Alabama Football: Remembering the 2009 SEC Championship

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football’s path is similar to the 2009 SEC Championship

For the fifth time in the Nick Saban era, Alabama football will face off against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship. While all four of those games have been interesting, the 2009 game has many similarities to now. That game birthed the Alabama dynasty, and we will see a renaissance on Saturday.

In 2009, Florida had a Heisman contender at quarterback who was breaking all records. They had one of the best tight ends in college football, and they were carried by a powerful offense. Alabama had a quarterback who was labeled a game manager, a Heisman contender at running back wearing the number 22 and one of the best receivers in Alabama football history. Alabama came off of an undefeated regular season with hopes of winning a national championship. Does this story sound familiar?

Because of the similarities, let’s go back and take a look at what we’ve forgotten about this game.

This game started with two scoring drives for the Crimson Tide, but they relied heavily on the running game. This was an expectation as the running game was Alabama’s strength all season. While Julio Jones was having a great year, Florida managed to neutralize him all game. However, Mark Ingram’s 113 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns were more than enough for Alabama to win this game.

Greg McElroy had an efficient game, and the offense did not ask him to do much. However, he played with an edge that showed on multiple plays. From his first-down run down the sideline to blocking for his running back, he seemed to be playing out of his mind.

The entire team had this type of edge in the SEC Championship. The defense was tasked with stopping Tim Tebow, and they did a great job of limiting him. A key interception by Javier Arenas ended up being the nail in the coffin for this game. It ended with Tim Tebow crying on national television, which will be a favorite memory of all Alabama fans.

Alabama won this game because of its efficiency. They dominated third downs, avoided turnovers, and only had one penalty. Florida struggled in all three of these categories, and they lost because of it.

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This win gave Alabama football the confidence needed to win Saban’s first ring in Tuscaloosa. It ended with an Alabama player being the Heisman frontrunner, and the undefeated season continued for the top-ranked Tide. All of those things will hopefully be the case for the 2020 team as well.