Saturday's game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 15 Florida in Atlanta's Georgia Dome will mark the 25th Southeastern Conference Championship Game. The Gators and Crimson Tide will be meeting up for the league-high ninth matchup in the title game, with the series even at 4-4 when the conference title is on the line.
"Historically they've been the best team in the West, and historically we've been the best team in the East," UF cornerback Jalen Tabor said on a teleconference call Monday. "When you think of SEC Championship, you think of Alabama versus Florida, and I feel like that's the way, and that's the way it's supposed to be, and that's the way it is again this year."
And with this year's game fast approaching, let's take a look back at the past eight UF-Bama SEC Championship matchups.
1992: Alabama 28, Florida 21
UF needed to win its final five SEC games in 1992 to land in the inaugural conference championship game in Birmingham, Alabama. After falling into a 21-7 deficit early in the third quarter, the Gators tied the game with a pair of touchdowns — a 4-yard touchdown pass from Shane Matthews to Willie Jackson in the third quarter and a 21-yard run by Errict Rhett with about eight minutes left in regulation. Despite Florida’s late push, Alabama sealed the game on an Antonio Langham pick-six with 3:16 to play. The Crimson Tide would go on to win the national title with a 34-13 win against Miami in the Sugar Bowl.
1993: Florida 28, Alabama 13
Call it deja vu. The Gators and Crimson Tide found themselves against each yet again in the SEC Championship. This time, though, Florida turned the tables with their punter providing the edge. Holding onto a 14-13 lead in the third quarter and facing a fourth and 8, punter Shayne Edge took the snap and ran 20 yards to move the chains. On the next play, quarterback Terry Dean hit Jack Jackson for a 43-yard touchdown to give UF a 21-13 lead. The Gators held on to win.
1994: Florida 24, Alabama 23
The first SEC Championship game to be played in the Georgia Dome turned out to be one of the most contested in the championship game’s history. It also showcased Steve Spurrier’s prowess. With the Gators down by six in the fourth quarter and quarterback Danny Wuerffel limping to the sideline, backup signal caller Eric Kresser fired a dart to Aubry Hill for 25 yards. Wuerffel then returned to the game. Two plays later, a double pass moved the Gators to the 2-yard line, setting up a Wuerffel-to-Chris-Doering shot for the game-winner.
1996: Florida 45, Alabama 30
Fresh off a three-point loss to Florida State, Florida played Alabama with a vengeance. Danny Wuerffel threw for an SEC-record 401 yards and six touchdown passes to lead the Gators to their fourth consecutive SEC title. The win gave the Gators a second date with FSU, this time with a national title on the line. Florida won the rematch with the Seminoles 52-20 to claim the program’s first national title.
1999: Alabama 34, Florida 7
The Gators, who lost to the Crimson Tide two months earlier in a 40-39 overtime thriller, looked to rebound and defeat Alabama on the second time around. Instead, Alabama rolled. Florida drew first blood on a trick play when tailback Earnest Graham threw a 3-yard touchdown to tight end Erron Kinney. Alabama controlled the game from there. The Crimson Tide defense forced four interceptions and the offense racked up 462 yards to hand UF its most lopsided loss to Alabama in an SEC Championship game.
2008: Florida 31, Alabama 20
Down 20-17 as the third quarter drew to a close, the Gators scored back-to-back touchdowns on a 1-yard Jeff Demps rushing touchdown and a 5-yard pass from Tim Tebow to Riley Cooper to take a 31-20 lead with 2:50 remaining in the game. Cornerback Joe Haden sealed Florida’s victory with an interception along the right sideline with about 90 seconds to play. The Gators went on to the BCS Championship game, where they defeated Oklahoma 24-14 for the third national title in program history.
2009: Alabama 32, Florida 13
Eventual Heisman Trophy winner and first-team All-American Mark Ingram rushed for 113 yards and scored three of Alabama’s four touchdowns. Quarterback Greg McElroy also threw for 239 yards and a touchdown on just 12 completions en route to MVP honors. The Gators put up a fight early, trailing just 19-13 at halftime, but Alabama’s defense shut Tebow and Co. down in the final 30 minutes.
2015: Alabama 29, Florida 15
Alabama dominated in every facet of the game. On offense, Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown, becoming the SEC's all-time single-season rushing yards leader in the process. Quarterback Jake Coker threw a pair of touchdown passes. On defense, the Crimson Tide sacked UF's Treon Harris six times and held the Gators to an 0-for-11 third-down conversion clip. On special teams, Alabama blocked both a UF field goal and a punt, the latter of which resulted in a safety. Florida's two touchdowns came on an Antonio Callaway punt return in the second quarter and a last-second desperation heave from Harris that found C.J. Worton in the end zone for a 46-yard grab.