This week opened the floodgates to a multitude of Southeastern Conference football memories.
Auburn's Pat Dye and Tennessee's Johnny Majors were the SEC's two most established coaches when my career at the Chattanooga Times Free Press began, with Dye having guided the Tigers to four league titles in the 1980s and with Majors having steered the Volunteers to a pair of crowns with a third on the way in 1990. Shared SEC titles were common before former league commissioner Roy Kramer added Arkansas and South Carolina to a 10-member collection and created two six-team divisions in 1992 and an unprecedented conference championship game.
(Read more SEC football coverage: Series counts down top five players at Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee)
In the eight seasons from 1983-90, Dye and Majors combined to win or share seven conference crowns.
Even before their deaths this week, the Times Free Press had planned to help navigate a desolate June on the sports landscape with the 15 most memorable SEC games I've had the privilege of covering the past three decades. These contests will be revealed during the next three weeks in chronological order, with five games from the 1990s, five from the 2000s and five from this past decade.
Some of these games determined champions. Some were symbolic, and some were simply three dazzling hours that will never be forgotten.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.
READ THE COMPLETE SERIES
Florida 48, Auburn 7 (1990): Spurrier's Gators arrived while ushering out Dye's Tigers
Alabama 28, Florida 21 (1992): Steve Spurrier on SEC title game: 'I didn't even know it was legal'
Auburn 38, Florida 35 (1993): The year college football's 'best team on radio' went 11-0
Alabama 29, Georgia 28 (1994): The night Jay Barker had to outlast Eric Zeier
Tennessee 28, Arkansas 24 (1998): Billy Ratliff's play arguably the most memorable in Vols history
Georgia 26, Tennessee 24 (2001): When a 'hobnail boot' described an instant classic
Georgia 24, Auburn 21 (2002): The fourth-and-15 play that turned a Florida-Auburn SEC title matchup into Georgia-Arkansas
LSU 17, Georgia 10 (2003): Nick Saban gets LSU back among the national elite
Florida 31, Alabama 20 (2008): Turning the SEC title game into a national semifinal
Alabama 12, Tennessee 10 (2009): The day 'Mount Cody' spoiled Tennessee's upset bid
Auburn 28, Alabama 27 (2010): The surreal day when Nick Saban lost a 24-point lead at home
Alabama 32, Georgia 28 (2012): Time runs out on Georgia in the most thrilling SEC title game played to date
Georgia 44, LSU 41 (2013): Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger meet again to provide a classic
Auburn 34, Alabama 28 (2013): Navigating thousands to interview 'Kick Six' components quite the task
Alabama 26, Georgia 23, OT (2017 season): Crimson Tide win walk-off national title over Bulldogs