Alabama Football: Undefeated SEC seasons almost as hard as National Championships

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: Undefeated SEC regular seasons are nearly as difficult as winning a National Championship.

With the annual Alabama football chase for a National Championship, other achievements are sometimes undervalued. To many Alabama Crimson Tide fans, an SEC Championship or an undefeated SEC regular season is no consolation in a failed National Championship year. Such is the price paid for fans of the most ambitious program in college football.

This season, Alabama football fans could celebrate all three milestones. First an undefeated regular season by beating Arkansas on Saturday. Then an SEC Championship by winning over the Florida Gators. The crowning achievement in a Crimson Tide trifecta would be a 2020 National Championship.

Nick Saban is never willing to look too far ahead. This week he sees Saturday and Arkansas. To Nick, an undefeated, 10-0 SEC regular season would be a big deal.

Yes, a 10-0 SEC regular season would be unique. It is unlikely to ever be replicated. Among SEC coaches, only Saban has an appetite to play nine or ten SEC games every season. along with an all Power-Five schedule.

Then there is an SEC Championship. Only nine of the current 14 SEC teams have won an SEC Championship. Alabama Football leads with 27 SEC Championships. Combined, the two teams with the next, most SEC Championships, Georgia and Tennessee with 13 each, have one less than the Crimson Tide. LSU follows with 12, then Florida and Auburn with eight. Ole Miss has six, plus Kentucky and Mississippi State have one each.

Going back to the 1961, SEC and National Championships, the Crimson Tide has won the SEC title 21 times. In 15 of those 21 seasons, the Crimson Tide was undefeated in SEC play: 1961; 1964; 1966; 1971; 1973; 1974; 1975; 1977; 1978; 1979; 1981; 1992; 2009; 2016 and 2018. The 1970s run of seven, undefeated SEC Championships has been often described as the Tide’s greatest ever. The Alabama Crimson Tide also won the 1972 SEC Championship with a 7-1 record.

In terms of National Championships, a pattern emerged in 2006. In the 14 National Championships going back to 2006, SEC teams have won 10. Only one of the 10 National Championships were won by an SEC team that was not the SEC Champion. That was the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2011.

No one can argue that an average, SEC regular-season game is as hard to win as a National Championship game. But statistically, going undefeated in an SEC season, is nearly as difficult as winning a National Championship. Again, going back to the 1961 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide has won 11 National Championships. In the same period, the Crimson Tade has accomplished only 15 undefeated SEC seasons.

Check out score predictions for Tide post-season opponents. dark. Next

Here’s a tip for the CFBP Selection Committee – choosing two SEC teams in the final four will never be a mistake. Not choosing two might be.