Rick Stansbury's place in SEC basketball."> Rick Stansbury's place in SEC basketball.">

Monday Morning Coffee Break

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01columnists/gswindoll.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> Rick Stansbury's place in SEC basketball.

After Mississippi State defeated Auburn to go to 18-1 on the season, I started wondering how many times the teams that are currently in the Southeastern Conference have had seasons like that during their entire histories, not just during their time in the SEC but their entire histories.

When I researched each school via their media guides, I discovered the exact number is 26 seasons! And 4 teams - Florida, Tennessee Vanderbilt and Ole Miss - have never done it even once.

Now, at first glance that may sound like a lot, but I'm talking about 12 teams that have played between 84 and 100 seasons each. I'll save you the trouble of trying to look it up: It's 1,127 seasons. Twenty-six seasons in 1,127 total season is 2.3%.

Now, that's impressive.

Once I came up with that number, that made me wonder how many coaches in the history of those same 12 schools have had teams that have won 20 or more games at least 4 times during their tenure at their school like MSU's Rick Stansbury will do once this year's team win its 20th game this season.

Time to dig through those SEC team media guides again.

Drum roll please: 18 coaches have done it. Kentucky had the most; Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith. Tennessee was next with three; Ray Mears, Don DeVoe and Jerry Green. On the opposite end of the spectrum, two schools had none; Ole Miss and Auburn.

Alright folks, I'm on a roll here. Let's take it a step further.

How big of a feat is it to win 20 games in a season, period?

Ask these teams.

  • MSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and LSU: They went 47, 42, 37, 35 and 35 straight seasons in between winning 20 or more games.
  • Ole Miss: After winning 20 or more games back to back in 1937 and '38, it took them 58 seasons before reaching that magic number again.
  • Florida: It took 48 years before they had the first 20-win season in their entire history.
  • South Carolina: They began playing basketball in the year 1908-09 and didn't win 20 until the season 1968-69, a total of 61 seasons later. Talk about frustration!

    Just food for thought while you are waiting for the basketball polls to come out.


    Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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