No doubt that some of you are going to carp that this isn't "really" the end of the decade because there was never a year 0 and so the first decade went from Jan. 1, 1 to Dec. 31, 10 (even if the years weren't marked that way back then) -- meaning that this decade actually goes from Jan. 1, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2010. Your humble correspondent had a father who never failed to point this out, and my response to you would be the same as it was to him: Your point?
We mark decades like this in our society, and so we will here at Team Speed Kills as we begin our look back at the 10 years that were. You'll see all the usual bests and worsts that you've come to expect in a series like this, as well as some of the key moments of the past ten years, from scandals at some of the highest-profile programs to head coaching changes nearly across the board.
It's been quite a decade for the SEC. No school had the same coach on its sidelines to end the 2009 season that it had to begin the 2000 campaign. One school is on its fourth leader -- well, sort of (more on that later today).
In the first full decade of the BCS, the SEC has already won four of the national championships under the controversial system and has a chance at a fifth shortly after the decade changes. At the beginning of 2000, no sophomore had ever won the Heisman Trophy; by the end of the decade, two SEC players had joined one from the Big XII in destroying that barrier. One of them joined the debate as the greatest player of all time.
The most recognizable teams in each division had been to the brink of irrelevance -- had become irrelevant -- at different points in the decade, only to have their dynasties restored by hired guns who hailed from the Midwest.
South Carolina and Kentucky were suddenly perennial bowl teams under veteran coaches who still couldn't match their past success at their new homes. One coach who had led one of the SEC West's teams for 10 seasons went to another and promptly had one of the more surprising seasons of the decade. Tennessee had two losing seasons in four years.
We'll relive some of that and more over the next several days. And we'll ask you along the way for your take on the moments and people who shaped the SEC in the 2000s. Because the only point in having memories is to share them with others.