SEC football titles well in the rearview mirror for most league teams

Alabama, Georgia dominate as contenders for conference crown

Crimson Tide photos / Alabama receiver Jameson Williams stretches out for a reception with Georgia's Derion Kendrick defending during the Crimson Tide's 41-24 victory in last December's Southeastern Conference championship contest. The win resulted in a 29th league title for Alabama, but the Bulldogs would avenge that defeat in the national title game.

The Vanderbilt Commodores will open the 90th season of Southeastern Conference football seven weeks from Saturday when they step way out of the league to face Hawaii in Honolulu.

Vanderbilt is among the five league programs yet to win an SEC football championship, and there are five more schools whose most recent conference title is more than a dozen years in the rearview mirror. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU are the only four teams to earn SEC championships since 2010, which puts the league in the same neighborhood as the Atlantic Coast (four different winners) and Big Ten (five different winners) conferences during the same time frame.

Winning a league championship for a majority of the SEC members is more difficult than ever before, and that will only become more profound when Oklahoma and Texas give the conference 16 programs in 2025. Missouri and Texas A&M are still seeking their first conference titles since joining the league in 2012, but they've certainly been nuisances at times to longstanding members, which has been reflected by the Tigers going 5-5 against Florida and the Aggies going 5-5 against Auburn.

The stability and success of Alabama and Georgia have put a stranglehold on the SEC title game, with the Crimson Tide having played for six of the past eight championships and the Bulldogs four of the past five, but perhaps the more important topic worth discussing is whether there even will be an SEC title game a generation from now.

If the SEC and Big Ten each contain 20-plus members and television executives decide a 16-team playoff containing teams from those two conferences would be the most lucrative model, those league title games could get bypassed altogether.

That might seem far-fetched, but who had Rutgers-UCLA as a conference game this time last month?

For now, here are where SEC teams stand in the all-time chase for league titles, which used to mean everything - if you had the stomach for Bourbon Street, that is.

photo AP photo by Dave Martin / Florida defenders wrap up Alabama running back Mark Ingram during the 2008 SEC title game won by the Gators 31-20. The Gators have not won a league championship since.


SEC titles: 29

Most recent: 2021

Synopsis: The Crimson Tide won the first SEC championship in 1933 and will enter the 2022 season with three more conference crowns than the next two programs - Georgia and Tennessee, which have won 13 apiece - combined.


SEC titles: None

Most recent: N/A

Synopsis: The Razorbacks joined the league in 1992 and made three journeys to the SEC championship game within the first 15 years, but they lost all three by double digits and haven't threatened since their 2006 trip. An 0-15 record against Nick Saban's Tide is the primary reason.


SEC titles: 8

Most recent: 2013

Synopsis: Auburn's seven SEC titles in the past 40 years are topped only by Alabama's 11 and Florida's eight. The Tigers played for the league championship as recently as 2017 but are in a two-year rut that's reflected by a 12-12 record sandwiching a coaching change.


SEC titles: 8

Most recent: 2008

Synopsis: All eight of Florida's league championships were compiled from 1991 through 2008, a stretch that included national championships in 1996, 2006 and 2008. The four SEC title-game trips since 2008 have ended in losses to Alabama, which included a 54-16 embarrassment in 2016.


SEC titles: 13

Most recent: 2017

Synopsis: Despite Georgia's recent success that includes last season's national championship and the near-miss national titles of 2012 and 2017, the Bulldogs have just three conference crowns since the Herschel Walker era. It's hard to find a more promising league program moving forward.


SEC titles: 2

Most recent: 1976

Synopsis: Georgia's 31-7 win in Lexington during the 1976 season resulted in the Bulldogs advancing from that shared title to land the Sugar Bowl bid. Kentucky's share is quite significant from a historical standpoint, however, as the Wildcats are the last league team to earn a title not named Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU or Tennessee.


SEC titles: 11

Most recent: 2019

Synopsis: The Tigers endured a dreadful 1990s before rebounding to win five league championships since Y2K, with only Alabama having tallied more with eight.


SEC titles: 1

Most recent: 1941

Synopsis: The 1941 Maroons - Mississippi State wouldn't be officially recognized as the Bulldogs for another 20 years - wrapped up their 8-1-1 season with a 26-13 victory at San Francisco on Dec. 6, mere hours before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

photo Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee receiver Peerless Price celebrates a 41-yard touchdown reception during the 24-14 downing of Mississippi State in the 1998 SEC championship game. That remains the 13th and most recent conference crown for the Volunteers.


SEC titles: None

Most recent: N/A

Synopsis: The Tigers entered the SEC in 2012 and won Eastern Division titles in 2013 and 2014 before losing to Auburn and Alabama. They haven't posted a winning league record in the seven seasons since.


SEC titles: 6

Most recent: 1963

Synopsis: The Rebels won half of their six championships in the four-season stretch from 1960-63, but they are 0-for-30 when it comes to representing the Western Division in the SEC title contest.


SEC titles: None

Most recent: N/A

Synopsis: Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks went 11-2 three straight seasons from 2011-13 but never won the East in those years. They did in 2010 with a 5-3 league mark and were promptly thrashed 56-17 by undefeated Auburn.


SEC titles: 13

Most recent: 1998

Synopsis: After winning five SEC titles in the 14 seasons from 1985 to 1998, the Volunteers have gone dormant in the league hardware department. The two most prominent factors in that are an 0-15 record against Alabama since 2007 and a 1-16 mark against Florida since 2005.


SEC titles: None

Most recent: N/A

Synopsis: The Aggies have yet to represent the West in the league title game since coming aboard in 2012, finishing a game back of Alabama in 2012 and again in 2020.


SEC titles: None

Most recent: N/A

Synopsis: The Commodores swept traditional East powers Florida, Georgia and Tennessee during James Franklin's third and final season in 2013 yet still finished three games back of Missouri and two behind South Carolina.

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