Longest winning streaks in SEC rivalries all-time
Parity has been a defining characteristic of SEC football since its inception more than 80 years ago, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been exceptions.
The following are some of the longest win streaks by one SEC foe over another, provided both parties were members of the SEC at the time of the game (since 1992 for Arkansas and South Carolina, since 2012 for Missouri and Texas A&M).
We’ve broken these winning streaks into four categories for you: Florida wins, Vanderbilt losses, Alabama-Bryant wins, Kentucky losses and “other.”
(KEY: * active streak)
*Florida-Kentucky — 28 games (1987-2014): The Gators 28 straight wins over Kentucky mark the longest active win streak by one FBS opponent over another. The Wildcats pushed Florida to triple overtime in the Swamp last season before ultimately falling short of ending the skid. It was during that streak that Kentucky hosted its only College GameDay visit in school history for a 2007 showdown with Florida, a game Kentucky lost by eight points. (This streak also qualifies for the “Kentucky losses” category).
Florida-South Carolina — 14 games (1964-2004): Florida began its 14-game streak against South Carolina in 1964, then had to wait 28 years for the next showdown between the two teams in 1992, the Gamecocks inaugural season in the SEC. After that, Florida won another 13 in a row before former Gators coach Steve Spurrier, the same coach who beat South Carolina so many times in the ’90s, led the Gamecocks to a streak-snapping win in 2005.
*Florida-Tennessee — 10 games (2005-14): The Gators have quietly won their last 10 showdowns with Tennessee, one of the SEC East’s fellow traditional powers. The Vols came close to snapping the streak last year but fell short by a final score of 10-9 in one of the ugliest SEC games of the season. In its 10 straight wins over the Vols, Florida won by double figures seven times and by nine-or-more points eight times.
Florida-Arkansas — 9 games (1995-2013): The Gators’ nine-game win streak over Arkansas is far from the most publicized win streaks around, but it is significant in that the Hogs have yet to top Florida since joining the SEC in 1992. They met for the first time as conference foes in 1995, and in that time Arkansas only lost twice by single figures and lost four times by at least 30 points.
Tennessee-Vanderbilt — 22 games (1983-2004): The Commodores historic SEC struggles begin and end with their ineptitude against in-state rival Tennessee. Not only have the ‘Dores suffered a 22-game skid at the hands of the Vols in the last 35 years, but they’ve only won five times (with one tie) in the last 50 seasons dating back to 1965. Simply put, that’s not good.
Florida-Vanderbilt — 21 games (1992-2012): This can obviously qualify as both a Florida win and a Vandy loss. The Commodores lost 21 straight to Florida after the SEC expanded in ’91, finally snapping the streak when James Franklin took over as head coach in Nashville. For what it’s worth, Franklin is the same man to snap Vandy’s losing streak against Tennessee.
Alabama-Vanderbilt — 14 games (1970-83): It’s no surprise to see the SEC’s most historically dominant team paired with its least accomplished team all-time on this list. The Crimson Tide’s streak only made it to 14 games, and since the SEC split into two divisions the two hardly play one another anymore, but that hasn’t stopped ‘Bama from amassing a new 10-game win streak from 1994-2011 after Vandy snapped the 14-gamer in 1984.
Auburn-Vanderbilt — 13 games (1978-2007): Although Auburn’s historic streak against Vanderbilt only reached 13 games, it spanned 29 years and multiple generations, indicating just how lopsided this series actually was. Auburn won nine of those 13 games by at least 21 points, although ironically it is now Vandy who has amassed a two-game winning streak against Auburn with wins in 2008 and 2012.
Georgia-Vanderbilt — 11 games (1995-2005): There was a decade-long stretch around the turn of the century in which Georgia owned its SEC East rival. Not only did Vandy lose 11 straight to Georgia, but it failed to score 20 points in any of those 11 games, falling short of the 10-point mark in five of 11 contests.
Alabama-Mississippi State — 22 games (1958-79): Alabama and Mississippi State squared off in the highest-profile matchup in series history this past year, as the two teams both entered the game with one combined loss and a pair of top 10 rankings. Alabama won the game, which falls right in line with its dominance of MSU through the years. The pinnacle of its dominance was its 22-game win streak from 1958-79, during which head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant led Alabama to more national titles than Mississippi State posted 10-win seasons.
Alabama-LSU — 11 games (1971-81): Now one of the most compelling rivalries in the SEC and even the nation, Alabama once owned LSU on an annual basis, again during its heyday in the Bryant era. The Tide’s streak is more than twice the length of LSU’s longest win streak in this series, although in the last 12 years since Nick Saban left LSU the two teams have split their 12 matchups with six wins apiece.
