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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
SEC's top 10 moments of 2009

By Chris Low

They’re the touchdowns, meltdowns, comebacks and pulsating endings we all remember.

Then again, some of us might want to forget.

Picking the 10 most memorable minutes in the SEC this season was a thankless task. Why can’t it be 50 of the most memorable moments?

Here goes my best effort at narrowing it down:

10. The Auburn fans giving the team a standing ovation following the hard-fought loss to Alabama: Gene Chizik isn’t into moral victories, but it was pretty neat to see the fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium so appreciative of the Tigers’ gutsy effort against the eventual national champions.

9. Georgia’s upset of Georgia Tech: It had been a dismal season for the Bulldogs, who were coming off a home loss to Kentucky. A six-loss regular season looked imminent, but Georgia played its best game of the season and stunned No. 7 Georgia Tech on the road.

8. McCluster’s record-setting day: It was a one-man highlight show, as Ole Miss’ Dexter McCluster rushed for a school-record 282 yards in the Rebels’ 42-17 rout of Tennessee.

7. Tebow’s farewell in the Big Easy: After so many memorable performances by Tebow, he saved his most productive performance of his career for his final performance. Tebow broke Vince Young’s record for total offense in a BCS bowl game with 533 yards in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

6. LSU’s butchering of the clock at the end of the Ole Miss game: It wasn’t a clinic for the Tigers and Les Miles when it came to clock management this season. But the debacle at the end of the Ole Miss loss is one they won’t soon forget on the Bayou.

5. Terrence Cody’s blocked field goal to save Alabama’s season: The Crimson Tide’s mammoth nose guard ripped off his helmet and went flying across the field after blocking Tennessee’s field-goal attempt that would have won it for the Vols at the buzzer.

4. Tim Tebow’s concussion: Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham came free around the end and knocked Tebow senseless. Tebow suffered a concussion and spent the night in a Lexington, Ky., hospital, but played two weeks later against LSU.

3. Florida coach Urban Meyer’s flip-flop: After shocking the college football world with his sudden resignation the day before, Meyer comes back the next day in a bizarre news conference in New Orleans and says he will take a leave of absence instead to get his health in order.

2. Mark Ingram's tearful Heisman Trophy acceptance speech: He was the first player in Alabama’s storied history to win the Heisman Trophy, and it was obvious by his tears that he was genuinely moved to be accepting one of the most prestigious individual awards in sports.

1. Greg McElroy kneeling the ball down for Alabama’s first national championship in 17 years: It’s the sweetest play in football -- the Victory formation. The Crimson Tide completed a 14-0 season by defeating Texas 37-21 in the Citi BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena.