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December 12, 2012

Top 12 SEC teams of my lifetime

The gentlemen of Has Been Sports, a Nashville based online talk radio group, asked me to send them a list of the top 12 SEC teams of my life time. The guys will broadcast my list and theirs tonight on their Happy Hour show tonight at 9:30 Central time.

It was a fun exercise that led me to a couple of interesting observations:
  • The SEC wasn't much in the 1970s. Yes, I am that old.
  • It was worse in the 80's, with the exception of Georgia in the first part of the decade.
  • With a couple of notable exceptions, defense has always won championships in the SEC, at least in my lifetime.
  • It is hard to put aside personal pride and prejudices to do a list like this.
I started out by looking at all of the undefeated teams over that time span with the thought that a team had to win a national championship to be considered. However, that approach quickly let me to three problem teams: 2004 Auburn, 2011 LSU, and 1982 Georgia.

I felt all three of those teams, based on the schedules they played, the teams they lost to (in the case of LSU and Georgia), and their season stats all made them higher selections than the 1996 and 2008 Florida Gators and the 2010 Auburn Tigers. That being said, I felt all three of those teams deserved consideration in the list and ended up finding them placed on the list. After that, ranking just became a matter of some subjectivity, but I think they fell easily into three groups. The top 3, the next 4, and the last five.

So onto my list:
  1. 1979 Alabama Crimson Tide - Easy pick. Sub 10 ppg defense, only gave up 6 TDs on season and scored over 30 ppg.
  2. 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide - Most talented team on the list. Only second because the '79 team gave up fewer points.
  3. 1998 Tennessee Volunteers - First BCS champion, beat three BCS teams and eight bowl teams. 
  4. 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide - Toss up between '92 Tide and 80 Dawgs, but gave Tide the edge on strength of schedule.
  5. 1980 Georgia Bulldogs - Sentimental pick? Yes. Belongs on this list with the punishing offense and opportunistic defense.
  6. 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide - Tough defense with an offense that rarely made mistakes (with one notable exception that saved them from having to play in the SEC Championship Game).
  7. 2004 Auburn Tigers - Best team to not win an national championship. Evah.
  8. 1982 Georgia Bulldogs - Only loss was in Sugar Bowl to national champions Penn State in the Sugar Bowl.
  9. 1996 Florida Gators - They didn't do much of that defense shit, but they were a terrific offensive team.
  10. 2008 Florida Gators - Tebow's speech lifted this team from a good SEC East team to a national championship.
  11. 2011 LSU Tigers - Almost left them off due to drubbing in the BCS National Championship, but decided they deserved to be on the list after I looked at their season.
  12. 2010 Auburn Tigers - Bastards.
The only team that it pained me to keep off was the 1978 Alabama team that split the national title with Southern Cal.

What would your list look like?



Paul Westerdawg said...

I think the 98 UT team is too high and 92 Bama is too low. Otherwise a good list.

Others that were awesome we're UF 95 and 01. And LSU 03.

Anonymous said...

LSU '03 has to be on this list. Most suffocating defense I've ever witnessed. Great special teams. Productive offense. I think they allowed under 10 points per game.

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