Dec 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; The SEC trophy on display before the SEC coaches press conference with Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
1999 SEC Championship Game – Gators Again
After a baffling home loss to Louisiana Tech in September, Alabama Football managed a 9-2 (7-1 SEC) regular season and an SEC West division title.
Florida and Alabama met in the regular season in a game that was an instant classic. Steve Spurrier’s No.3 Gators were on a 31-game home winning streak and were expected to easily defeat the No.21 Crimson Tide. Instead, Alabama won an overtime thriller 40-39 on the back of a four-touchdown performance from Shaun Alexander.
Two weeks after the upset in the Swamp, Alabama lost to Tennessee, but the Tide’s first win over Auburn on the plains secured Bama’s division title and rematch with Florida.
The rematch was as lopsided as the regular season meeting was thrilling. Florida scored on a four play opening drive and would be held scoreless for the rest of the game. Alabama’s offense was slow to get going, settling for two field goals before finally managing a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter when Andrew Zow threw a 27 yard touchdown pass.
The Tide continued to roll, including a 4th quarter pick-6 of Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer. Freddie Milons finished the game with 116 rushing yards. The Gators managed only 114 offensive yards.
Alabama advanced to the Orange Bowl where they would lose in overtime to Michigan on a missed extra point. College kickers, y’all.
I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure that 1999 Alabama is the only team that’s ever gone to overtime against a future star of The Bachelor and Tom Brady.
Next: 2008, Alabama vs. Georgia