Behind the Numbers: The Worst SEC Teams Since WWII

This week writer Howell Peiser gives his interesting take on each SEC school's all time worst football team. Take a look at this interesting piece diagramming SEC Football's worst of times

Some time during every college football season, you will read in a paper or on the Internet or hear on the radio somebody's list of the greatest teams of all time. Vanderbilt never really comes into the argument when you talk about post-WWII teams. Usually, you hear the names Nebraska, Oklahoma, Southern California, Ohio State, Alabama, Army, and Notre Dame. You never hear much about the worst teams of all time. Today, I am going to list the worst teams by school for each of the SEC members. You'd be surprised to find out all of them have had at least one awful year.

Alabama: 1955 0-10-0 48 points 256 Opponents. This Crimson Tide team was the beginning of the end of the "Ears" Whitworth era in Tuscaloosa. The Tide would go 20 games between wins from mid 1954 to mid 1956. The 1955 contingent never threatened to win a game. A 21-6 loss to Vanderbilt was their closest margin of defeat, and they never were in that game. The Tide were shut out four times, including a 26-0 thrashing at the hands of Auburn. The schedule was tough as eight of the ten opponents posted wining records. Whitworth would post identical 2-7-1 records in 1956 and 1957, and then he would be replaced by Bear Bryant. Bryant took a group of low talents and immediately went 5-4-1 in his first season and had Bama in a bowl in year two.

Arkansas: 1990 3-8-0 263 points 360 Opponents. After a 2-1 start with the loss being a close one to the best Ole Miss team in many years, the bottom fell out on the Razorback defense. In a four week stretch, Arkansas gave up 214 points in losing to lowly TCU 54-26, a weak Texas Tech team 49-44, Texas 49-17, and Houston 62-28. The Razorbacks then proceeded to drop games to Rice and Baylor to fall to 2-7. A decent effort in a loss from Texas A&M set up a game with 1-9 SMU to decide last place in the Southwest Conference. Arkansas surrendered 29 points to a Mustangs team that had mostly D1-AA talent, but the offense came through with 42 points.

Auburn: 1950 0-10-0 31 points 255 Opponents. Prior to the time Shug Jordan established the winning tradition, Auburn had some real stinkers. This one was the worst. The Tigers scored 14 of their 31 points in their first game; they lost to Wofford 19-14. They played another small college team in week three and lost to Southeastern Louisiana 6-0. Against the eight major college teams, Auburn was outscored 230-17! Bill Wade became famous when the Commodores beat the War Eagles 41-0 in week two. All told, Auburn failed to score in seven games. Only a close 12-10 loss to Georgia gave Auburn fans a chance to root for a possible victory. Alabama beat them in the final game 34-0.

Florida: 1979 0-10-1 106 points 265 Opponents. Charlie Pell left Clemson and took over for Doug Dickey in 1979; the Gators failed to win a game even though they played some teams close. In the season opener, The Gators lost to top 10 team Houston 14-10. Game two produced the tie against Georgia Tech 7-7. Except for a 40-0 blowout loss to national champ Alabama, Florida's defense gave them a chance to win, but the offense could not get it done. Things turned around quickly in Gainesville, as the Gators went 8-4 with a Tangerine Bowl victory a year later.

Georgia: 1961 3-7-0 84 points 177 Opponents. Fran Tarkenton graduated after the 1960 season and Coach Wally Butts didn't have an adequate replacement. The Bulldog offense could not score 17 points in any game. After losing to Alabama (who would take the NCAA title) 32-6 in the season opener, Georgia lost at home to Vanderbilt 21-0. This was Art Guepe's weakest Commodore squad. The Bulldogs recovered briefly, and went 3-1 in their next four games, all decided by three points or less. Georgia then lost their last four games against good but not great opposition. It was the beginning of the end for Wally Butts, as the Bulldogs would have to wait until 1964 to post another winning season. By then, Vince Dooley was the head coach.

Kentucky: 1994 1-10-0 149 Points 405 Opponents. Even though the Cats had a year where they failed to win a game, this was by far a weaker squad. A 20-14 win over Louisville in the first game was the only bright spot for Coach Bill Curry's team, which was coming off a Peach Bowl berth the year before. Florida destroyed Kentucky 73-7, and Indiana followed that up with a 59-29 pasting a week later. The losses continued to mount every week. A loss at home to Northeast Louisiana followed a loss to Vanderbilt. The season ended with a 52-0 slaughter to Tennessee. Curry hung around Lexington for one more season, before Hal Mumme came to the rescue.

