Saying so long to the 2008 SEC season

January, 14, 2009
1/14/09
12:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

It's time to say so long to the 2008 SEC football season -- the highs, lows, great plays, crippling fumbles, clutch performances and fiery exchanges. I'll say my farewell with the 10 things I'll remember most about this season:

1. The greatness of Tim Tebow just sort of wears on you. He's not the purest passer, the fastest runner or even the best quarterback you're ever going to see. That said, I've yet to see a better player or a better winner at the collegiate level in my lifetime.

2. The first half of football in Alabama's 41-30 win over Georgia rates up there with as perfect a half of football as I've seen in the SEC in a long time. The Crimson Tide led 31-0, and a blacked-out Sanford Stadium sounded more like a funeral parlor.

3. The tears in Tebow's eyes told you all you needed to know. Minutes after Ole Miss' shocking 31-30 win over Florida at the Swamp on Sept. 27, an emotional Tebow promised Florida fans that they would never see a player or a team play any harder than he and the Gators would the rest of the way. They never lost again en route to their second BCS national championship in the last three years.

4. The incomparable Larry Munson broadcast his final Georgia football game on Sept. 6 against Central Michigan. There will never be another Munson, who's as much a part of Georgia lore as Uga, Herschel Walker, silver britches and The Hedges.

5. After 30-plus years at his alma mater, a teary-eyed Phillip Fulmer struggled through his forced resignation letter at a press conference that nearly got out of hand. An angry bunch of Tennessee players glared at Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton the whole time, and at least one shouted something as the players stormed off.

6. Ole Miss defensive tackle Peria Jerry probably still hasn't received the publicity that he deserves. He was the most dominant defender in the SEC this season, and that was never more apparent than the second half of the LSU game when he completely took over that contest.

7. Andre Smith's suspension changed the whole complexion of Alabama's otherwise brilliant season. As soon as the news came out, you could just sense that the Crimson Tide were in trouble ... and they were. They were manhandled by Utah in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

8. How much nastier has the Florida-Georgia rivalry become in the last two years? Rewind back to the final 49 seconds this season with Florida leading 49-10. Urban Meyer called, not one, but two timeouts in those waning seconds to rub it in and remind Mark Richt just exactly what he thought of the Bulldogs' end zone celebration from the year before.

9. Seeing Vanderbilt go to 5-0 for the first time since World War II with its 14-13 win over Auburn on Oct. 4 and seeing the electricity in Vanderbilt Stadium that night was something to behold. It was truly a special season for the Commodores, culminating with their first bowl victory in 53 years.

10. Watching Tommy Tuberville walk off the Bryant-Denny Stadium field on Nov. 29 after a humiliating 36-0 loss to Alabama was a sobering reminder of how quickly it all can change in the SEC. It turned out to be the last game he would coach at Auburn, which had flourished for much of the decade under his tutelage.

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