What are the top 5 dynasties in SEC history?
The SEC has been home to some of the most powerful football dynasties in college football history.
Coaches such as Bear Bryant, Vince Dooley, Johnny Vaught, Robert Neyland and Nick Saban have dominated the conference, and the nation, for extended eras.
The SEC has produced several dynasties over the decades. With apologies to Neyland’s great teams at Tennessee and Florida’s teams under Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, here’s a list of the top 5 dynasties in SEC history:
5. OLE MISS 1952-1963 (105-16-7, 5 SEC TITLES)
Johnny Vaught’s Rebels won five SEC titles over a 12-year period while posting a dominating record and playing in six Sugar Bowls. The Rebels’ 77.8 winning percentage in the 1950s was the nation’s second best behind Bud Wilkinson’s Oklahoma teams. Ole Miss stars from the era included Charlie Conerly, Charlie Flowers and Jake Gibbs, who each finished in the top five of the Heisman Trophy balloting. From 1952-1964, the Rebels were unbeaten at home, rolling up a 33-0-1 home record.
Ole Miss’ best teams during the era may have been the 1960 and 1962 Sugar Bowl winners. The 1960 team went 10-0-1, a 6-6 tie — the Rebels’ only home blemish in the era — to LSU at Oxford costing the Rebels a national title. The 1962 team, which didn’t give up more than seven points in a regular-season game, went 10-0 with a 17-13 triumph over Arkansas in New Orleans.
4. GEORGIA 1980-1982 (33-3, 3 SEC TITLES, 1980 NATIONAL CHAMPION)
It’s no coincidence that the Bulldogs’ marvelous three-year run occurred at the same time Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker was in school. Georgia won the 1982 national title in Walker’s freshman season, beating Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl to wrap up a 12-0 season.
The highlight of the regular-season was a 26-21 victory over Florida when all seemed lost. But Lindsey Scott caught a pass on a curl route from Buck Belue between Gators defenders and raced to the end zone for a 93-yard TD pass with less than a minute remaining to give the Bulldogs a 26-21 victory that pushed them to No. 1 in the polls.
Georgia had opened the season by rallying from a 15-0 second-half deficit to defeat Tennessee 16-15 on a pair of touchdowns from Walker in his first college game. Walker finished the season with 1,686 yards rushing and 15 TDs.
The Bulldogs opened the 1981 season with a 44-0 victory over Tennessee and finished the regular season with a 44-7 triumph over Georgia Tech. But a 13-3 loss to eventual national champion Clemson and a 24-20 loss to Dan Marino and Pittsburgh left them 10-2. In 1982, Georgia rolled to an 11-0 regular-season record and its third straight SEC title. Playing Penn State for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl, the Bulldogs fell 27-23.
Georgia compiled a 33-3 record with Walker, who finished his three-year career with 5,259 yards rushing and 53 total TDs, winning the Heisman in his junior season. Vince Dooley’s 1983 team went 10-1-1, but lost to Auburn, costing them a fourth straight SEC title.
3. ALABAMA 1971-1979 (97-11, 8 SEC TITLES, 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)
Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide ruled the SEC in the 1970s. For nine years beginning in 1971, the Tide was 97-11, winning or sharing eight SEC titles and going to eight major New Year’s Day bowls (Sugar, Orange and Cotton). After an 0-7-1 stretch in bowl games, the 1975 Tide beat Penn State 13-6 in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide won the coaches’ vote as national champions in 1973, the last year the coaches’ final vote was before the bowl games.
The decade finished with back-to-back national titles. The first is remembered for Barry Krauss’ stop of Penn State’s Mike Guman on fourth-and-goal from the Alabama 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter of the Tide’s 14-7 Sugar Bowl victory. The 11-1 Tide, which lost early in the season to Southern Cal, finished No. 1 in the AP Poll.
In 1979, the Tide whipped Arkansas 24-9 in the Sugar Bowl to wrap up an undefeated season as consensus national champion. Stars during the era included Tony Nathan, John Hannah, Ozzie Newsome and Dwight Stephenson.
2. ALABAMA 1961-1966 (60-5, 4 SEC TITLES, 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)
Bryant’s teams began to dominate the SEC. Strangely, a pair of one-loss Tide teams won the consensus national title in 1964 (the voting was done before the Tide lost to Texas in the Orange Bowl) and claimed the AP version in 1965, but the undefeated 1966 team finished third in the major bowls behind Notre Dame and Michigan, who tied in the “Game of the Century.”
The 1961 11-0 consensus national champions allowed only 22 points all season. In 1962, Joe Namath’s first season as quarterback, the Tide gave up only 39 points. But Alabama lost 7-6 to Georgia Tech for its only loss, which cost them a national title and the SEC title. The Tide lost defensive battles to Florida and Auburn in 1964 before finishing with a Sugar Bowl victory over SEC champion Ole Miss.
The Tide won six straight to claim the AP national title with a 9-1-1 record in 1965 after a victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Alabama outscored its last five 1966 foes 154-7 — Nebraska scored a touchdown in the Tide’s 34-7 Sugar Bowl victory.
1. ALABAMA 2009-2015 (86-10, 4 SEC TITLES, 4 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)
The strongest dynasty in Alabama history includes four national titles in seven seasons under Nick Saban. The Tide’s dominance comes in an era with greater parity in college football than ever before, though Saban’s staff has recruited the best players from throughout the country.
The Tide claimed national championships in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Running backs Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry became the first two Alabama players to win the Heisman. Saban’s 2009 team finished 14-0, beating Texas in the national championship game. The 2011 team avenged an earlier loss to LSU to beat the Tigers for the national title. In 2012, the Tide routed Notre Dame in the title game. In 2015, Alabama beat Clemson 40-35 for its first national title in the new College Football Playoff.