Southeastern Conference

From 1933 through 1991, the Southeastern Conference settled their yearly football championship with much the same system used by the rest of college Football. In years where one team clearly won the most conference games -- though not necessarily with the toughest conference schedule -- that team was crowned champ. However, since no team played every other member of the conference, this created years where more than one team could claim the prize.

In 1989, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee were all recognized as conference co-champions with identical 6-1 records. For the curious, Alabama (10-2) beat Tennessee (11-1) 47-30, Auburn (10-2) beat Alabama 30-20 and Tennessee beat Auburn 21-14. Though each team rightfully shared in the conference title, the SEC had a total of 10 teams at the time. As a result, 30% of the conference teams won the championship that year.

In 1990, Roy Kramer became the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. Shortly after came a better -- and much more lucrative -- way to decide the conference championship. By 1992, the conference had 12 teams and the winner of the eastern and western division played a winner-take-all game to decide the overall champion.

SEC Championships by Division

Since divisional play began there has been a single, clear-cut conference champion each year.

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Interestingly, after 24 years of this system, the conference champion has come from each division 12 times. Given that a western division team has won the last seven in a row (2009-2015), this came as a surprise during my research. However, that number only balances out the fact the eastern division won the first seven years (1992-1998).

By the end of the 1990's the media had crowned the teams of the eastern division as conference kings for life.

Sound familiar? That's pretty much the same script used now describing the teams of the west. We know now that the domination of the east ended after seven years. Time will tell when the current streak will end for the west.As far as championship runs are concerned, both divisions have had a seven and a two year streak. The remaining six championships have come in one year increments for each.

National Championships and total wins by Division:

Since 1992 five SEC teams have won a total of 12 national championships in college football; Alabama (5), Florida (3), LSU (2), Auburn (1) and Tennessee (1).Since divisional play began, the SEC West leads in total games won (1117-1033).

However, 81 games of that 84 total win edge (407-326) has come during the past seven year run.

Currently, the western division of the conference is clearly carrying the most weight. But it would be unwise to think that teams like Florida, Georgia and Tennessee wont bring more double digit win seasons. Add Missouri and South Carolina -- normally bowl teams --- and Kentucky and Vandy who have the ability to be bowl eligible many years, and I wouldn't bet against this division on any given year.

Many of the same reporters jokingly comparing the SEC East with much weaker overall conferences were doing the same with the west after the eastern teams won seven years in a row in the beginning. The corner will turn again at some point. And, as it did the first time, it may be a year when it's least expected. Say, 2016.

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