If you could only have 1, which SEC game-worn jersey would you want?
Ole Miss recently announced it will retire Eli Manning’s No. 10.
Many Arkansas fans wish the Hogs would do the same for their hero, Darren McFadden.
Tennessee unveiled a new alternate jersey for 2020.
The annual jersey countdown clock has started on social media, so you know it’s officially jerseyszn.
Naturally, all of this jersey talk led to a question and discussion. If you could have only 1 game-worn jersey from any SEC player, which would you choose?
Connor O’Gara, Senior national columnist
I’ll take that jersey that Herschel had ripped in the 1980 showdown with George Rogers. I feel like if you’re going to get a game-used jersey, why not get one that’s got a story behind it? And every time I’d look at that jersey, I’d think about how cool it was to have the jersey worn by the best college football player ever in his first national TV game. Every time that would come up, you could talk about why Herschel deserved the Heisman Trophy, or what he could have done in an offense that believed in spacing.
It would actually be better if the jersey was still ripped in the middle of it, and not restored. Do they keep those? They should. That’s a piece of history, and perhaps as much any, that’s what I’d want to have.
Well, I suppose I’d settle for the jersey that Herschel wore when he ran over Bill Bates.
Jon Cooper, SDS co-founder
“Are you not entertained?!”
This is an easy one for me. Give me Tim Tebow’s 2008 uniform against Florida State. Wet and muddy conditions led to an incredible image for the former Florida quarterback, who looked like a bloody gladiator on the sideline after pulverizing 3-4 FSU defenders.
Tebow had many memorable moments during his career, but visually, I’m not sure there’s a better moment. Percy Harvin went down with an injury, and Tebow had to carry the team to victory, which he did with ease 45-15.
Neil Blackmon, Florida columnist
For me, it’s the Cam Newton jersey from the Cam-back in the Iron Bowl.
It’s the moment that defines 1 of the 3 best SEC football players of this century (Tim Tebow, Joe Burrow) for me.
Nick Saban’s team was brilliant that day. Greg McElory had it all going, former Heisman winner Mark Ingram looked like a man possessed. Plus, you just don’t erase 24-point deficits against Nick Saban-coached football teams. You just don’t.
But Cam did. When he hit Emory Blake streaking down the sideline for Auburn’s first score, it felt like all that was happening was respectability. But when Newton hit Terrell Zachary down the sideline early in the second half and the Tigers cut the lead to 10, you felt the momentum shift.
From there, Newton wasn’t going to be denied.
By the time Newton scrambled and bought extra time to find the late Philip Lutzenkirchen in the back of the end zone, an Auburn victory almost felt inevitable. But it wasn’t over — not until Newton powered his way over multiple All-SEC defenders on 4th-and-1 with less than 4 minutes to play.
It was one of the most remarkable performances by a college quarterback ever — and it came in the SEC’s best rivalry game — with everything on the line.
Give me that jersey, please.
Adam Spencer, Newsletter editor
Most of my memorable Mizzou moments happened before the Tigers joined the SEC, as that was when I was in school (beating Kansas at Arrowhead, upsetting then-No. 1 Oklahoma, etc.) but there are still a couple of SEC moments that stand out.
I’d go with either Henry Josey’s last game in a Mizzou uniform (a 41-31 Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State after the 2013 season) or Drew Lock’s last win as a Tiger (against Arkansas in 2018).
They were both incredible in those games, with Lock running for 2 touchdowns and throwing for 2 more against the Hogs and Josey rushing for 92 yards and 3 scores against the Cowboys. Either of those jerseys would look good framed and hanging on my office wall.
Michael Bratton, News editor
So many choices to pick from and there is no wrong answer to a question like this, but I would pick Chris Davis’ jersey following his Kick-6 to win the Iron Bowl.
That play defines SEC football and the Iron Bowl in so many ways. The passion, the energy, the unpredictability of the sport, the intensity and the finality that can result from one play on the field. Auburn didn’t win the national championship that season, but the Tigers likely cost Alabama one, which is the next best thing.
Years from now, if you asked me who won the national championship in 2013, I probably won’t be able to tell you. The Kick-6, I’ll never forget as long as I live. I know the room I was sitting in when it happened (the living room of my apartment in Los Feliz, Calif.), it was that memorable.
For those reasons, I’ll take the Davis jersey.
If I had a backup option, I’d pick Rashaan Gaulden’s jersey after he flipped the double birds to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Chris Wright, Executive editor
First question: Am I wearing this or framing it? Blue and orange are in my wheelhouse, but Cam’s jersey would look like an oversized sleep shirt my daughter wears. Same for the No. 2 jersey Derrick Henry wore when he broke Herschel’s SEC single-season rushing record.
For this jersey, my wish list is a single-digit, historic, good guy in addition to great talent. I also like alternate jerseys. Leonard Fournette’s gold alternate jersey was all kinds of epic. Joe Burrow’s jersey from the Fiesta Bowl against UCF would be a conversation starter. That was the game where he literally picked himself up off the ground, rallied the Tigers and never lost again.
Ultimately, I’d pick the jersey Jalen Hurts wore when he rallied Alabama past Georgia in the 2018 SEC Championship Game. I admired everything about Hurts’ career at Alabama, start to finish. And to lose his job, then come off the bench like he did and win the game like that? With a scrambling TD throw that showed growth and a last-minute TD run that reminded us, he is who we thought he is: a winner.
No wonder Nick Saban cried.
That’s a jersey I’d wear anywhere.