The last time every SEC team rushed the field
Ah, field rushing. It’s everything great about the American college experience rolled into one. There’s celebration, uncertainty, pandemonium, angst, rule-breaking and pure, unfiltered joy.
However, that timeless tradition is under attack as safety concerns and league bureaucracy have greatly reduced their number in recent years. In fact, there were no field storming incidents in 2015.
Still, it’s fun to revisit the last time each team’s fans let loose and celebrated, some as recently as 2014.
Alabama has never rushed the field and, barring some ridiculous period of irrelevance, probably never will. Because Alabama is often the butt of field storming, it’s easy to see why fans would view their team as above it.
Date: Nov. 15, 2014
Result: 17-0 win against LSU
Reason: A shutout against a rival is often cause for celebration, but it’s even sweeter when that celebration comes in the midst of a rocky season. Beating LSU snapped a 17-game conference losing streak and its momentum propelled the Hogs into a win over Ole Miss and a bowl berth.
Date: Nov. 30, 2013
Result: 34-28 win against Alabama
Reason: The Kick Six is the most electric play in Auburn football history, and one could argue that it’s at least top five in all of college football. Storm that field, Aubs.
Florida, just like Alabama, is over it. It has never rushed the field. This one is admittedly more surprising since the Gators’ history is more comparable to Georgia or Tennessee than Alabama, but perhaps there is a distinguished layer of class under all of those jorts.
Date: Oct. 7, 2000
Result: 21-10 win against Tennessee
Reason: A pattern of rivalry games is starting to emerge here, and for good reason. Georgia had endured a decade of dominance by Tennessee, and it was sick of it. After losing nine straight and winning at home, it’s time to go Dawg wild.
Date: Oct. 4, 2014
Result: 45-38 win against South Carolina
Reason: Football is now in vogue in Lexington, and what better way to celebrate than a coming out party? South Carolina was a powerhouse coming into the season, ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP poll. Kentucky would start the season 5-1, including this win against SC. UK fans saw it as a potential changing of the guard, but now it just seems that Carolina was overhyped, as they finished 7-6.
Date: Oct. 25, 2014
Result: 10-7 win against Ole Miss
Reason: 2014 was a frustrating one for LSU as it would finish 8-5, tied for worst under Les Miles. Among the hurdles of the Anthony Jennings era came one huge win: a grating 10-7 win against Ole Miss on the home turf. After hours at the edge of their seats, Tigers fans couldn’t wait to get out of them and on to the field.
Date: Oct. 23, 2004
Result: 38-31 win against Florida
Reason: Before the Dan Mullen era, Mississippi State was a far different place. The Bulldogs would beat three teams in 2004: Tulane, Kentucky, and No. 20 Florida. When you lose to Maine, UAB and Vandy in the weeks leading up to it, any victory against a ranked team is cause for a mini Mardi Gras.
Date: Nov. 28, 2014
Result: 21-14 win against Arkansas
Reason: 2014 was a great year for field rushing, which perhaps explains the new legislation for 2015. The Tigers were met with skepticism when first joining the SEC, and they responded with dominance. This win clinched their second consecutive SEC East title, and Arkansas just happened to be a victim.
Date: Oct. 4, 2014
Result: 23-17 win against Alabama
Reason: If the Hugh Freeze regime goes as planned, fans will look back on this day as their arrival. After being Alabama’s doormat for a decade, the Rebels burst onto the scene with a victory at home. This would be their statement, and they would turn it into a conversation with an even bigger win at Alabama in 2015. Maybe Freeze does have Saban’s number, but only time will tell.
Date: Sept. 29, 2001
Result: 37-36 win against Alabama
Reason: Long before his days as a legendary ESPN analyst, and before the Steve Spurrier regime, Lou Holtz was making a case as one of South Carolina’s most storied coaches. Though South Carolina was the higher-ranked team, this was the first win in program history against the Tide. To add to that, it was a 1-point victory at home on a game-winning touchdown. That field had it coming.
Date: Sept. 19, 1998
Result: 20-17 win against Florida
Reason: 1998 was a huge year for the Vols. It was their last SEC title, their last national title and their first perfect season since 1938 in the days of Bob Neyland. If a moment would encapsulate this, it would probably be the overtime win against the Gators. Tennessee broke the Peyton Manning curse with Tee Martin at the helm, winning in dramatic fashion with a missed field goal in OT. This is undoubtedly the best team on the list as UT would compile what is probably the best season in Vols history.
Date: Nov. 20, 2010
Result: 9-6 win against Nebraska
Reason: Back when Nebraska was relevant and A&M still played in the Big 12, A&M took down the No. 9 Cornhuskers. Far from what we know about the Big 12, the 9-6 win was very uncharacteristic. The grimy game saw Taylor Martinez leave with an injury and a school-record 16 penalties for the Cornhuskers. Neither team scored a touchdown, but Aggies fans were stoked to get the W. The A&M faithful have so many game day traditions, rushing the field may be too mainstream in College Station.
Date: Nov. 15, 2003
Result: 28-17 win against Kentucky
Reason: Jay Cutler, often regarded for his toughness and passion for the game, led his team to victory over a sliding Wildcats team. It was big for Vandy, which snapped a 23-game losing streak in the SEC but would finish the season with only two victories.