We’ve officially made it! The 2023 SEC football season has arrived with Vanderbilt having, unofficially, kicked things off in a 35-28 win over Hawaii in Week 0. For the remaining 13 SEC teams, the action starts with a thrilling Week 1 slate that runs from Thursday through Sunday.
Before this year’s action gets underway, Saturday Down South shared a look at every SEC football team’s last undefeated season. College football fans should have no trouble remembering the most recent programs to finish with a spotless record, with Georgia, Alabama, and LSU each achieving the feat within the last five years.
When going back further in history it begs the question: do you remember what you were doing in the year 2010? That’s when the Auburn Tigers, led by Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton, achieved the undefeated mark on the way toward winning the BCS National Championship Game. For college football’s youngest fans, yes, there was a time before the College Football Playoff.
From there on out you’ll have to brush up on your knowledge of the 20th century as that is when most of the SEC’s programs, including Texas A&M, last recorded an undefeated season in school history. Truth be told, many of these teams achieved the feat before entering the SEC. Many fans remember the Southwest Conference, but how about the Missouri Valley Conference? Or the Southern Conference?
Finally, there remain just two current SEC football teams that have yet to finish with a perfect season in school history. The odds remain slim that they will accomplish the feat in 2023, but as the saying goes, there’s a first time for everything, right?
Here is a breakdown of every SEC football team’s last undefeated year, with some added context around each program’s season.
Georgia Bulldogs (2022)
The Bulldogs became just the third team in the modern era to finish 15-0 in a season, joining the 2019 LSU Tigers and the 2018 Clemson Tigers. In dominating TCU to win back-to-back national titles, they became the first team since the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide to repeat as national champions.
Get more Georgia news, analysis, and opinions on UGA Wire.
Alabama Crimson Tide (2020)
On the road to finishing the season 13-0 (10-0 SEC), the Crimson Tide notched five wins against Top-25 ranked teams. Alabama would go on to meet Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, fending off the Buckeyes for their third CFP title in seven years.
Get more Alabama news, analysis, and opinions on Roll Tide Wire.
LSU Tigers (2019)
Led by Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, LSU’s record-setting offense notched wins over top-ten-ranked teams including Texas, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama. In beating Clemson in the CFP title game, they became just the second undefeated team in the CFP era while recording just the second 15-0 season in the modern era.
Get more LSU news, analysis, and opinions on LSU Tigers Wire.
Auburn Tigers (2010)
Junior quarterback Cam Newton became just the third Auburn player to win the Heisman trophy, helping lead the Tigers to a 12-0 regular season and eventual win over Oregon in the BCS National Championship Game. Newton led the nation in touchdowns, finishing with 30 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns.
Get more Auburn news, analysis, and opinions on Auburn Wire.
Tennessee Volunteers (1998)
The Vols finished the 1998 campaign with a 13-0 record (8-0 SEC) that was capped off with a win over Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl, which was the inaugural BCS National Championship Game. Tennesee beat eight bowl teams, including six January bowl teams, four top ten teams, and three BCS bowl-bound teams.
Get more Tennessee news, analysis, and opinions on Vols Wire.
Texas A&M Aggies (1994)
The year is 1994 and we’re turning the page back toward the Aggies’ pre-SEC days in the Southwest Conference. The Maroon and White completed the season with a 10-0-1 record and a SWC mark of 6-0-1. The Aggies were ineligible to win the conference title or appear in the postseason due to probation.
Get more Texas A&M news, analysis, and opinions on Aggies Wire.
Arkansas Razorbacks (1964)
Led by seventh-year head coach Frank Boyles, the Razorbacks compiled an 11–0 record (7–0 SWC) to win the SWC championship. The Hogs closed out the regular season campaign with five consecutive shutouts. Arkansas finished the season as the only major team with an undefeated and untied record.
Get more Arkansas news, analysis, and opinions on Razorbacks Wire.
Ole Miss Rebels (1962)
Led by legendary head coach Johnny Vaught, the Rebels finished with a spotless 10–0 record to win the SEC championship, capping off their campaign with a win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. Ole Miss outscored opponents by a total of 247 to 53, and to date, the 1962 season sits as the only undefeated and untied season in program history.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (1940)
Then known as the Mississippi State “Maroons,” head coach Allyn McKeen led the team to a 10-0-1 record (4-0-1 SEC) to mark Mississippi State’s only undefeated season in history. Defensive end Buddy Elrod was named SEC “Player of the Year” by the Nashville Banner and selected to several All-America teams.
Vanderbilt Commodores (1922)
Having played in the Southern Conference, 18-year head coach Dan McGugin led the Commodores to an 8–0–1 record (3–0 SoCon, 2–0 SIAA) while boasting an unrivaled elite defense. Vanderbilt’s defense led the nation by allowing just 1.8 ppg, while not allowing a single point scored at home.
Florida Gators (1911)
George Pyle’s third season as head coach coincided with the first year in which the team was regarded as the “Florida Gators.” In prior seasons, they were simply known as “Florida” or the “Orange and Blue.” The Gators finished the season season 5–0–1, which still marks the only undefeated season in program history.
Get more Florida news, analysis, and opinions on Gators Wire.
Missouri Tigers (1909)
While playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Tigers finished 7-0-1 (4-0-1 MVC) while outscoring their opponents by a combined total of 86 to 36. It was a peak performance from head coach Bill Roper, who helmed the team for his first and only season.
Kentucky Wildcats (never)
The Wildcats’ closest mark to an undefeated season came in 1950 when led by legendary head coach Bear Bryant. Kentucky finished 11-1 while outscoring their opponents by a combined mark of 393 to 69. The Wildcats capped off the season with a 13-7 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
South Carolina Gamecocks (never)
South Carolina’s best seasons came by way of head coach Steve Spurrier, who led the program to an 11-2 mark in three straight seasons (2011, 2012, 2013). The Gamecocks finished the year ranked No. 4 in the final AP Poll, which remains the highest final ranking in school history.
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