SEC Football: A Few Facts about 2010 and Before

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SEC Football: A Few Facts about 2010 and Before
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While it is not a common belief among SEC fans, it seems the national pundits have embraced Alabama and Florida as dominant teams in the SEC. Most articles written on a national point of view simply expect fans to take for granted that one of these teams will win the SEC.

This turns off most true SEC fans immediately as most are well educated in college football and know what a chore it is to win the SEC. With this in mind, hopefully before another writer fails to do his or her homework, let's take a look at the SEC and trends within the conference.

The SEC is comprised of two divisions—and each division contains some really impressive teams. Each division would be as strong as the majority of other entire conferences. Here is a look into the SEC as each team is ranked in winning percentage.

The SEC Western Division

Teams

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Alabama

Sixth

32nd

48th

Arkansas

29th

48th

41st

Auburn

16th

16th

14th

LSU

13th

21st

Eighth

Mississippi

45th

47th

56th

Mississippi State

89th

81st

99th

The SEC Eastern Division

Teams

Rank All

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Florida

15th

Second

Sixth

Georgia

12th

11th

Eighth

Kentucky

72nd

92nd

87th

South Carolina

74th

70th

46th

Tennessee

Ninth

Ninth

21st

Vanderbilt

76th

113th

110th

Each division has two or more teams in the top 15 in the nation over the last decade. Maybe a comparison is needed to actually show how significant this information is.

The Pac 10

Teams

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Arizona

40th

57th

89th

Arizona State

19th

46th

53rd

California

44th

62nd

40th

Oregon

52nd

18th

13th

Oregon State

86th

61st

24th

Southern California

Seventh

10th

Fifth

Stanford

49th

80th

91st

UCLA

34th

42nd

51st

Washington

18th

58th

90th

Washington State

78th

68th

76th

Colorado*

22nd *

39th *

79th *

Utah*

33rd *

15th *

12th *

*Will join the Pac 10 in 2011

The Pac-10 has three teams in the top 20 all time, two since 1992, and two in the last decade. The addition of Utah and Colorado will give the Pac-10 one more top 20 team for the last decade.

The Big 10

Team

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Illinois

65th

95th

96th

Indiana

103rd

100th

105th

Iowa

57th

40th

24th

Michigan

First

12th

22nd

Michigan State

32nd

66th

66th

Minnesota

38th

85th

61st T

Northwestern

102nd

77th

61st T

Ohio State

Fourth

First

Fourth

Penn State

10th

13th

29th

Purdue

56th

60th

51st

Wisconsin

46th

17th

18th

Nebraska*

Eighth*

Fourth *

20th *

* Will be in the Big 10 in 2011

The Big 10 has three teams in the top 10 all time, four teams in the top 20 since 1992, and two in the top 20 for the last decade. Nebraska would make a third team in the top 20 for the last decade.

Big 12 (10)

Team

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Baylor

77th

104th

109th

Oklahoma

Fifth

14th

Third

Oklahoma State

79th

67th

49th

Texas

Third

Fifth

Second

Texas A&M

24th

26th

59th

Texas Tech

47th

28th

19th

Iowa State

94th

98th

80th

Kansas

68th

64th

76th

Kansas State

100th

19th

41st

Missouri

55th

63rd

43rd

The Big 12(10) has two top 10 teams all time, three top 20 teams since 1992, and two over the last decade.

The ACC

Teams

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Boston College

31st

28th

16th

Clemson

30th

34th

28th

Florida State

11th

Sixth

30th

Maryland

59th

72nd

38th

North Carolina State

73rd

53rd

53rd

Wake Forrest

105th

83rd

60th

 

 

 

 

Duke

80th

119th

120th

Georgia Tech

25th

36th

27th

Miami (Fla.)

14th

Seventh

11th

North Carolina

42nd

48th

81st

Virginia

58th

37th

55th

Virginia Tech

21st

Eighth

10th

The ACC has two top 20 teams all time, two since 1992, and three in the last decade.

