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If Your Team Loses In Week One, History Says Forget Winning The SEC Title

kickoff-charlie-brownHow important is the season-opener for each SEC squad?  Well, there have been 21 SEC Championship Games since the SEC first expanded in 1992.  Of the 21 league champions crowned since that date, not one — not a single solitary SEC Championship Game winner — has lost in its season-opening contest.

In fact, of the 42 teams to have reached the SEC title game, only four teams that won their own divisions did so after dropping their curtain-raiser.

Here’s the year-by-year breakdown with the SEC Championship Game victor receiving a * designation:


  Year   East Champion in Opener   West Champion in Opener
  1992   Florida 59-21 over S. Jose St.   Alabama* 25-8 over Vanderbilt
  1993   Florida* 44-6 over Arkansas St.   Alabama 31-17 over Tulane
  1994   Florida* 70-21 over N. Mexico St.   Alabama 42-13 over UT-Chattanooga
  1995   Florida* 45-21 over Houston   Arkansas 14-17 to SMU
  1996   Florida* 55-21 over SW Louisiana   Alabama 21-7 over Bowling Green
  1997   Tennessee* 52-17 over Texas Tech   Auburn 28-17 over Virginia
  1998   Tennessee* 34-33 over Syracuse   Mississippi St. 42-0 over Vanderbilt
  1999   Florida 55-26 over W. Michigan   Alabama* 28-17 over Vanderbilt
  2000   Florida* 40-19 over Ball St.   Auburn 35-21 over Wyoming
  2001   Tennessee 33-9 over Syracuse   LSU* 48-17 over Tulane
  2002   Georgia* 31-28 over Clemson   Arkansas 41-14 over Boise St.
  2003   Georgia  30-0 over Clemson   LSU* 49-7 over UL-Monroe
  2004   Tennessee 42-17 over UNLV   Auburn* 31-0 over UL-Monroe
  2005   Georgia* 48-13 over Boise St.   LSU 35-31 over Arizona St.
  2006   Florida* 34-7 over S. Miss   Arkansas 14-50 to Southern Cal
  2007   Tennessee 31-45 to California   LSU* 45-0 over Mississippi St.
  2008   Florida* 56-10 over Hawaii   Alabama 34-10 over Clemson
  2009   Florida 62-3 over Charleston So.   Alabama* 34-24 over Virginia Tech
  2010   S. Carolina 41-13 over S. Miss   Auburn* 52-26 over Arkansas St.
  2011   Georgia 21-35 to Boise St.   LSU* 40-27 over Oregon
  2012   Georgia 45-23 over Buffalo   Alabama* 41-14 over Michigan


There you have it.  Just four teams — Arkansas ’95, Arkansas ’06, Tennessee ’07 and Georgia ’11 — have bounced back from opening day losses to win their division.  But not a single overall SEC champion from the title game era has ever rebounded from a Day One defeat.

Obviously, past results don’t necessarily have any impact on future outcomes.  The fact that no team has lost an opener and gone on to win the SEC Championship Game in 21 seasons of action might actually mean that the league is overdue for just such an occurrence.

Still, SEC fans might want to take another long gander at their favorite schools’ openers.  History suggests any opening day losers can scratch “Gatorade shower in Atlanta” off their to-do lists.



North Carolina at South Carolina

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt



Alabama vs Virginia Tech (Atlanta)

UL-Lafayette at Arkansas

Washington State at Auburn

Toledo at Florida

Georgia at Clemson

Kentucky vs Western Kentucky (Nashville)

LSU vs TCU (Arlington)

Mississippi State vs Oklahoma State (Houston)

Murray State at Missouri

Austin Peay at Tennessee

Rice at Texas A&M



What i want to know is how did Arkansas drop one to SMU in 95.  SMU was horrible back then.


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