Florida Gators Football: Best SEC Program of the Last Decade?

John PattonContributor IJuly 10, 2011

Urban Meyer, Albert the Alligator and Tim Tebow would offer backup that Florida had the SEC's top football program of the last decade.
Urban Meyer, Albert the Alligator and Tim Tebow would offer backup that Florida had the SEC's top football program of the last decade.Handout/Getty Images

Wow, Bleacher Report readers, I must say I am impressed. The response to my last slideshow was passionate to say the least.

Now, I'm not exactly saying the passion was in response to the actual question. However, a semi-throwaway line about Florida possibly being the most successful Southeastern Conference school in the last decade brought about Love from the Plains to go along with feedback from fans of many other SEC powerhouses.

So, let's try and settle this (I'll include a poll for all of you to chime in).

As a Kentucky fan pointed out (accurately, I might add) in response to a line about me not doing my homework, the top three records of SEC teams in conference play (along with any BCS championship victories) the last decade look like this:

1. Florida (58-22, BCS national championships 2006, 2008)

2. LSU (56-24, BCS national championships 2003, 2007)

3. Auburn (54-26, BCS national championship 2010), followed very closely by Georgia (53-27)

Tennessee (49-31), Alabama (48-32, BCS national championship 2009) and Arkansas (40-40) also have won at least half of their games in league play. South Carolina (37-43), Mississippi (30-50), Kentucky (22-58), Mississippi State (20-60) and Vanderbilt (13-67) round out the list.

Breaking it down the last five years, the standings look this way:

1. Florida (31-9)

2. Alabama (27-13)

3. LSU (26-14)

4. Auburn (24-16)

5. Georgia (23-17)

6. Arkansas (22-18)

7. Tennessee (21-19)

8. South Carolina (18-22)

9. Mississippi State & Kentucky (14-26)

11. Mississippi (12-28)

12. Vanderbilt (8-32)

So, here is what I would argue.

Florida has been the SEC's No. 1 program the last decade, and the Gators have been the most consistent team, as well.

Even with last year's 4-4 conference mark, UF (19-5) sits just two games behind first-place Alabama (21-3) the last three seasons. No one else has less than 10 conference losses during that span.

Auburn has been the most up-and-down team, evidenced by a 13-11 mark the last three seasons (one game behind No. 3 LSU and tied with Georgia), statistics that include 2010's 8-0 conference record.

The most impactful coaches have been Urban Meyer (65-15, 36-13 in the SEC), Nick Saban (43-11 overall on the field, 25-7 in the SEC, does not count five losses 'Bama was forced to forfeit based on violations committed under former coach Mike Shula) and Les Miles (62-17, 32-15).

I say the numbers don't lie. How about you?