Countdown to SEC kickoff: 14 days

August, 15, 2013
Once again, Alabama enters the football season chasing history. That seems to be a recurring theme under Nick Saban, who's guided the Crimson Tide to three of the last four national championships.

A year ago, Alabama was trying to become the first team since Nebraska in 1994 and 1995 to repeat as outright national champions. Heading into this season, Alabama is trying to make it three in a row, which would be the first time a team has won three straight national championships in football since Minnesota in 1934-36.

But what about repeating as SEC champions? That leads us to today's number in our countdown: 15.
Even though the SEC has produced the last seven national champions, it’s been 15 years since a team has repeated as SEC champions. Tennessee won the league crown in 1997 and 1998 and hasn’t won since. Really, the only team that’s come close to repeating over the last 15 years was Florida. The Gators won in 2008 and went into the 2009 SEC championship game ranked No. 1 in the country, but lost 32-13 to No. 2 Alabama. The Tide went on to win their first national title under Saban. Only twice since the Vols’ repeat in 1997 and 1998 has a team won the SEC title and gone back to Atlanta the next season with a chance to make it two in row. Florida did it in 2008 and 2009, and Georgia did it earlier that decade after winning the title in 2002 with a 30-3 rout of Arkansas and then going back the next year and losing to LSU 34-13. When Steve Spurrier had it rolling at Florida in the 1990s the Gators won four consecutive SEC titles (1993-96). Alabama, which has won a league-high 23 SEC championships, has repeated as SEC champions more than any other school. The Tide have done it four times, most recently in 1977-79 when they won three straight titles and were a combined 19-0 in SEC play. They won five straight from 1971-75 and lost only one SEC game during that stretch, a 17-16 setback to Auburn in the famous “Punt Bama Punt” game in 1972. Alabama won three straight league titles from 1964-66 and also won in 1933 and shared the title with Tulane the next year.

Chris Low | email

College Football



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