Monday, August 15, 2011
Waiting on the next repeat in the SEC
By Chris Low
Everybody talks about the SEC’s streak, the five straight national championships.
What about the SEC’s drought?
It’s been 13 years since anybody has repeated as league champion in the SEC.
The last team to do it was Tennessee in 1997 and 1998.
For a little perspective on how long it’s been, Nick Saban was coaching at Michigan State. Houston Nutt was in his first season as Arkansas’ coach, and Marcus Lattimore was in the first grade.
For that matter, there’s not a single SEC head coach from that time who’s still in the same job.
And unless Auburn -- picked to finish fifth this season in the Western Division -- can beat the odds and pull off the repeat, it’s a drought that will extend to 14 years.
Only twice since Tennessee’s repeat in 1998 has the champion even made it back to the SEC championship game the following season. And in 10 of those 12 seasons, the defending champion suffered at least three losses overall that next season.
Speaking of repeats, it's difficult to imagine anybody matching Florida's remarkable run in the 1990s. The Gators won four straight SEC championships from 1993-96.
Here’s a look at the SEC champions since Tennessee's repeat in 1997 and 1998 and how those champions fared the next season: