Fans and analysts often like to compare college football programs to one another. There are so many ways to do this: all time wins, national championships, Heisman winners, etc. But sometimes, it can be frustrating when certain teams had success “back in the day”, yet we all know that their program is by no means a powerhouse (for example, Princeton and its 28 national championships).
So we wanted to look at college programs since the start of the 21st century, and break it down by conference. After all, most fans want to know where their team stands in comparison to its big rivals. We started with the SEC and tallied which programs have notched the most conference wins in the 21st century (2001-present). We didn’t include conference championship games — the logic is that a team which made and lost the championship game shouldn’t be punished for having an extra postseason loss, as making the game in itself is an achievement.
Here’s how the numbers shook out:
1. LSU – .729 winning percentage (70-26)
2. Florida – .708 winning percentage (68-28)
3. Georgia – .698 winning percentage (67-29)
4. Alabama – .646 winning percentage (62-34)
5. Auburn – .604 winning percentage (58-38)
6. Tennessee – .531 winning percentage (51-45)
7. South Carolina – .510 winning percentage (49-47)
8. Arkansas – .500 winning percentage (48-48)
9. Ole Miss – .344 winning percentage (33-63)
10. Mississippi State – .263 winning percentage (26-70)
11. Kentucky – .250 winning percentage (24-62)
12. Vanderbilt – .208 winning percentage (20-76)
What we learned:
- It’s all cyclical. Even the top teams on this list had some down years — it’s just plain difficult to have uninterrupted success. Part of that can be attributed to coaching changes, as not one of the teams has had the same head coach for the whole time frame.
- Despite Alabama’s recent dominance, the Crimson Tide hasn’t just run over everyone in the SEC. In fact, Alabama was just 27-29 in conference from 2001-2007 — a losing record.
- The SEC has some really good teams, but the conference bottom-feeders are terrible. A third of the conference is really, really weak. With that being said, the SEC unquestionably still reigns supreme — the national title streak speaks for itself.
Note: Texas A&M and Missouri were not included because they only joined the conference in 2012. However, if you’re keeping track, the Aggies are 6-2 (.750) and the Tigers are 2-6 (.250) in SEC play.