Four categories. Twenty sub-categories. Numbers and data. All-time wins and climate reports. Heisman trophies and talent pools. You name it, we’ve included it in our multi-part series that attempts to rank the SEC’s best football programs from #1 to #14.
You can read an overview of the project here.
Part 1 — Recruiting Base — can be found here.
Part 2 — Tradition — can be found here.
Part 3 — Campus Life – can be found here.
Part 4 — Recent History — can be found here.
And below, you’ll find our scoring chart. Seeing as how we’ve received at least one email or comment expressing disagreement over every single one of the 20 topics we’ve chosen to include, we fully expect to hear some gripes and grumbles about our scoring methodology. That’s OK. We’re not trying to get this project past Will Hunting and the guys at MIT.
Rather simply providing a ranking of programs off the top of our heads — which so many folks have done in the past — we wanted to put some numbers to the whole thing. In fact, we’ve wanted to do this for a couple of years now… but it’s a time-consuming drill. These numbers couldn’t all be found in one site (until now).
Over the past few days we’ve shown you the breakdowns of how the SEC’s programs ranked in terms of:
* Recruiting Base: NFL Picks over Recent 20 Years
* Recruiting Base: 4- and 5-Star Signees over Last 5 Years
* Tradition: All-Time Wins
* Tradition: Conference Championships (1950-2012) (Most modern conferences began to take shape around 1950)
* Tradition: National Championships (1936-2012) (The AP Poll was launched for good in 1936)
* Tradition: All-Time Bowl Appearances
* Tradition: All-Time Heisman Trophy Winners
* Campus Life: Average Number of Sunny Days
* Campus Life: Percentage of Female Students in Campus Population
* Campus Life: Percentage of Ethnic Students in Campus Population
* Campus Life: Average Football Attendance
* Campus Life: Licensed Merchandise Sold
* Recent History: Stadium Size (Current capacity)
* Recent History: Wins over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: Conference Championships over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: National Championships over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: Bowl Appearances over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: Heisman Trophy Winners over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: NFL Draft Picks over Last 10 Years
* Recent History: 1st Round Draft Picks over Last 10 Years
So what counts most? The category labeled Recent History. Those accomplishments are essentially covered twice (in the Recent History and Tradition categories). Recent success is what today’s recruits know. So when you see the final rankings, the last 10 years will play a role.
At the same time, tradition counts, too. A program that has lived through 90 years of frustrations to turn things around in the most recent decade shouldn’t be expected to land atop our rankings.
As for determining those rankings we decided to convert league-wide percentages into a point system. Example: Since 1936, the SEC’s current members have won 22 “major poll” national championships. Alabama has won 10 of those. Percentage-wise, that’s .454 of the SEC’s national titles. So Bama would receive .454 points in our system.
Yes, yes, there are other ways to do it. We welcome you to have at it. But for our fun little exercise we decided it would be more fun to say: “School X is responsible for .333 of the SEC’s conference titles in the last decade… so we gave them .333 points in this category.”
Obviously the higher the score the better a team’s rank. Of the 20 categories we used, 19 are positive numbers (meaning the higher the number, the better). Merchandise sold, however, was a ranking provided by Collegiate Licensing Company in which the lower the number, the better. So for that one category, we actually subtract the percentages/points.
We counted to the third decimal place, in case you’re wondering, and all of our percentages when added together equal between 99 and 100.
You can click the links above to see the actual wins, losses, championships, etc for each category. Below, we simply show you what percentage of a category each school was responsible for. The final number — merchandise sold — was subtracted as part of the tallying process.
Before you get too upset about out over-simplified methodology, take a look at the actual results. We found them to be pretty darn close to what we might have thrown out off the top of our heads anyway.
On to the scores:
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