With SEC Media Days upon us and with the SEC about to begin life as a 14-team conference, I thought it would be fun to jump in our DeLorean with Doc (more than likely an uncle of Les Miles') and relive the past 30 years in the SEC.
There's some interesting tidbits of info inside this historical journey. Let's begin with each team's record over the past 30 years. After careful study of the chart below, please draw your attention to the facts and figures that you may or may not have known. If you did know them, then good for you. You should keep it to yourself at dinner parties and conference calls. But good for you, nonetheless.
Figures are given as Wins-Losses-Ties -- Ties were abolished beginning in 1996 when overtime was instituted.
1982-1987 was a 6-game conference schedule. 1988-1991 was a 7-game schedule (except for UGA in 1988, who only played six for some reason). 1992 began the 8-game schedule after Arkansas and South Carolina joined and it's been that way since. Even currently, the near future appears to be an 8-game schedule with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M.
Every SEC game counts -- If two SEC teams squared off, it is reflected below, thus all SEC Championship Games and the 2012 BCS Championship Game count as well. This actually hurt Alabama as their losses in the SEC Championship Game to Florida in 1993, 1994, 1996, and 2008 gave them four additional losses. However, Tennessee would still have been better in the loss and tie column by two games, so my justification as a 'Bama fan didn't work. Tennessee would finish in second place either way. But it's REALLY close. Yeah. Really Close. BEAR BRYANT and NICK SABAN! Okay, here's the records.
Alabama 149-81- 2
Ole Miss 84-140-0
Mississippi State 70-154-1
South Carolina 66-94-0
Florida was really good. Geez. 25 more wins than second and third place Tennessee and Alabama. Hands down. No debate. Florida is the best team over the past 30 years. Let's move on.
Not Bad For Some New Guys
Arkansas and South Carolina did not join the SEC until 1992 and these numbers are only SEC vs. SEC numbers. Arkansas has all but doubled Vandy's totals in wins with Vandy's 10-year head start. The Hogs also have more wins than Kentucky and Mississippi State. South Carolina has more wins that Kentucky and Vandy.
I would like to congratulate Vandy and Kentucky on getting their 100th-combined win in the SEC since 1982 in 2011. Six teams have more wins that Kentucky and Vandy combined.
If this were the English Premier League, I'm afraid Vandy, Kentucky and Mississippi State would be battling MTSU and WKU for three-way tie for third place in the Sun Belt Conference
Florida defeated both Tennessee and Miami in 1985, but was not eligible for the SEC Championship or any postseason bowl game. Miami's only loss was Florida in the first week of the season. Tennessee's only loss on the season was also to Florida. Tennessee defeated Miami in Sugar Bowl to complete what many Tennessee fans consider an even more magical season than the 1998 national championship season. Miami was ranked No. 2 and appeared to be poised for a cakewalk to the title. Tennessee hammered Miami, but two ties alongside the Florida loss kept Tennessee from the national championship. In essence, Florida won the tiebreaker to be SEC Champions, but could not claim a title due to probation. Florida's only blemishes on the season were an unthinkable tie with Rutgers the week after beating Miami and a 24-3 loss to Georgia when the Gators were ranked No. 1.
Paul "Bear" Bryant's final season came in 1982 and it was magical until the Third Saturday in October. The No.2-ranked 'Tide lost for the first time since 1970 to Tennessee in Knoxville. Bryant then lost his last three regular season games before winning the Liberty Bowl to be sent off a winner. Included in those four losses was the Auburn loss to Bo Jackson and Pat Dye. It was Auburn's first win in the Iron Bowl since 1972's "Punt Bama Punt" game.
Ties Tied To Overtime
LSU, Auburn, and Tennessee had four conference ties apiece from 1982 through 1996. LSU has played in 13 overtime games since 1996, Auburn has played in 11, and Tennessee has played in 10. Coincidentally -- or not -- these three teams with the most ties have played in the most conference overtime games. Ole Miss has actually played in 11 overtime and played to two ties from 1982-1996, which was the second highest number of ties in SEC play.
Worst record to Win SEC Championship
2001 LSU (6-3 record after win in Atlanta over Tennessee) -- Not only was this the team with the worst record to win an SEC title, but LSU beat a team that had one loss and was well on their way to Pasadena for the national championship game against the
1990 San Francisco 49'ers Miami Hurricanes with a win. Nick Saban and LSU ruined it all for the Vols and for the first time since its inception -- and it hasn't happened since -- the SEC Championship Game ruined a team's chance to play for the national title. For the first time, the best team did not win the conference.
Worst record after losing SEC Championship Game
2002 Arkansas (5-4) and 2010 South Carolina (5-4) -- Arkansas went to their second SEC Championship Game in 2002, but this time it was because Alabama was dealing with the sanctions that would nearly bring the program down to its knees.
I think you are now ready for SEC Media Days. If you weren't going, change your plans. You can't just sit here with all this information and not find a way to ask Nick Saban anything from this list. Especially anything about the past or whether he thinks Alabama will always play Tennessee.
Sidenote: Congrats to Vandy on the new uniforms. They will pop on the field. Whether or not you think Vandy will win a game is not the issue here. Vandy will be the best team anytime they wear the all-white uniforms with white helmet. White helmets are key.Back to the Alabama Crimson Tide Newsfeed