Alabama-Tennessee — 11 games (1971-81): It’s rare that either team in the historic Third Saturday in October rivalry gained an obvious, sustained edge over the other, but that’s exactly what Bryant and Alabama did in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 96 meetings all time it is the only instance in which one side of this rivalry won at least eight or more games in a row over the other, and only the second time one side has run off a win streak greater than five.
Tennessee-Kentucky — 26 games (1985-2010): Before Kentucky snapped its historic skid to Tennessee in 2011 with wideout Matt Roark serving as the team’s surprise emergency quarterback, it had been more than a quarter-century since the Cats had topped the Vols. That losing streak was the longest in the nation at the time, and since it was snapped UK maintains the nation’s longest active losing streak to one opponent (see “Florida Wins” above).
Auburn-Kentucky — 15 games (1967-2005): Spanning from the “Shug” Jordan era to the Tommy Tuberville regime on the plains, Auburn’s superiority over Kentucky was one constant that stood the test of time for nearly 40 years. UK lost 15 straight games to Auburn in that time, and finally snapped the skid in the 2009 showdown between the two, a game coached by Auburn’s Gene Chizik and Kentucky’s Rich Brooks. For what it’s worth, Kentucky has never won consecutive showdowns with Auburn in their respective histories, dating back to the formation of the SEC in 1932.
LSU-Kentucky — 13 games (1961-73): Kentucky would win its second and most recent SEC title in 1976, but it remained one of the conference’s bottom-feeders only a few years earlier. It lost 13 straight to LSU in the 1960s and early ’70s, although the Tigers have never been able to replicate that dominance in the remainder of the history of this rivalry. Neither side has won more than five games in a row against the other in the more than 40 years since UK snapped the streak.
Georgia-Kentucky — 10 games (1978-87): Only two years removed from sharing the ’76 SEC crown with Georgia, the Bulldogs began blasting Kentucky on an annual basis to reassert their dominance in the conference. Of course, the Herschel Walker era falls in this 10-year span, as do the latter years of Vince Dooley’s legendary coaching career, and both parties helped Georgia run through the entire SEC during that time, not just the Cats.
South Carolina-Kentucky — 10 games (2000-09): This streak began during Lou Holtz’s South Carolina stint, and it extended into the Steve Spurrier era as well. The Wildcats never beat Spurrier as the head coach at Florida, and they hoped to be rid of him forever while he was in the NFL. Instead, he not only returned to the SEC but the SEC East, winning his first five games against the Cats before finally falling to UK for the first time at any school in 2010.
Auburn-Mississippi State — 16 games (1964-79): The Bulldogs losing streak against Auburn isn’t quite as long as its losing streak against the other SEC team from Alabama, but it’s certainly not a skid MSU is proud of. Mississippi State only posted five winning seasons in that time, and only won more than six games in a season twice, all while Auburn enjoyed the successes of players like legendary quarterback Pat Sullivan and coaches like fellow Auburn legend Ralph “Shug” Jordan.
LSU-Mississippi State — 14 games (2000-13): Mississippi State’s surge to its first No. 1 ranking in school history began last year with its first win over West-rival LSU since the turn of the century, and its first road win over LSU in even longer than that. During the Nick Saban and Les Miles tenures, the Bulldogs failed to even come close to competing with LSU, losing only two games in that time by single figures.
Georgia-Ole Miss — 12 games (1977-88): Kentucky wasn’t the only team Georgia dominated during the days of Dooley and Walker (see “Kentucky losses” above). The Bulldogs also took down Ole Miss in 12 straight meetings, rarely struggling against a team that posted only three winning seasons in that 12-season span and only one season with eight-or-more wins.
Tennessee-South Carolina — 12 games (1993-2004): After stunning Tennessee in a one-point upset win in their first year in the SEC, the Gamecocks failed to record their second conference win over the Vols for another 12 years. Tennessee won three East division titles in that time as well as the first-ever BCS championship, and four years of Peyton Manning did the Cocks no favors either.
Tennessee-LSU — 10 games (1934-59): In the early days of the SEC, Tennessee’s Robert Neyland was the hottest coach in the nation, and his Vols were the SEC’s team to beat in the 1930s and ’40s. LSU learned this the hard way upon suffering 10 straight losses to Neyland and Tennessee in a 25-year period, failing to find the winning combination after splitting its first two matchups with UT in 1932-33. It’s now LSU who has the upper-hand, claiming the last four wins in this series.