UGA football fans have caused quite a stir over the team not playing a home night game this season.
Many were hoping that Saturday’s top-rated game between No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Tennessee would be under the lights of Sanford Stadium, but CBS picked up the game for its SEC Game of the Week at 3:30 p.m.
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Before there are more moans and groans from the Bulldog faithful, the 3:30 time slot on CBS is the game SEC programs have wanted to play every week since the network became a league partner in 1996.
Because CBS gets the first pick most weeks during the season, it picks the best teams and the best games. The network gets one prime-time slot per season and used that pick on Texas A&M and Alabama this year.
CBS used its prime time slot in 2019 for Georgia’s game against Notre Dame.
The 3:30 Saturday slot definitely beats playing at noon.
With Saturday’s game possibly the highest-rated game ever played at Sanford Stadium, we’ve taken a look at the best games of the CBS regular season.
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Unsurprisingly, LSU and Alabama played some of the most high-profile games for CBS, but not this week. CBS chose Georgia-Tennessee over Alabama-LSU. This list does not include SEC championship games or bowl games.
Here are some of the highest rated matches on CBS.
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia, 2020
While the Bulldogs led 24-20 at halftime, they ran out of steam in the second half and lost 41-24. Stetson Bennett completed 18 of 40 passes for 269 yards with a pair of touchdowns but also three interceptions.
#1 Alabama vs. No. 2 LSU, 2019
Led by Joe Burrow and the Tigers’ high-powered offense, LSU won 46-41 in Tuscaloosa. Burrow passed for 393 yards and three scores. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa passed for 418 yards and four touchdowns.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 3 LSU, 2018
Behind Tagovailoa’s 295 passing yards and Jerry Jeudy’s 103 receiving yards, the Crimson Tide cruised to a 29-0 victory in Baton Rouge.
No. 2 LSU at No. 4 Alabama, 2015
Derrick Henry rushed 38 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns as the Crimson Tide won 30-16 in Tuscaloosa.
Well 2 Auburn at No. 3 Mississippi State, 2014
Dak Prescott passed for 246 yards and rushed for 121 while accounting for three touchdowns for Mississippi State in a 38-23 win in Starkville.
No. 1 Mississippi State at No. 4 Alabama
Prescott threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, but his three interceptions proved costly as Alabama beat the Bulldogs 25-20 in Tuscaloosa.
#1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Auburn, 2013
Auburn’s famous “Kick SIx” return on an Alabama field goal that failed will go down in the game as one of the greatest college finishes of all time. Auburn won 34-28.
No. 1 LŠU to No. 2 LŠU, 2011
In what was billed as the “Game of the Century,” the Tigers won 9-6 at home. However, Alabama got revenge in the BCS National Championship game with a 21-0 victory in New Orleans.
No. 1 Florida at No. 4 LSU, 2009
Tim Tebow returned from a concussion to lead the top-ranked Gators to a 13-3 win in Death Valley. Florida lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship that season, in Game 1 vs. 2 on CBS before beating Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.
No. 1 Florida State at No. 3 Florida, 1999
Chris Weinke passed for 263 yards and Sebastian Janikowski made three field goals to lead the top-ranked Seminoles past the Gators, 30-23, in the Swamp.
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 Tennessee, 1997
Peyton Manning fell to his worst enemy again as the Gators beat the Vols for the fifth straight time, including all four years Manning was at Tennessee.
No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 4 Florida, 1996
Manning tried to rally Tennessee from a 35–0 deficit after six Tennessee first-half turnovers, but his 492 passing yards weren’t enough as Florida won 35–29.