Sometimes we just need our loved one's to hold us. Oh how we SEC fans hate going through the bad years with our teams. Most SEC football teams have enjoyed a lot of success through the years, and when our teams are on top, we forget very quickly how bad it used to be.
Well what do you say we do some reminiscing. Not just about the championships, but about how far our teams have come out of the holes they dug themselves into at times.
In the following slides we will preview the worst seasons for all 12 of the SEC schools. I will try to rank them, but please don't be offended if your team gets the worst ever nod. I only did one season for each team so I wouldn't just be picking on the less dominant teams of the conference.
So let's go back in time shall we?
Seen here coaching Pittsburgh, Johnny Majors coached at Tennessee from 1977-1992. He didn't have an enjoyable first year as the Volunteers finished 4-7 tying for their worst record ever.
I wonder what happens if Kiffin does that this year? Will he be ran out of town? I hope not because after the 1977 season, Majors did a pretty good job.
California: L 21-17
Boston College: W 24-18
Auburn: L 14-12
Oregon State: W 41-10
Georgia Tech: L 24-8
Alabama: L 24-10
Florida: L 27-17
Memphis: W 27-14
Mississippi: L 43-14
Kentucky: L 21-17
Vanderbilt: W 42-7
Honorable Mention: 5-7 2008/, 4-6/1962
Do you think that the Georgia fans showed this much enthusiasm during a dismal 3-7 season back 1961? I highly doubt it, but I guarantee the fan base stayed pretty loyal. They were just a little more low key.
First year head coach Johnny Griffith started a bad trend that year, setting the tone for a 10-16-4 record over a three-year span. He left soon after that.
Alabama: L 32-6
Vanderbilt: L 21-0
South Carolina: W 17-14
Florida State: L 3-0
Mississippi State: W 10-7
Kentucky: W 16-15
Miami: L 32-7
Florida: L 21-14
Auburn: L 10-7
Georgia Tech: L 22-7
Honorable Mention: 5-6/1977, 4-7/1990
Wow I'm brave for making Alabama fans look at this guy again. I'll be watching my back for the next few weeks that's for sure. In Mike DuBose's final season, he led the Tide to a measly 3-8 record.
Of course some may say it wasn't actually his fault with the talent not exactly poring in, because of the probation issues surrounding the school at the time. Although they weren't quite on probation yet. The crazy thing about it all was that Alabama was coming off of a SEC Championship year in 1999.
This had to hit the Tide fans out of nowhere.
UCLA: L 35-24
Vanderbilt: W 28-10
Southern Mississippi: L 21-0
Arkansas: L 28-21
South Carolina: W 27-17
Mississippi: W 45-7
Tennessee: L 20-10
Central Florida: L 40-38
LSU: L 30-28
Mississippi State: L 29-7
Auburn: L 9-0
Honorable Mention: 4-7/1997, 4-9/2003
I imagine this was a common facial expression when Auburn finished 3-8 for the 1976 season.
First year head coach Doug Barfield had a terrible time replacing a legend by the name of Shug Jordan. Barfield was unsuccessful for five years in a row against the Tide and that just seemed too much for the Tigers faithful to take, as he was let go after the 1980 season with just a .500 winning percentage.
Arizona: L 31-19
Baylor: L 15-14
Tennessee: W 38-28
Mississippi: W 10-0
Memphis: L 28-27
Georgia Tech: L 38-10
Florida State: W 31-19
Florida: L 24-19
Mississippi State: L 28-19
Georgia: L 28-0
Alabama: L 38-7
Honorable Mention: 3-8/1998, 5-7/2008
Not even a member of the SEC yet, Arkansas finished as a cellar dweller in 1990 at 3-8.
Playing in the old Southwest Conference, the teams from Texas just seemed too much for the Razorbacks to handle. Of course playing in a conference where every team, but Arkansas, Rice, and Baylor were hit with sanctions; the playing field might not have been equal considering your team wasn't cheating.
Pictured on this slide is Jack Crowe in 2008. You have to wonder if he is still thinking about that terrible 1990 season. The Southwestern Conference would exist only one more season, as Arkansas along with South Carolina would find a home in the SEC in 1992, creating the 12 team power conference that we know and love today.
