As I said earlier today, you can’t pick just 10 memorable moments from an SEC season. So I’m going to cheat and give you 10 more that deserve mention:
Cam Newton’s 49-yard touchdown run against LSU was truly mesmerizing. A 6-6, 250-pound quarterback isn’t supposed to be able to run that fast, with that kind of acceleration and with those kind of moves.
If you’re into acrobatic catches, check out A.J. Green’s one-handed touchdown catch against Colorado in his first game back after a four-game suspension. Green went up high and snatched the ball with his left hand, landing hard on his back in the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown.
Florida punter Chas Henry, filling in as the Gators’ place-kicker, kicked a 37-yard field goal in overtime to lift Florida to a 34-31 win over Georgia, but only after the Bulldogs called timeout and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was caught on camera yelling at Henry that he was going to choke and giving him the choke sign. Henry later admitted that he probably escalated the whole thing by taking his helmet off and blowing Grantham a kiss during the timeout.
After falling behind 20-7 in the third quarter and Razorback Stadium bursting at the seams in one of the better environments you’ll ever see at a college football game, Alabama came charging back in the fourth quarter to deal Arkansas a heartbreaking 24-20 loss and stretch its winning streak to 18 straight games.
Kentucky’s Randall Cobb popped wide open in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown catch with 1:15 to play, capping the Wildcats’ frantic comeback from a 28-10 halftime deficit to stun South Carolina 31-28 the week after the Gamecocks knocked off No. 1 Alabama. It was Kentucky’s first win over a Steve Spurrier-coached team after 17 straight losses to the Head Ball Coach.
The crowd at Scott Field for the Arkansas-Mississippi State game observed a moment silence in memory of Mississippi State’s Nick Bell, who died earlier that month following a battle with cancer. That silence was broken by Bell’s mother, Linda, ringing her cowbell, setting off a teary-eyed scene where cowbells clanged away throughout the stadium in a moving tribute to Bell.
It’s not a moment that anybody at Ole Miss will remember fondly. But just a day after quarterback Jeremiah Masoli won his appeal with the NCAA and was cleared to play, the Rebels opened the season by losing a 49-48 shocker to FCS foe Jacksonville State in double overtime in what was easily the upset of the year in the SEC.
In one of the funnier moments of the season, LSU coach Les Miles was caught on camera eating grass in the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ 24-21 win over Alabama. Afterward, LSU receiver Russell Shepard cracked, “He says there’s a lot of protein in it.”
Arkansas did everything it needed to win the Allstate Sugar Bowl there at the end with the exception of picking up the ball. The Hogs’ Colton Miles-Nash blocked an Ohio State punt in the final minutes, and it squirted back inside the Ohio State 20. With a host of Arkansas players around the ball, freshman Julian Horton fell on it instead of trying to scoop it up and score. A few plays later, Ryan Mallett threw an interception, and the Hogs fell 31-26 to the Buckeyes -- Ohio State’s first-ever win over an SEC team in a bowl game.
If it wasn’t the best defensive play of the year in the league, it might have been the most important. Not only did Nick Fairley sack Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy right before the half with the Crimson Tide about to go up 31-7, but Fairley forced McElroy to fumble and was able to scramble and recover the fumble himself. That play kept Auburn in the game, gave the Tigers some momentum heading into halftime and paved the way for the greatest comeback in Iron Bowl history.