December 5th, 2009: SEC Championship Game. Georgia Dome, Atlanta.
The Southeastern Conference Championship game was a match-up of epic proportions —that goes without saying.
Never before did the No. 1 ranked team face the second ranked team (AP rank) in this league's contest for all of the marbles, the whole enchilada, you get the point?
Countless games have received the moniker of "Game of the Century" in college football over the decades. It seems that this slug-fest is played out at least twice every 10 years or so.
In the 1990s, Florida State and Miami went head to head in historic battles. Nineteen sixty-six saw the undefeated Michigan State Spartans tangle with the unbeaten Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Even the Nebraska Cornhuskers have experienced "THE game".
If the Alabama-Florida bout wanted to go down in history with the likes of aforementioned, it would have to live up to some serious standards.
Florida had designs on repeating as conference champs; Alabama was out for revenge.
Twelve wins, no losses. That was the record of the two best teams in college football going into Saturday. One of these units would suffer defeat, the other would remain perfect.
The Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide stack up evenly statistically speaking. Both teams allow under 10 points per game (9.8 and 9.9) and they both put up more than 30 points per contest.
Two Heisman contenders, two undefeated teams, one BCS National Championship berth. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get any better than this.
Superman vs. Mark Ingram. How could you not foam at the mouth in anticipation to see this grid-iron battle go down?
Tim Tebow has already won himself a stiff-armed man (2007), Mark Ingram was intent on doing the same. Never before has an Alabama player won the Heisman, staggering to think about in light of all the great names that have graced the university's football program.
Ingram's performance in the Iron Bowl vs. Auburn last Saturday was said to have hindered his chances to win. 16 carries and 29 yards against the Tigers definitely didn't help his cause.
Number 22 averaged 178 rushing yards per game when squaring-off with teams ranked in the top 25 in 2009.
Both of the rosters featured All-Americans, All-SEC talents, but all eyes were on Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram.
There was no way of anticipating what would transpire next.
Urban Meyer's Gators could do absolutely nothing to stop the guy wearing the crimson jersey with the double-deuce stitched on the chest -nothing.
From the onset of the first drive, Alabama showed the defending league superiors that they were for real.
Greg McElroy's performance was one of unprecedented status in his career. He surely had Alabama fans wondering why they didn't initially want him in Tuscaloosa.
By no means did Mark Ingram single-handedly win the SEC Championship for the Tide, but he sure did contribute in prodigious fashion.
Alabama's defense swarmed Superman every chance they got. Tebow found himself having to play out of his comfort zone—throwing the ball instead of running it.
The Tide shut-out Tebow's Gators in the second half like they were playing a J.V. highschool squad.
'Bama's 88 yard drive in the third quarter put this one out of reach for Urban Meyer and company.
What does it mean to win the Heisman Trophy?
If you ask past winners, they'll tell you that it's one of the biggest honors they've ever had the pleasure of receiving in their lives. It's not just a trophy, it's a legacy.
For the sophomore out of Flint, Michigan it means hunger. The hunger to be the best.
Mark Ingram's three touchdowns and 100 yards + rushing against Florida all but sealed the deal in regards to him winning college football's most coveted honor.
His 69 yard reception to set up a Tide score showed his versatility.
The class he showed in post-game interview displayed why he deserves the honor of being a Heisman winner.
The Tide would roll over the Gators 32-13 and will go on to play in the BCS National Championship game in January. Whomever is "lucky" enough to play the Tide that day better be ready to face the nation's best player: Mark Ingram.