5 Best Performances in SEC Championship History

Former Alabama RB Mark Ingram
Former Alabama RB Mark Ingram | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the biggest game of the year from the best conference, Joe Burrow and LSU will take on Jake Fromm and Georgia in the 2019 SEC title game that will shake the foundation of college football. If we're lucky, we might get to see another legendary performance that supplants one of these five all-time great showings.

5. Alabama RB Mark Ingram, 2009

Auburn v Alabama
Auburn v Alabama | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ingram took home the Heisman, won the SEC, and made Tim Tebow cry on national TV, all in one season. Ingram capped off his historic 2013 campaign by helping the Crimson Tide bludgeon Florida 32-13, as the RB picked up 113 yards and found the end zone three times. He followed this performance up with 166 yards and two scores in the national title game against Texas, which only confirmed the Heisman committee got it right when they gave Ingram the hardware.

4. Tennessee QB Peyton Manning, 1997

Peyton Manning
University of Tennessee Volunteers vs University of Florida Gators | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

There was no way we could leave Peyton off of this list. Manning's finest hour came when he led his No. 3 Volunteers to a nail-biting 30-29 win over Auburn in the conference title game. Manning threw for 373 yards and four touchdowns, frequently hooking up with wide receiver Marcus Nash as the Volunteers cemented their position as the best team in the conference. While Tennessee might have lost to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, games like this showed a glimpse of the Hall-of-Fame career that was to follow for Manning.

3. Auburn RB Tre Mason, 2013

SEC Championship - Missouri v Auburn
SEC Championship - Missouri v Auburn | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In a conference built on great running backs, Mason's performance in the highest scoring SEC Championship game ever -- a 59-42 Auburn win over Missouri -- looks like something out of a video game. Mason carried the ball 46 times (that is not a typo) for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Altogether, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall threw the ball just 11 times compared to 74 running plays. The Tigers totaled 545 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns, which helped set them up with Florida State in the BCS title game.

2. Florida QB Danny Wuerffel, 1996

Danny Wuerffel
South Carolina Gamecocks v Florida Gators | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Wuerffel and the Fun N' Gun offense walked so that Air Raid quarterbacks in 2019 could run. Wuerffel and Steve Spurrier's offense set about destroying the SEC in the mid-1990s, with the 1996 title game against Alabama serving as the coming out party for the only two-time MVP in the game's history. Wuerffel's 401 yards passing is still a record for this game, as are his six touchdown passes in the Gators' 45-30 win over the Crimson Tide. Burrow might have a chance at breaking those records, but the fact Wuerffel put together the season that he did in 1996 is still nothing short of spectacular.

1. Auburn QB Cam Newton, 2010

Auburn v Alabama
Auburn v Alabama | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The closest we've ever seen to one player single-handedly carrying a team to a national championship was Cam Newton's historic season at Auburn. In the SEC Championship against Stephen Garcia and South Carolina, Newton looked like an NFL defensive end playing against Pop Warner kids. Newton threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 completions, adding in 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground in what turned out to be a 56-17 flattening of the Gamecocks. The next time we saw Newton, he was leading the Tigers to an NCAA title when they took down Darren Thomas and Oregon.