Latest SEC Storied episode examines
The Play That Changed College Football

    Some things you remember for a lifetime: your first bike, your first kiss, your first job.

    This week ESPNU takes a look back at a first the college football world would never forget, the first SEC Championship Game in 1992 between Florida and Alabama.

    The Play That Changed College Football debuted on ESPNU this Thursday and will reair on ESPNU today at noon ET prior to the 20th SEC Championship between LSU and Georgia.

    The documentary, the second to air in the SEC Storied series, dives into what the inaugural championship meant at the time and what it has meant to college football today.

    “For the Storied series, we look for topics in the SEC’s rich history that really resonate. The first SEC football championship game fit that description. The way the game played out, the immediate aftermath and the larger implications have helped shape college football as we know it today,” said John Dahl, ESPN executive producer.

    In the same spirit of reminiscing, Front Row asked ESPN employees what they remember from 1992:

    Dave Williams, Multimedia Assignment Manager: “I was in 11th grade at Scranton High School and was asked by a friend of mine who was taking a TV production class if I could help him with a project by doing some on camera interviews of students and faculty for a video about what was happening around the school. [Some] 19 years later and I still feel like I’m working on that project sometimes.”

    Jonathan Guzzo, Application Developer: “I remember watching the Barcelona Summer Olympics… if i’m not mistaken. That, and of course playing Super Nintendo, which had just come out.”

    Ben Cafardo, Senior Publicist: “I think I was in second grade, but I’ll always remember Magic Johnson’s performance in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. Oh, and Vanilla Ice was the halftime show. ‘Nuff said.”

    Jennifer Tortora, Director Technology Communications: “I think I was watching Bill Clinton play saxophone on MTV.”

    Eric Jones, Master Control Operator: “I was already in my 2nd year in the TV business. Yes, that means 2011 is 20 years.”

    So… where does the Storied series go from here?

    “We’ll continue to tap into stories that are ultimately character studies to varying degrees. As much as The Play That Changed College Football was about a game and its larger impact, it was an even deeper look at three people in particular who made it what it was– Shane Matthews, Antonio Langham and the SEC Commissioner whose idea it was to create a conference title game, Roy Kramer, “ said Dahl.

    If only we had a DeLorean to go back to the future.

    In the meantime, tune-in to The Play That Changed College Football on ESPNU today at noon and ESPN2 Sunday at 1 p.m.

    SEC Storied: The Play That Changed College Football will air on ESPNU Saturday at noon and ESPN2 Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

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  • Bryce Rou

    Your film is very well done and entertaining but you made a mistake at the end of your documentary. Your narrator said only once did the underdog coast the SEC a chance at a national title. The game mentioned was 2001 when LSU upset the Vols . There was one other game in which a team was kept from a national championship shot and many of the players that played in the 92 SECCG were involved . It was the 1994 game in which 11-0 Bama lost 24-23 to 9-1-1 Florida . In fact Jay Barker threw a pick at the end of the game to keep the Tide out of the Sugar and sending Bama to the Citrus Bowl. Once agin I truly enjoyed the program I was at the game in 92 and it was nice stroll down memory lane . Even though my team lost that day in Birmingham I have always felt I was witnessing a big and important piece of college football history and I’m glad espn thinks so as well.

    • Gracie Blackburn

      We are glad you enjoyed the film and you raise a point worth debating. Alabama was unbeaten and ranked 3rd going into the 1994 SEC Championship Game against Florida, and if The Tide had won, it appears it would indeed have gone on to the Sugar Bowl and played Florida State. However, this was the era before the BCS, when teams ranked 1 and 2 weren’t guaranteed to match up. Nebraska was the top-ranked team in 1994 and Penn State was ranked second. Both teams won their bowl games and remained unbeaten and in the top two spots. So it likely did not cost Alabama a shot at the title as they hadn’t played Nebraska or Penn State and wouldn’t have been able to jump those two teams.

  • David Willis

    I just wanted to add that while I enjoyed the documentary, I found the person who did the narration to be excrutiatingly bad. He says all of his lines in a half whisper with what sounds like an almost faked soft southern accent. He also hits he consonants hard like he is over-pronouncing the words. I honestly found it distracting. (I am sure that is probably just me though.) Otherwise it is a decent story, that certainly makes you wonder why Shane Matthews and Antonio Langham both failed to make any sort of impact on the professional level.