The SEC Title Game: Part 1

It was 15 years ago that the Southeastern Conference expanded to twelve teams with the addition of South Carolina and Arkansas. That expansion was made in order to create what has become one of the great events on the calendar, the SEC Championship Game.

We have had 15 seasons of SEC football since that expansion and I thought it might interesting to look at how all of the teams have fared in that time.

The 15 year time frame is useful not only because it parallels the era in which the title game has been the number one goal of every SEC team. It also is long enough to cover up and down periods for each team. Every school has changed coaches at least once in these 15 years and most have had multiple coaching changes. The rankings are based primarily on wins, SEC Championships and Division Titles. National Championships are also factored into the analysis.

With that, I offer up my ranking of the SEC football programs over the past decade-and-a-half today we rank the bottom six and tomorrow the top six.

#12 Vanderbilt ----- The Commodores have won just 47 games in 15 years, an average is just over three per season. They have not had a winning season in that time. They have had four coaches since this ERA began.

#11 Kentucky ----- The Wildcats have not been much better, but they do have 65 wins and four bowl bids in the last 15 years. They are on their fourth coach since the start of the 1992 campaign.

#10 South Carolina ----- The move to the SEC has not been an overly successful one for the Gamecocks who have 80 wins in 15 seasons. Carolina does have five bowl trips in that time and have been much more competitive since bottoming out in 1998-99 (1-and-21).

#9 Mississippi State ----- The Bulldogs actually have fewer wins (76) than the Gamecocks, but they get a little higher ranking for their appearance in the '98 Championship game. They can also point to five bowl trips in that time.

#8 Ole Miss ----- The Rebels have never made it to Atlanta, unlike their state rivals, but they do have 84 wins, which is eight more than State. Ole Miss has also been more consistent with seven bowl trips.

#7 Arkansas ----- While South Carolina has struggled to advance in the ultra-competitive SEC East the Razorbacks have had much more success out west. Arkansas has 95 wins to its credit and has made it to the SEC Championship Game three times. On the downside they lost all three times.

So there's your bottom six in the SEC Title Game era. I doubt the top six teams will be much of a surprise to anyone, though the order just might be.

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