Maybe SEC fans should be thankful that this whole mess happened.
Tulsa 2: W 28-3
Mississippi: L 21-17
Colorado State: W 31-20
TCU: L 54-26
Texas Tech: L 49-44
Texas: L 49-17
Houston: L 62-28
Rice: L 19-11
Baylor: L 34-3
Texas A&M: L 20-16
SMU: W 42-29
Honorable Mention: 3-7/1992, 4-7/2005
My personal opinion, Ole Miss should have kept Ed Orgeron there. Houston Nutt might be winning, but he is doing it with the players Coach Orgeron brought in.
However the 2007 season proved to be enough for the school to make a change at head coach after the Rebels finished 3-9. 2007 was the end of a four-year span that held a 14-30 record, resulting in a 31.8 winning percentage.
A truly depressing era for the Mississippi fans to endure. Though Ole Miss hasn't been considered a powerhouse in quite some time, people at least respect them when they came onto their turf prior to 2004.
They once again have their swagger back after a great 2008 campaign. Should they be thanking the 2007 season for being the learning curve?
Memphis: W 23-21
Missouri: L 38-25
Vanderbilt: L 31-17
Florida: L 30-24
Georgia: L 45-17
Louisiana Tech: W 24-0
Alabama: L 27-24
Arkansas: L 44-8
Auburn: L 17-3
Northwestern State: W 38-31
LSU: L 41-24
Mississippi State: L 17-14
Honorable Mention: 3-8/2005, 4-8/2006
I imagine there was a lot of falling asleep back in 1992, where the now mighty LSU Tigers finished 2-9.
With the first year of the expansion at hand, LSU fans hoped they could at least win the West so they could advance to the SEC championship game.
On a positive note, at least they beat their mighty rivals Tulane. Curly Hallman's second season at the helm ended up worse than his first, as he was fired just two years later much to the relief of the fans.
Texas A&M: L 31-22
Mississippi State: W 24-3
Auburn: L 30-28
Colorado State: L 17-14
Tennessee: L 20-0
Florida: L 28-21
Kentucky: L 27-25
Mississippi: L 32-0
Alabama: L 31-11
Tulane: W 24-12
Arkansas: L 30-6
Honorable Mention: 3-7-1/1981
If Jackie Sherrill would not have came by when he did, the Bulldogs could have fell off of the planet and no one would have known.
Mississippi State football legend Rockey Felker was coaching the 1988 team that finished 1-10. Crazy enough they let him guide the team for five more years, resulting in a 21-35 record. He was actually allowed to rejoin the team as a coach under Sherrill in 2002.
Good to know that Starkville remembers people for what they did good and not what they did bad.
Louisiana Tech: W 21-14
Vanderbilt: L 24-20
Georgia: L 42-35
Florida: L 17-0
Memphis: L 31-10
Southern Mississippi: L 38-21
Auburn: L 33-0
Alabama: L 53-34
LSU: L 20-3
Tulane: L 27-22
Mississippi: L 33-6
Honorable Mention: 1-9/1967, 0-8-2/1968
Hard to believe I sat and watched Vanderbilt beat Boston College in a bowl game last year.
It was the first bowl game appearance since 1982 when the George Macintyre was in the middle of a seven-year stint with Vandy. Hard to believe in his first year in 1979 they had their worst year ever.
Sure, they have had a lot of bad years, but they lost to Citadel for Christ's sake. They ended up going 1-10 with a lone 13-3 sleeper over Memphis.
Indiana: L 44-13
Citadel: L 27-14
Alabama: L 66-3
Tulane: L 42-14
Auburn: L 52-35
Georgia: L 31-10
Mississippi: L 63-28
Memphis: W 13-3
Kentucky: L 29-10
Air Force: L 30-29
Tennessee: L 31-10
Honorable Mention: 1-10/1986, 1-10/1990
It's hard to imagine the Florida Gators having a bad season, but in 1979 that was the case as they finished 0-10-1.
That's right, you heard me, the Florida Gators once sucked. Charley Pell was doing his best to replace former football star and coach of 10 years Doug Dickey. However, he did not get off to a good start.
