Is Tide About To Drop From SEC Top?

In 1933, the first year of Southeastern Conference football competition, the Alabama team of Coach Frank Thomas went 5-0-1 to win the inaugural championship and take the early lead in the all-time SEC Football Standings. Bama still has the lead, but it could be in jeopardy this season.

Alabama tied for first in the SEC with a 7-0 record in 1934 and was first or second in the league in three of the next five years to have the overall best mark through 1939. The Crimson Tide may or may not have slipped out of the lead over the years, but by the time legendary Bama Coach Paul Bryant had gone through the league with a 25-year record of 137-28-5 – 82.1 per cent -- (including 11 teams that were undefeated in SEC games en route to 13 conference championships) the SEC All-Time Football Standings race was firmly in the hands of the Crimson Tide.

Just as an aside, in 79 years of SEC competition, no other team has more league titles or undefeated conference teams than Bama had under Bryant.

Generally speaking, with the 10 remaining charter members of the SEC having played anywhere from 494 (Florida) to 552 (Alabama) conference games, there is rarely any movement in the all-time standings.

For many, many years Alabama has been first and that continues to be the case as the Crimson Tide has an all-time record of 369-163-20 record for a 68.7 winning percentage.

That does not include Alabama's 1980 and 1981 victories over Ole Miss, which were deemed non-conference games by a curious SEC rule. It also does not include five Tide SEC victories and one tie forfeited by NCAA penalty and 12 SEC victories vacated by NCAA penalty. On the field, Alabama's SEC record is 388-157-21 (70.4 per cent).

Tennessee has remained second in all-time SEC standings at 64.2 per cent going into the 2012 season and Georgia is the other team with at least a 60 per cent success rate at 60.3.

Last year, LSU moved ahead of Florida into fourth place. While the Gators were 3-5 in conference games and slipped to 57.8 per cent all-time and fifth in the league, the Tigers went 8-0 and improved to 58.2 per cent.

SEC Championship Game results and bowl games involving two SEC teams are not included as SEC competition.

Auburn is sixth at 56.4 per cent.

Another change in the all-time standings last year involved one of the newcomers. Arkansas, which has been in the SEC just 20 years, went 6-2 last year and moved ahead of Ole Miss into seventh place in the conference. The Razorbacks are at 49.4 per cent and Ole Miss at 49 per cent.

South Carolina, also in the league for 20 years, is ninth in the conference all-time standings at 41.6 per cent.

The final three are Mississippi State (33.7 per cent), Kentucky (31.7 per cent), and Vanderbilt (25.0 per cent, but an excellent graduation rate).

Former members are Georgia Tech, which was 61.6 per cent before leaving the SEC following the 1963 season, Tulane 38.7 per cent before leaving following the 1965 season, and Sewanee, which was winless in its 37 games before withdrawing following the 1940 season.

Two new teams come into the SEC this year and either Texas A&M or Missouri – or both – could be leading the all-time league standings at the end of the 2012 season. Six or more wins in eight games would be good enough for first.

BamaMag Top Stories