The Big East

Team

Rank All Time

Rank 1992-2009

Rank 2000-2009

Cincinnati

75th

50th

32nd

Connecticut

*****

55th

58th

Louisville

67th

31st

17th

Pittsburg

37th

71st

34th

Rutgers

69th

91st

74th

South Florida

*****

23rd

26th

Syracuse

35th

54th

94th

West Virginia

23rd

22nd

15th

***** New Programs No Long Term Records

The Big East has two top 20 teams in the last decade.

It is evident that either division of the SEC could easily stand on its own as a powerful conference. In fact, it would be easy to make an argument that they would still be the two most powerful conferences in the nation.

The truly remarkable fact is that there are six SEC teams in the top 20 all time, four since 1992, and five in the last decade even though they have played each other for over a century. This certainly disproves the notion that any team has ever dominated the SEC.

Some would like to claim that Alabama dominated the SEC from 1960 to 1969. In truth, there were five SEC teams with top 20 winning percentages from 1960 to 1969. The only decade when the top 20 teams by winning percentage did not have several SEC teams was from 1970 to 1979. This was truly a decade when the conference was dominated by Alabama with only one other SEC team with a top 20 winning percentage.

Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee have all won the Eastern Division within the last five years. Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, and Alabama have all won or tied for the SEC Western Division in the last five years.

The average margin of victory by the current SEC champion Alabama when playing Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, and LSU in 2009 was less than two scores.  The margin of victory for Florida when they played LSU and Tennessee was less than two scores.

Alabama had three games that were decided in the final quarter of the game in 2009. In fact some were decided in the final seconds. Florida had three games that were decided in the final quarter in 2009 as well.

There has not been any SEC team repeat as champion since Tennessee did it in 1997 and 1998. There have been repeat champions only twice since 1992, and only 14 times in conference history.

Alabama has repeat championships on four occasions.

LSU has repeat championships on one occasion.

Georgia Tech has repeat championships on two occasions while in the conference.

Mississippi has repeat championships on two occasions.

Georgia has repeat championships on one occasion.

Tennessee has repeat championships on three occasions.

Auburn has repeat championships on one occasion.

While it might be convenient for “experts” to simply pencil in Florida and Alabama, history tells us that they will most likely be wrong. Neither Alabama nor Florida has been dominant within the traditional six powers of the SEC in the last thirty years, or in the last two years.

It is certainly admirable that Alabama and Florida were able to achieve such a stellar record over the last two years. It shows what kind of quality programs they are. The records of Auburn, LSU, Georgia, and Tennessee also show a century old tradition of being a top program and this tracks right up to the last decade.

Here is a look at the head to head records of Alabama and Florida against the top tier of the SEC over the last decade.

Alabama v Auburn from 2000 to 2009 3-7 from 2005 to 2009 2-3

Alabama v Florida from 2000 to 2009 2-2 from 2005 to 2009 2-2

Alabama v Georgia from 2000 to 2009 1-3 from 2005 to 2009 1-1

Alabama v Tennessee from 2000 to 2009 5-5 from 2005 to 2009 4-1

Alabama v LSU from 2000 to 2009 3-7 from 2005 to 2009 2-3

Florida v Alabama from 2000 to 2009 2-2 from 2005 to 2009 2-2

Florida v Auburn from 2000 to 2009 3-3 from 2005 to 2009 0-2

Florida v Georgia from 2000 to 2009 8-2 from 2005 to 2009 4-1

Florida v LSU from 2000 to 2009 6-4 from 2005 to 2009 3-2

Florida v Tennessee from 2000 to 2009 7-3 from 2005 to 2009 5-0

This shows a record that is far from dominant by either of these teams over the last decade, or even over the last five years. To simply pencil them in as automatic winners of the SEC is both an uneducated and naïve assumption. Could Alabama and Florida win their divisions? Possibly.

Could Alabama or Florida win the SEC? Possibly.

It is a simply fact that the chances are against either of them winning the SEC this year. Of the two, the chances are more in the favor of Florida.

In truth it is likely that Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, and Florida all have a chance at winning the SEC. That is supported by team talent and record within the conference in recent history. Some pundits and experts think that South Carolina and Arkansas have a chance as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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