By the time it looked like he was getting things turned around, he was let go in 1984 due to NCAA violations. This would spring a whole slew of more violations during the next six years, until Steve Spurrier came to town in 1990.
We all know the story from there.
Houston: L 14-10
Georgia Tech: T 7-7
Mississippi State: L 24-10
LSU: L 20-3
Alabama: L 40-0
Tulsa: L 20-10
Auburn: L 19-13
Georgia: L 33-10
Kentucky: L 31-3
Florida State: L 27-16
Miami: L 30-24
Honorable Mention: 4-7/1971, 4-7/1978
I find it hard to believe Kentucky fans loved their Wildcats too much in 1982.
They finished a measly 0-10-1. Jerry Claiborne would have finished his eight years coaching at the school with a winning record, if it wasn't for his first season.
That's just Kentucky football though. On again off again, with no one really wanting to play them due to being afraid they could get upset depending on which Kentucky team decides to show up.
Kansas State: L 23-9
Oklahoma: L 29-8
Kansas: T 13-13
Clemson: L 24-6
Auburn: L 18-3
LSU: L 34-10
Georgia: L 27-14
Virginia Tech: L 29-3
Vanderbilt: L 23-10
Florida: L 39-13
Tennessee: L 28-7
Honorable Mention: 2-9/1970, 1-10/1994
In Lou Holtz's first season trying to turn around a South Carolina team that had fallen flat to the bottom of the SEC, he got off to a really terrible start going 0-11.
I know I was sorta heart broken to see a coaching legend struggle so much. You gotta think the Gamecock fans thought for sure that things would get turned around with such a high profile coach running the sidelines. However, he did accomplish bringing the Gamecocks out of the cellar in years to come.
Although he didn't get them to elite status he definitely got them playing at a respectable level. After a bench clearing brawl with Clemson in the final game of the 2004 season, Holtz decided to hang it up. Steve Spurrier came in as his replacement the following year.
North Carolina State: L 10-0
Georgia: L 24-9
East Carolina: L 21-3
Mississippi State: L 17-0
Mississippi: L 36-10
Kentucky: L 30-10
Arkansas: L 48-14
Vanderbilt: L 11-10
Tennessee: L 30-7
Florida: L 20-3
Clemson: L 31-21
Honorable Mention: 1-8-1/1968, 1-10/1998
Surely even the Bear had years he wasn't too proud of. If you noticed most of the terrible seasons for these teams was either rebuilding years or the last year of their head coach.
It just goes to show, you can't keep a good SEC team down for too along.
Just for fun:
The next slide I decided to try and figure out who would win in a tournament of these 12 terrible teams to declare the worst team ever to play in the SEC.
1977 Tennessee Volunteers
1961 Georgia Bulldogs
2000 Alabama Crimson Tide
1976 Auburn Tigers
1990 Arkansas Razorbacks vs 1999 South Carolina Gamecocks
RESULT: 24-16 Arkansas Razorbacks win
2007 Mississippi Rebels vs 1982 Kentucky Wildcats
RESULT: 27-17 Mississippi Rebels win
1992 LSU Tigers vs 1979 Florida Gators
RESULT: 14-10 LSU Tigers win
1988 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs 1979 Vanderbilt Commodores
RESULT: 16-9 Mississippi State win
1977 Tennessee Volunteers vs 1979 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Result: 17-7 Tennessee Volunteers win
1961 Georgia Bulldogs vs 1992 LSU Tigers
Result: 17-16 Georigia Bulldogs win
2000 Alabama Crimson Tide vs 2007 Mississippi Rebels
Result: 22-17 Alabama Crimson Tide win
1976 Auburn Tigers vs 1990 Arkansas Razorbacks
Result: 28-27 Auburn Tigers win
1977 Tennessee Volunteers vs 1976 Auburn Tigers
Result: 17-13 Tennessee Volunteers win
1961 Georgia Bulldogs vs 2000 Alabama Crimson Tide
Result: 21-14 Alabama Crimson Tide win
1977 Tennessee Volunteers vs 2000 Alabama Crimson Tide
Result: 24-23 Alabama Crimson Tide win
So I hope you feel better Tide fans, at least you had the best worst team to ever play in the SEC!