Ranking the SEC national championship teams of the last 30 years

The SEC has long been the gold standard with regards to college football supremacy. The conference won an unprecedented seven straight national championships between 2006 and 2013 and five different schools have won. a championship in the last 30 years alone.

Each team certainly achieved immortality upon ascending to the top of the college football universe during their respective season. For some, it would be achieved through perfection, still others would remain undaunted and fought their way to the top after dealing with adversity.

SEC national championship teams ranked

14. 2007 LSU Tigers

Record 12-2

The 2007 LSU Tigers are the only two-loss national champion in both college football and SEC history. After suffering two soul crushing multiple overtime losses in 2007, the Tigers rebounded by beating Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game, followed by a 38-24 drubbing over heavily favored Ohio State in the BCS National Championship.

This scrappy Les Miles-coached team took advantage of a topsy turvy end to the college football season which saw multiple top 5 teams (including Missouri, West Virginia and Kansas) all play their way out of the title picture in the last few weeks of the season.

13. 2006 Florida Gators

Record: 13-1

Before Tim Tebow became the face of Gator Football, Chris Leak would help lead Florida to its first national championship in a decade. Florida’s lone loss was to Auburn, however, the team had to squeak by Vanderbilt and Georgia to finish 11-1.

Florida were double-digit underdogs to #1 Ohio State heading in to the BCS Championship Game but completely dominated the game 41-14 stunning Buckeye nation.

12. 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide

Record: 15-1

The 2015 Crimson Tide survived an early home loss to Ole Miss and used a dominant running game led by Heisman winner Derrick Henry to steamroll Michigan State in the College Football Playoffs. Alabama would go on to out gun surging Clemson 45-40 in route to the national championship, Nick Saban’s fourth overall.

11. Alabama Crimson Tide 2017

Sure, the Alabama national championships tend to run together but, in this case, Alabama failed to win its own division. The Georgia Bulldogs would emerge as SEC champions but Alabama found themselves right in the thick of the playoffs.

The Tide would gain a decisive win in a revenge game over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl before meeting Georgia at Mercedes Benz Stadium for all the marbles. It would be freshman Tua Tagovailoa coming in to spell and ineffective Jalen Hurts that would deliver the final dagger as he hit DeVonta Smith to secure Nick Saban’s fifth title in Tuscaloosa.

10. LSU Tigers 2003

This would be LSU’s first national championship since 1957 and also the first for legendary head coach Nick Saban. This LSU team actually lost at home to Florida 19-7 before reeling off eight straight, including a second victory over the highly-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

In the championship game, LSU’s defense would stifle a high-octane Oklahoma Sooners offense and emerged with a 21-14 victory in LSU’s backyard of New Orleans.

9. Florida Gators 1996

Record: 12-1

Steve Spurrier brought an exciting, air-raid offense with him to Gainesville back in 1990. In 1996 he would bring the University of Florida its first ever national championship after the Gators avenged a late-season loss to Florida State by drubbing them 52-20 in New Orleans.

The win put a stamp on Florida’s continued dominance of the SEC Eastern division during this time as the Gators won the division five straight times from 1992-1996.

8. Auburn Tigers 2010

Record: 14-0

Auburn were the proud victors of the Cam Newton sweepstakes in 2010 and it paid dividends with a Heisman Trophy for Newton and a national title for the Tigers. This team showed resolve all season long, notching close wins over South Carolina, Clemson, Kentucky and LSU before erasing a 24-0 second quarter deficit against rival Alabama.

The Oregon Ducks would be the victims in the National Championship Game, as the Tigers kicked a last-second field goal to win its first title since 1957.

7. Alabama Crimson Tide 2012

For Alabama, it was back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 and the Crimson Tide’s dominance was at the forefront of the college football landscape. The ’12 team would, however, fall victim to Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel ending their bid for a perfect season.

Alabama would outlast Georgia in the SEC Championship Game before laying waste to an overmatched Notre Dame team 42-14 in Miami.

6. Tennessee Volunteers 1998

Record: 13-0

No, Tennessee never won a national title with Peyton Manning at the helm, but the year after his graduation, Tee Martin would help engineer a perfect season for the Vols. After narrow wins over Syracuse and Florida to start the season, Tennessee would vault to #1 by mid-November and never relinquished the ranking.

Tennessee would hold off perennial championship contender Florida State 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl to bring the crystal ball back to Rocky Top.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide 2011

Record: 12-1

Yet another Alabama championship team that failed to win its own division, however, that can be excused due to the dominant nature of their rematch with LSU (who beat them 9-6 earlier in the year). This was a very well-balanced team but defensively it was a juggernaut with players like Nico Johnson, C.J. Mosley and DeQuan Menzie completely killing the spirit of the LSU offense in the BCS National Championship Game.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide 1992

Record: 12-0

This is the last Bama national championship to discuss, I promise…Actually, not it’s not, just one more to go! This one was special for Tide fans as Gene Stallings was able to vault Alabama back to the top of the mountain for the first time since Bear Bryant did so back in 1979.

Alabama beat Florida in the first every SEC Championship Game in Birmingham to earn the right to take on the might Hurricanes of Miami at the Sugar Bowl. The Tide prevailed 34-13 but would not return to championship form again for 16 years.

3. Florida Gators 2008

Record: 13-1

After the Gators stumbled at home against Ole Miss 31-30 on September 27th, inspirational team leader Tim Tebow proclaimed “You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.” It proved to be his Braveheart moment as Florida never looked back, dismantling all foes in their way including a great Oklahoma team in the BCS title game.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide 2009

Record: 14-0

It’s a seminal moment in the annals of history: Nick Saban’s first title at Alabama and the school’s first undefeated season since 1992. This season established that the Tide were back and going to be a force to be reckoned with for some time.

Alabama dismantled Florida in the SEC Championship Game, thwarting the Gator’s bid for back-to-back titles and held on against a Colt McCoy-less Texas Team in the Rose Bowl to kick off a new era of SEC West dominance.

1. LSU Tigers 2019

Record: 15-0

The first 15-win college football team in history was also one of the most dominant. The 2019 LSU offense will go down as one of college football’s best, average 48 points a game as the team beat SEVEN top 10 teams in route to a national title.

The season was highlighted by a Heisman Trophy for quarterback Joe Burrow which led to LSU’s handling of defending champion Clemson in New Orleans.

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One thought on “Ranking the SEC national championship teams of the last 30 years

  1. Man do you have a short memory. Clemson went 15-0 in 2018, the year before LSU did so stating LSU was the first 15-0 team in college football history is incorrect. Penn actually did it as well in 1897 so LSU was the third team in college football history to go 15-0.

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