The first round of the Alabama SI Cover Tournament wraps up with a final matchup between a legendary game and one of the Crimson Tide's all-time greats. 

The 2009 SEC Championship Game was the equivalent of Alabama winning king of kill, dethroning Florida atop the conference en route to winning the national championship.

It faces Lee Roy Jordan, who graced the cover of on Sports Illustrated in a blood-stained jersey in 1972. 

BamaCentral is holding a 48-field single-elimination tournament to determine the best Alabama Sports Illustrated cover.

Vote on Twitter (@BamaCentral) or Facebook (@AlabamaonSI). The voting goes 24 hours for each matchup and the result added to the original post on BamaCentral.

First round

All Things Bama Regional

Game 16: Sweet Win Alabama (Colin Peek) vs. Lee Roy Jordan 

Lee Roy Jordan

Lee Roy Jordan cover, Sports Illustrated Dec. 18, 1972

Story headline: Champion Blahs in Big D

Subhead: By hanging on to defeat Washington 34-24, the Cowboys qualified for a wildcard spot in the NFL playoffs, but once again last season's Super Bowl winners exhibited their confounding second-half swoon

Excerpt (by Tex Maule): The Cowboys have sacked quarterbacks 31 times this year (the total was 42 for all of last season), but the present figures are somewhat misleading since nine came in the game against the feckless Eagles. Last Saturday, Dallas managed to reach Kilmer only one time, that on a blitz, when Howley dropped him for a nine-yard loss. Now, with Howley out for the season, even more pressure falls on middle linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, who at 6'1", 220 is nearly diminutive in the profession. Jordan is durable, if not large, and among the Dallas walking wounded that counts more than ever.

Still, as Lilly explains it, the major Cowboy problem is mental, not physical. "The injuries have made a difference," he says, "but that's not really it. It's the general attitude of the club. We even make more mistakes in practice than we did before. I guess it's been too easy for us on defense. The offense puts the points up and then we relax. We're not running for our life anymore—and in this league you have to run for your life every game."

At least the Cowboys will have an opportunity to redeem themselves by producing some full games in the playoffs. Their problem has been that they only run in the first half, and no one has ever won a race merely jogging the rest of the way.

Sweet Win Alabama

Colin Peek cover Sports Illustrated, Dec. 14, 2009

Story headline: Move Over, Gators

Subhead: The new king of the SEC is Alabama, which pushed around Florida on both sides of the ball and moved closer to its first national championship since 1992

Excerpt (by Austin Murphy): If you think it was unsporting and cruel for Alabama fans to cheer the sight of Tim Tebow's tears in the final minute of last Saturday's SEC title game, Terrence Cody asks for your understanding:

"We hear a lot about him being one of the most dominant players ever in college football," explained Cody, the Crimson Tide's terrific nose tackle. "We hear that all the time. For us to dominate him and do all that stuff to him, it meant a lot to us." 

It meant more, if possible, to the houndstooth-rocking legions of Alabama faithful, a group of partisans whose pride in their program is matched only by their sense of entitlement. Yes, the Tide had won 21 SEC championships, but the most recent of those came a decade ago. True, 'Bama owns a dozen national championships, but the Tide has been stuck on that number for 17 years. By reducing Tebow to tears and otherwise bullying the defending national champions in a 32-13 drubbing in the Georgia Dome, Nick Saban's squad earned a spot in the BCS title game, to be played on Jan. 7 in the Rose Bowl. There Alabama will be favored over a Texas team sure to run out of the tunnel in a foul mood—a by-product of the month of abuse the Longhorns must now endure following their coyote-ugly victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 title game later on Saturday.

This was the long-awaited evening that would dispel the fog, clarifying the BCS landscape and bringing the Heisman picture into focus.


Sweet Win Alabama (Colin Peek) d. Lee Roy Jordan, 72.3-23.7 percent