LSU: 1992 2-9-0 175 Points 261 Opponents. Curly Hallman took over for Mike Archer and made a mediocre program worse. This team actually had enough talent to win 6 or 7 times, but there was no chemistry. Fans openly booed the Tigers at home on a Saturday night loss to Colorado State. A home loss to Kentucky brought more boos. About the only thing that kept Hallman from being burned at the stake was a win over Tulane. Hallman posted losing seasons the next two years and was fired. Gerry Dinardo took over and immediately guided the Tigers to a winning record and bowl bid.

Ole Miss: 1946 2-7-0 76 Points 144 Opponents. This wasn't that bad of a season for the Rebels, especially since it brought Johnny Vaught to Oxford. The Rebels beat Florida (who would go 0-9) in week two 13-7, and they upset a good Arkansas team 9-7. The only bad defeat was at the hands of small college team Louisiana Tech 7-6. Five of the losses were to teams who were 7-3 or better. Vaught reversed the losing in 1947, as the Rebels improved to 9-2 (the lone SEC loss was to Vanderbilt) and won the Delta Bowl. Vaught would stay until 1970 and return for one season in 1973, and in all the years, the Rebels suffered only one losing season.

Mississippi State: 1967 1-9-0 49 Points 259 Opponents. Rarely does a team find itself playing a schedule where every team would post a winning record, but this group of Bulldogs played 10 winning teams. It was a weak squad, who would follow up with an 0-8-2 year in 1968. The lone win was against Texas Tech 7-3. Miss State failed to score four times during the year, in losses to Georgia 30-0, Alabama 13-0, Auburn 36-0, and LSU 55-0. The last three were in succession. The Bulldogs concluded the year by actually scoring a field goal in the Egg Bowl. They lost to a mediocre Ole Miss team 10-3.

South Carolina: 1963 1-8-1 104 Points 170 Opponents. Yes, the 1998 & 1999 teams were weak, but the 1963 team takes the cake. The Gamecocks played two games in November against teams still without a win. Both of the winless teams came away with their first victory after playing USC. Tulane won 20-7 and Wake Forest won 20-19. The tie was against 2-7-1 Virginia 10-10, and the one win came against 3-7 Maryland 21-13.

Tennessee: 1958 4-6-0 77 Points 122 Opponents. In the post-war period, Tennessee has never had a very bad season. Four wins is the least amount in more than 60 years. I picked the 1958 season because this was the year that the Vols lost at home to Chattanooga. This was a good Moc team who won 14-6. Tennessee played only one losing team, picking up a 13-8 win over Mississippi State. After the Chattanooga loss, the Vols played like a new team and pulled off a huge 18-16 upset over a 7-1 Ole Miss team who had only lost to number one LSU. To conclude the year, the Vols upset Vanderbilt (which had not lost in the SEC) 10-6 to spoil any chance the Commodores had to get a bowl bid.

Vanderbilt: 1966 1-9-0 72 Points 237 Opponents. I have seen the five 1-win Vandy teams between 1966 and 1990, and this one was the weakest. The Commodores beat a weak Citadel team in the season opener 24-0 Citadel would also lose to George Washington that year. The only bright spot the rest of the year was the one week off. Vandy had no offense; they couldn't run, and they couldn't pass. They were outscored 237-48 the rest of the way, and at least four of those scores came against the oppositions' bench-warmers. Four great teams followed on the schedule after the Citadel game. Georgia Tech, in Bobby Dodd's final season won 42-0. Tech would go 9-0 before losing to Georgia in the final game. Florida, led by Heisman trophy winner Steve Spurrier, beat Vandy only 13-0. The best Virginia Tech team prior to Frank Beamer was on its way to an 8-1-1 regular season; the Gobblers beat Vandy 21-6. Vandy then ventured to Legion Field in Birmingham to take on what Bear Bryant called his greatest team. Alabama won 42-6 as Ken Stabler enjoyed a great day. The next three losses revealed how weak Vandy was in 1966. The Commodores lost to Tulane 13-12, Kentucky 14-10, and Navy 30-14. The Navy slaughter was at home, and this sealed Coach Jack Green's fate in Nashville. Vandy lost twice more to Ole Miss 34-0 and Tennessee 28-0. Green announced his resignation. Vandy interviewed four candidates who would later find much success at other schools. Johnny Majors. Bill Dooley, Jerry Claiborne, and Bo Schembechler all wanted the job, but none of them were offered. Former NFL great and long time announcer Pat Summerall also expressed interest in the position. The job went to Bill Pace, an assistant under Frank Broyles at Arkansas.

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