Every SEC school’s best sport outside of football
Believe it or not, football isn’t the only sport played in SEC country.
As March Madness draws near, we are reminded that not only are there other sports in the south, but SEC teams also happen to be pretty good at them. It’s been a crazy year in men’s basketball, with the No. 1 teams being upset on a regular basis.
But basketball isn’t the only sport where the competition is fierce. Men’s track and field may as well be the SEC Championship. Just throw in the occasional Oregon and Florida State, who along with one appearance from TCU make up the only non-SEC winners or runners-up in the last 15 years.
So without considering football, here’s where we think each SEC school does its best work.
Women’s Gymnastics: Alabama gymnastics has come a long way in 40 years. The Tide has won nine SEC titles, and the women have made it to the Super Six 31 times of their 33 NCAA Tournament appearances. Alabama claimed six national titles, with the most recent being in 2012. The Crimson Tide is currently sitting at No. 4 behind fellow SEC competitors LSU and Florida.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field: The Razorbacks are good in both men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field as well as cross country. But their overall record with men’s indoor track and field is ridiculous. Between 1984 and 2000, Arkansas won 16 of 17 national championships. Since then, the Hogs have claimed the title four more times, and they’ve come away at No. 2 three times. Arkansas is currently ranked No. 2 for this season, behind Oregon, and they just won the SEC Championship.
Swimming and Diving: The Tigers’ swimming and diving teams don’t get enough credit. The men’s team won five national titles in a row starting in 2003, and it has racked up a total of 18 SEC titles. The women’s team has also won five national titles since 2002, but they are spread out. And the women have collected five SEC titles.
Swimming and Diving: Florida’s men and women both lead the SEC. The men have 37 SEC titles, with the most recent being 2016. The women have 17 SEC titles, with the most recent being in 2009. The men have two national titles and the women have three. The Gators have also produced a number Olympic medalists over the years, including the well-known Ryan Lochte.
Men’s Tennis: The Bulldogs are tennis royalty in the SEC, racking up 37 conference titles in the last 50 years. Georgia also has six team national championships since the NCAA’s inception. However, the Bulldogs are having a down year, and they are currently sitting in the No. 17 spot nationally.
Men’s Basketball: This one is a no brainer. Other SEC teams may have their years, but basketball season is Kentucky’s bread and butter. The Wildcats have won the SEC Tournament a whopping 28 times, plus another 17 titles in the years there was not an SEC Tournament. Let’s put those numbers in perspective. Alabama has won the second most SEC Tournaments. Six times. Kentucky has made 55 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and 2016 should make 56. The Wildcats have eight national titles.
Softball: LSU has six total SEC titles, and it is going for seven. The Lady Tigers have made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and four Women’s College World Series appearances. The women are currently ranked at No. 6.
Baseball: The Bulldogs have claimed 20 SEC titles in baseball, with their most recent coming in 2012. They’ve also had a presence at the NCAA Tournament and College World Series, appearing 34 and nine times, respectively. Mississippi State has never been able to hold on for national title, but the team was runner up in 2013. The Bulldogs are currently No. 20 nationally.
Wrestling: Mizzou is the only SEC team that currently competes in NCAA wrestling. That means the Tigers compete as a part of the Mid-Atlantic Conference, so they cannot boast any SEC titles. Missouri is currently ranked No. 6 in wrestling.
Men’s Tennis: The Rebels have won the SEC title in men’s tennis five times, and they have made 19 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss has never been able to clinch the national title, but the men’s team in 1995 came the closest when it ended the tournament as the runner up.
Equestrian: Equestrian has only been an SEC-sponsored sport since 2013, but the Lady Gamecocks showed up ready for competition. South Carolina has won two of the three SEC titles in equestrian.
Women’s Basketball: The Lady Vols are a dominant force in women’s basketball. They blow every other SEC school out of the water with 17 SEC Championships. Vanderbilt is next in line with six titles. Tennessee has made 39 NCAA Tournament appearances and walked away with eight titles.
Women’s Soccer: The Aggies have only been in the SEC a few years, so they may not have many SEC titles to show off, but they do have 11 conference titles that span multiple conferences. Texas A&M has also made 21 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and the women walked away with the national title in 2014.
Baseball: This one is also a no brainer. The Commodores may have had a rough go of it at first — they only made it to the NCAA tournament three times by 2004. But since 2004, Vandy has been to the NCAA Tournament 12 times and the College World Series three times. The ‘Dores have six SEC titles and one national title, and they are currently ranked No. 2.