This game is a little lower on the importance scale, with Tennessee going nowhere this year.
However, you won't find a game higher on the drama scale. Words and pictures can't do it justice.
Just watch the video. WOW.
No. 2: LSU Tigers v. Florida Gators: Oct. 9
High on both the drama scale and importance scale, this game had it all.
Both teams are contenders in their divisions. The Mad Hatter, Les Miles, pulls out yet another near miracle win with a fake field goal that was tantalizingly close to being an incomplete forward pass.
No. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide v. South Carolina Gamecocks
This game measures off the charts in importance. Alabama came in with a 19-game winning streak, and had not lost a regular season game since 2007.
When your winning streaks are measured in years, not games, a loss is kind of a big deal.
The game is actually the least close game on our list, so how is it No. 1? It shook up college football unlike any other game in any conference this season.
Prior to this game, the college football world was filled with talk that Alabama was on a different level than any other team. Arkansas had perhaps given them a challenge, but everybody believed firmly that Alabama could just waltz over any team in the country, essentially whenever they felt like it.
Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks shocked the world, and may get to play for an SEC Championship because of it.