Check Out the Sights and Sounds of ‘SEC Nation’ in Tuscaloosa [GALLERY/VIDEOS]
The Florida Gators were not the only team the University of Alabama hosted this weekend.
To play up the matchup between Alabama and Florida held at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, "SEC Nation," a traveling pregame show that chooses a different SEC town each week to broadcast its program, set up on campus in front of Moore Hall across from the Quad.
The Crimson Tide pulled away in the second half to beat the Gators, 42-21, later that day.
If you weren't able to watch the show live, below is a play-by-play of the highlights from it. Also, be sure to check out the gallery of photos from the show and the videos, including one of Alabama great Joe Namath.
8:49 a.m.: The "SEC Nation" crew is introduced to the crowd, including the guys working behind the scenes. The ones that will actually be featured on the show -- Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum -- are all received with rousing cheers. Yes, even Tebow and Finebaum.
9:00 a.m.: As you will see in the gallery below, a countdown clock featured on the large video board put on display for fans attending the event. Right on cue, the show goes live as soon as the clock hits triple zeros.
9:12 a.m.: It was hard to always hear everything that they were saying when positioned behind the set, which is where the media were placed, but troubled Florida State star quarterback Jameis Winston is mentioned, despite not playing in the SEC.
It is understandable enough though, as Winston is the trendiest topic in college football at the moment. Spears calls the loss of Winston due to suspension against Clemson is huge. "He's the reigning Heisman Trophy winner," he says.
9:14 a.m.: First commercial break. To this point in the show, most of the talk has been about what they have in store coming up. As they cut away for commercials, Blake Sims, Amari Cooper and others are put on display, giving the fans in attendance their first real reference to Alabama.
9:45 a.m.: On perhaps the funniest moment of the show, Tessitore, Tebow, Spears and Finebaum all put on a Houndstooth hat, like the one legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant used to wear. A segment about Bryant and his fashion sense led to the hat-wearing.
9:53 a.m.: Joe Willie Namath accompanied by his daughter, Jessica, and his 3-year-old granddaughter, Jemma arrives behind the set a few minutes before going on stage. One fan nearby yells, "Roll Tide, Broadway!" paying homage to Namath's nickname, "Broadway Joe."
Another fan, an older woman, is one of the few fans around behind stage to get close to Namath. She shares a hug and several pictures with him before it's time for him to go on stage. When he walks away, she is still in disbelief: "I've been in love with him since the '60s!" she exclaims.
10:04 a.m.: Namath, now on stage, proves that even now, he is still as charismatic as he ever was, standing up and playing to the crowd at one point, which resulted in spirited cheers.
10:10 a.m.: At least in this edition of "SEC Nation," it wasn't entirely about football. Kaylee Hartung, "SEC Nation"'s sideline reporter, had a live 1-on-1 interview with former Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson over by the show's bus. Patterson, who retired this summer after 36 years in charge of the gymnastics program, spoke about how Bryant gave her a chance as a coach and how she was the last holdover coach from his era before her retirement.
10:28 a.m.: The first "Ala-bama" chants break out and are successful until a small contingent of fans in Tebow Florida jerseys take control and begin chanting "Te-bow," which even some Alabama fans join in on. But order is restored soon after with "Roll Tide" chants.
10:42 a.m.: Gary Danielson, the color commentator for college football games on CBS, joins the show as a guest. Danielson will call the game later that day, alongside play-by-play man, Verne Lundquist.
This may actually be better considered a lowlight, but Tebow compares Alabama's Blake Sims and his ability to run with the ball to former Crimson Tide quarterback Andrew Zow. Danielson agrees with Tebow on that assessment. Ugh.
10:55 a.m.: Tebow, Spears and Finebaum make their picks for the three relevant SEC football games from this weekend.
The first game up is South Carolina at Vanderbilt. With the Commodores off to a horrible start this season, this pick was a no-brainer. All three analysts take the Gamecocks and all three were correct. Credit to Vandy for making it a little closer than any of them probably expected, though.
Next is Mississippi State at LSU. Tebow picks the Bulldogs, while Spears and Finebaum choose the Tigers. Mississippi State held on to win in Death Valley later that night. Good pick, Tim.
And last but not least was Florida at Alabama. In almost all scenarios, Alabama is a safe and obvious pick to make but with Tebow's ties to the Gators, you had to think there was a chance that he went with his allegiance. But at the same time if you were not aware, Tebow has a bit of soft spot for the Crimson Tide after nearly signing to play for them years ago.
I don't know if that's the reason why he ended up picking Alabama in this game, but that's what he did. Spears and Finebaum also went with the Tide. As previously mentioned, Alabama came away with the victory.