Alabama Football: SEC Win Percentage leader not Nick Saban

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/AAF/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/AAF/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football coach, Nick Saban is the GOAT by nearly every measurement. But Saban still has some milestones to achieve. One of those is Saban is not the SEC’s historical leader in winning conference games.

There are two ways to measure that stat. One would be by using the record of every season a coach led an SEC team. For Saban that would include LSU and the Alabama Crimson Tide. For Paul Bryant, it would include Kentucky and Alabama. For Steve Spurrier, it would include Florida and South Carolina. The other and arguably better way is to use only the school where each coach had his most success.

Using the second method and setting a minimum number of seasons at six for each coach, the records of 14 SEC head coaches were compared. To fairly measure different eras, SEC Championship games and any post-season bowl games between two SEC teams were not included. The win totals and resulting percentages include only regular-season games.

Alabama Football Head Coach Nick Saban not No. 1

The winningest SEC football coach, within the constraints defined above, is not Nick Saban. The historical record goes to Steve Spurrier in his 12 seasons as the ‘Head Ball Coach’ for the Florida Gators. Spurrier’s Gator, SEC regular-season record was 82-12 for an 87.2 winning percentage.

Nick Saban in 15 Alabama Football seasons is 99-15 in SEC regular-season play, for an 86.8 winning percentage. Saban can pass Spurrier in 2021, by going 8-0 in the SEC regular season, reaching an 87.7 winning percentage.

Two more former Alabama Football head coaches follow Saban. In 25 Alabama Crimson Tide seasons, Paul Bryant’s teams won 138 SEC regular-season games. Factoring in the ties along with the losses,  Bryant achieved an 82.2 winning percentage in SEC play. Former Bryant player and coaching protege, Gene Stallings is not far behind. Stallings was the Alabama Football head coach for seven seasons. In SEC regular-season games, the Crimson Tide won 43 games giving ‘Bebes’ an 80.6 winning percentage.

What about other top SEC Coaches?

Wallace Wade would make this list but his entire Alabama Crimson Tide career was spent in the Southern Conference. In 13 Alabama Football seasons in the SEC Frank Thomas had a 76.5 winning percentage.

The next most successful coach in SEC games is Robert Neyland of Tennessee Vols fame, with a 78.7 winning percentage over 14 Tennessee, SEC seasons. Urban Meyer follows with a 75 winning percentage in six Florida seasons. Other SEC coaches are listed below.

  • Phillip Fulmer – Tennessee – 72.4 percent
  • Vince Dooley – Georgia – 71.1 percent
  • John Vaught – Ole Miss – 69.8 percent
  • Les Miles – LSU – 68.8 percent
  • Bobby Dodd – Georgia Tech – 67.5 percent (does not include record outside the SEC)

What about the top Auburn head coaches? Going back to the 1951 season, Auburn’s top four head coaches won SEC regular-season games in a range of 58.3 to 63.75 percent. Tommy Tuberville edged out Pat Dye as the top Auburn coach.

The data in this post was calculated from season records provided by

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What about Nick Saban’s complete Alabama Football record against SEC teams? Saban is an astounding 108-16.