What was happening in the world the last time your team was No. 1?
Sure, everybody wants to be number one. But if you’re a fan of a team that isn’t Alabama, it’s been a little while. For about half of the teams in the SEC, it’s been more than a little while. So we’re dealing some perspective — here’s what was happening in the world the last time each SEC squad was on top of the AP Poll.
Alabama: December 4, 2016
Sure, so this one wasn’t so long ago. Alabama was last No. 1 a few days after Donald Trump was elected and after Fidel Castro died. “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane (honestly, I have no idea what this is) was the top song on the pop charts and Moana was number one at the box office.
Mississippi State: November 9, 2014
If you guessed who the last SEC team was to be numero uno before the Crimson Tide, you probably overlooked State. The Bulldogs were on top of the world just after Madison Bumgarner turned in an all-time pitching performance to help the Giants win the World Series. At the same time, Meghan Trainor’s “All About the Bass” was on top of the charts and the top film at the box office was Big Hero 6.
LSU: December 5, 2011
Those days of Les Miles glory weren’t so long ago, but it has been a few years. The Tigers were last on top before their rematch with Alabama — days before the formal declaration of the end of the Iraq War, and the month after boxer Joe Frazier passed away. The top pop song was “We Found Love” by Rihanna and Breaking Dawn, Part 1 was the highest grossing film.
Auburn: Final 2010 poll
Auburn’s last week at number one has been seven seasons ago — but at least it was the final poll, which is the one to top. True Grit was on top at the box office and Katy Perry’s “Firework” ruled the pop charts when Cam and the Tigers won it all.
Florida: November 29, 2009
The 2000s were much kinder to the Gators than the 2010s, and their last week on top was a month before the end of the 21st century’s first decade. Another Twilight movie was making money (New Moon) and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys had the top single with “Empire State of Mind.” Sadly, the Gators’ empire was headed backward.
Georgia: 2008 preseason
Georgia was tops in the country before the 2008 season, just after the Summer Olympics finished in Beijing and a few weeks after the deaths of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes. Rihanna’s “Disturbia” was the No. 1 song and Tropic Thunder was the highest grossing film.
Missouri: November 25, 2007
While the Tigers haven’t been on top of the polls in their SEC years, a decade ago, they were the No. 1 team in the nation. Enchanted was the top movie that week, and the Tigers went on top between the deaths of writer Norman Mailer and stunt star Evel Knievel. The Tigers haven’t repeated the stunt of being number one as a member of the SEC, which may not be riding a motorcycle over crocodiles, but it’s no small feat.
Tennessee: Final 1998 poll
Bill Clinton was President, Patch Adams (we miss you, Robin Williams, even if we don’t miss that movie) was the highest grossing movie and R. Kelly and Celine Dion topped the pop charts with “I’m Your Angel” the last time the Vols were numero uno. Doesn’t seem like that long? A couple weeks later, HBO debuted a new TV show. The Sopranos.
Arkansas: October 18, 1965
Like Mizzou, Arkansas has number one history, but not in the SEC. The last time the Razorbacks were on top, Lyndon Johnson was President, “Yesterday” by the Beatles was the number one song, and Sandy Koufax had just won Game 7 of the World Series for the Dodgers.
Ole Miss: Preseason 1964
Not saying it’s been a long time since the Rebels were tops in football, but it was the week that Bob Dylan allegedly introduced the Beatles to marijuana and LBJ formally accepted a presidential nomination. Mary Poppins came to the big screen that week, too.
Texas A&M: November 11, 1957
The last time the Aggies were No. 1, Elvis was on top of the charts (“Jailhouse Rock”), President Eisenhower was about to have a stroke, and Russia had just launched an animal into space, where it would be the first animal to orbit the earth. Unfortunately, the Russians had no plan to bring it back to earth, and the Aggies haven’t had a good plan to make it back to the top.
South Carolina: NEVER, best was #2, last reached on November 13, 1984
Carolina is one of three SEC teams to have never been number one. They did reach the second spot in 1984, the week after Ronald Reagan won a re-election landslide, when Billy Ocean’s “Carribean Queen” ruled the radio, and actress Scarlet Johansson was about to be born.
Kentucky: NEVER, best was #3, last reached on November 20, 1950
The Wildcats have never topped the poll either, reaching third place in late 1950, when Sammy Kaye and his orchestra had the biggest hit single with “Harbor Lights.” President Truman had survived the whole Dewey-Defeats-Truman fake news scandal, and in news that probably would matter more than any of this for UK fans, the Pistons beat the Lakers 19-18 in an NBA game that might have brought the shot clock into basketball.
Vanderbilt: NEVER, best was #7, last reached on October 25, 1937
Vandy hasn’t been the top dogs either, going as high as No. 7 in 1937. Yes, 1937. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was one of the first colorized films to hit the big time (two years before Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind appeared), Benny Goodman had the year’s biggest song, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was still having fireside chats.