A 55-44 win over Auburn helped Alabama clinch a spot in the SEC Championship game for the ninth time in school history. The Crimson Tide will face off against Missouri, which earned the right to return to Atlanta for the second consecutive year after a convincing 21-14 win over Arkansas.
The No. 1 team in the country has opened up as a 14-point favorite over the 16th ranked Tigers, which is the highest opening line in an SEC Championship since 2004. It is likely due in part to Missouri's embarrassing home loss to Indiana earlier in the season.
The Tide rolled 42-10 in their last meeting with the Tigers in 2012. That was also their last appearance in the SEC Championship. They are 4-4 all-time since the championship game started in 1992.
As we prepare for Alabama's next chapter in the championship game, we look back at their previous four wins in the title game. These wins are recognized not only as some of the most historic in school history, but also in the history of college football.
1992 SEC Championship
Alabama 28 Florida 21
The undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide took on Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators in the first conference championship game in college football history. The game, then played at Legion Field in Birmingham, is considered one of the most historical college football games ever. The game was later detailed in an SEC documentary titled The Play That Changed College Football.
The 8-3 Gators struck first on a touchdown run from Errict Rhett. Tide running back quickly responded with a touchdown run of his own to tie the game at 7-7. Quarterback Jay Barker connected with Curtis Brown on a 30-yard touchdown reception to head into the half with 14-7 lead. Lassic's second touchdown run of the day would extend the Tide lead to 21-7 making the game seem all but over.
The Ol' Ball Coach was not ready to lay down and accept the loss just yet. Florida went on a 14-0 run to tie the game up at 21-21 late in the fourth quarter. The Gators would get the ball with 3:00 to go in the game looking to score and kill Alabama's national title dreams. That was until Antonio Langham picked off a Shane Matthews' pass that was returned 21 yards for a touchdown. The Crimson Tide won the inaugural SEC Championship and went on to beat Miami 34-13 in the national championship.
1999 SEC Championship
Alabama 34 Florida 7
Alabama got the best of Florida in 1992, but it would be another seven years before they would do it again. Following their loss in '92, the Gators would win the next four SEC Championships with three of those victories coming over Alabama. The Tide was hungry for another conference championship after going through a small hiatus in the post-Gene Stalllings era.
Alabama needed overtime to beat Florida earlier that same year 40-39. Beating them twice in the same year would be extremely difficult, especially after the Gators needed just 1:40 to take a 7-0 lead early in the game. Two Ryan Pflugner field goals helped Alabama climb back into the game. With 30 seconds left in the half, Andrew Zow connected to Jason McAddley on a 27-yard touchdown pass to put them up 12-7 going into halftime.
The second half was a one-sided affair. A long 77-yard run from Freddie Milons was the final dagger in the game. Shaun Alexander, the hero in overtime over the Gators, would score the final touchdown on a seven-yard run. The dominating 34-7 win ended the Tide's dry spell against Florida. It would be 10 years before Alabama would once again taste the victory of an SEC Championship.
2009 SEC Championship
Alabama 32 Florida 13
In Nick Saban's second season a year earlier, Alabama made it to the SEC Championship as the No. 1 team in the country to take on, guess who, Florida. The Gators were ranked second in the country which meant the winner would go on to play in the BCS Championship Game. Tim Tebow powered Florida past the Tide in a 31-20 win. Tebow would later help lead them to 24-14 win over Oklahoma in the national championship.
Alabama got its chance for redemption in 2009. Only this time, Florida was the top ranked team in the country with the Tide right behind them. The winner would once again play in the national championship. Alabama quickly took a 9-3 lead in the first quarter. A Leigh Tiffin field goal extended the lead by three before Tebow found David Nelson on a 23-yard touchdown reception for the Gators' first score. It looked like the game was going to come down to the wire.
However, similar to the 1999 game, the Tide would not be denied revenge. The floodgates opened, beginning with a three-yard touchdown run from Mark Ingram to put them up 19-10. Florida's high powered offense was no match for Alabama's smothering defense, and the Gators were only able to squeak out one more field goal. Ingram would run it in one more time to seal a 32-13 win. The once great Crimson Tide was once again SEC champs for the first time in 10 years. Alabama would go on to beat Texas 37-21 in the national championship.
2012 SEC Championship
Alabama 32 Georgia 28
Alabama would miss out on playing in the 2011 SEC Championship after a 9-6 loss to LSU helped the Tigers clinch the West. However, they were given the opportunity to play LSU again in the national championship, and this time came away with a 21-0 win when it mattered most. The Crimson Tide looked to continue their dynasty in the 2012 SEC Championship game against Georgia. It would be the first time they had met a team other than Florida in the conference championship.
The Bulldogs were returning to Atlanta for the second consecutive season looking for redemption from a 2011 loss to LSU. An Aaron Murray touchdown pass to Jay Rome put them on the board first. Alabama soon responded with a touchdown of their own on a 41 yard run from Eddie Lacy and would go later go into halftime with a 10-7 lead. It didn't take long for Georgia to regain the lead after going on a 14-0 run thanks to a blocked Cade Foster field goal returned for a touchdown. The Bulldogs took a 21-10 lead.
The Tide responded with two touchdowns of their own to regain a 25-21 lead. However, the lead would not stick. A 10-yard run from Todd Gurley gave Georgia a late three point lead. With just over three minutes left in the game, A.J. McCarron found Amari Cooper on a 44-yard touchdown reception in an attempt to put the game to rest. The Bulldogs quickly stormed down the field and made it all the way to the Alabama 8-yard line. With no timeouts and the clock winding down, an Aaron Murray pass was tipped and caught by Chris Conley, which allowed the clock to hit zero.
Alabama was once again SEC Champions. They later dominated Notre Dame 42-14 in Miami to clinch their third national championship in four years.