I think Tennessee fans should take this as "our thing" to celebrate teams not winning consecutive SEC titles ala the remaining 72 Dolphins that open a bottle of bubbly whenever the last undefeated NFL team falls.
While most of the rest of the free world tabbed Alabama to win the West and win the SEC once more, we decided to roll with history rather than with the defending champs. And history says you just can’t repeat as champions in the Southeastern Conference.
Not since Tennessee went back to back in 1997 and 1998 has a program won two SEC titles in a row. That’s now a 15-year streak of new champions:
2013 Auburn or Missouri
We even wrote a warning to Mizzou and Texas A&M fans when they entered the league — Don’t expect your team to stay on top in the SEC. No team does. Despite perceived easy schedules for the champs. Despite the view that just one or two teams dominate the league. Every year… new champ.
In fact, look at that list above again. Not only do teams not repeat in the SEC, but only twice in 15 years has a school even won two titles in a three-year span (LSU 2001 and 2003, Florida 2006 and 2008).
Alabama, winners of three national titles in a four-year stretch, has won just two SEC titles in that time. Remember, the Tide won the 2011 BCS crown after losing to LSU in the regular season and missing out on the SEC Championship Game. As we said at the time, it’s been easier to win the BCS Championship than it’s been to win the SEC title.
Next summer, everyone will point out that the media never correctly predicts the SEC champion. There’s a simple reason for that. Those gathered at SEC Media Days just outside of Birmingham usually tab the previous year’s champ as the favorite once again.
Well, we might not have guessed correctly on the Auburn and Missouri part — who did? — but we’ve learned our lesson on the defending champion part. Don’t pick ‘em.
You just can’t go repeat as Southeastern Conference champs.
(Sidenote — We will have tons of quickie takes on the SEC Championship Game and the BCS race throughout the day. This is just installment #1.)