List of Southern Conference football champions

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Southern Conference football champions
Conference Football Champions
Southern Conference logo.png
Southern Conference logo
Sport College football
Conference Southern Conference
Played 1933–present
Current champion Chattanooga (6)
Most championships Furman (13)
TV partner(s) SportSouth
American Sports Network
Official website SoConSports.com Football

The list of Southern Conference football champions includes 20 distinct teams that have won the college football championship awarded by the Southern Conference since its creation. In total, forty-one teams have sponsored football in the conference.[1] Just three—East Tennessee State, Mercer, and Western Carolina—have never won a Southern Conference football championship.

The conference was formed in 1921 when fourteen members from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) met in Atlanta, Georgia with the purpose of creating a workable number of conference games for each member.[2] The Southern Conference is notable for having spawned two other major conferences. In 1933, thirteen schools located south and west of the Appalachians (Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Sewanee, Tennessee, Tulane, and Vanderbilt) departed to form the Southeastern Conference.[3] Twenty years later, in 1953, seven schools (Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest) withdrew to form the Atlantic Coast Conference.[4]

Currently the conference competes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level in athletics, with the football teams playing in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). There are nine football playing members of the Southern Conference:Chattanooga, The Citadel, East Tennessee State, Furman, Mercer, Samford, Virginia Military Institute, Western Carolina, and Wofford. Southern Conference teams have been successful in the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs, leading all conferences with an 87–49 (.640) record.[5] Current and former Southern Conference teams have won a total of 12 national championships.[5]

Champions by year[edit]

Undefeated teams claiming championships: 1922–1932[edit]

The Southern Conference does not officially recognize championships claimed from the 1922–32 seasons,[6] as there were upwards of 20 to 23 teams competing within the conference during this time. However, some championships are still cited and claimed by the individual schools.

Year Undefeated team(s)[7] Conference Record Notes
1922 Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Vanderbilt
4–0–0
5–0–0
3–0–0
This was the inaugural Southern Conference football season with 20 teams participating. Vanderbilt was also a member of the SIAA until 1924, and defeated both Sewanee and Mercer. Vanderbilt tied Michigan 0-0 at the dedication of Dudley Field. Auburn upset Centre, previously undefeated in conference play. Vanderbilt end Lynn Bomar and Tech running back Red Barron were unanimous All-Southern and Walter Camp All-America second-team.
1923 Vanderbilt
Washington and Lee
3–0–1
4–0–1
Florida upset Alabama, previously undefeated in conference play. Board of sportswriters awarded Vanderbilt the Champ Pickens trophy as Southern champions.[8]
1924 Alabama 5–0–0 Board of sportswriters awarded Alabama the Champ Pickens trophy as Southern champions.
1925 Alabama
Tulane
7–0–0
5–0–0
Alabama wins national championship;[9] the first Southern team to win a Rose Bowl. Board of sportswriters awarded Alabama the Champ Pickens trophy as Southern champions.
1926 Alabama 8–0–0 Alabama wins national championship.[9] Board of sportswriters awarded Alabama the Champ Pickens trophy as Southern champions.
1927 Georgia Tech
NC State
Tennessee
7–0–1
4–0–0
5–0–1
Georgia Tech upset Georgia's "dream and wonder team" in its final game. Georgia had beaten Yale, and had it defeated Tech it would have been national champion; and still some selectors claim them as such.
1928 Georgia Tech 7–0–0 Georgia Tech wins national championship.[10]
1929 Tulane 6–0–0
1930 Alabama
Tulane
8–0–0
5–0–0
Alabama wins national championship .[9]
1931 Tulane 8–0–0 Tulane lost the Rose Bowl to USC.
1932 Auburn
LSU
Tennessee
6–0–1
4–0–0
7–0–1
Thirteen teams leave after this season to form the Southeastern Conference.[3]

Champions: 1933–present[edit]

In 1978 Division I football was split into two classifications: the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) and Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). The Southern Conference moved to the FCS in 1982 where its members compete for the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

Year Champion(s)[7] Record Notes
1933 Duke 4–0–0 Upset defending Southern champion Tennessee. Coached by Wallace Wade. Fred Crawford was a consensus All-American.
1934 Washington and Lee 4–0–0
1935 Duke 5–0–0
1936 Duke 7–0–0 The Citadel, Furman, George Washington, and Richmond join the Southern Conference.[11]
1937 Maryland 2–0–0 Virginia leaves the Southern Conference before the start of the 1937 season.[11]
1938 Duke 5–0–0
1939 Duke 5–0–0
1940 Clemson 4–0–0
1941 Duke 5–0–0
1942 William & Mary 5–0–0
1943 Duke 4–0–0
1944 Duke 4–0–0
1945 Duke 4–0–0
1946 North Carolina 4–0–1
1947 William & Mary 7–1–0
1948 Clemson 5–0–0
1949 North Carolina 5–0–0
1950 Washington and Lee 6–0–0 West Virginia joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1951 Maryland
VMI
5–0–0
1952 Duke 5–0–0 Seven teams leave after this season to form the Atlantic Coast Conference.[4]
1953 West Virginia 4–0–0
1954 West Virginia 3–0–0
1955 West Virginia 4–0–0
1956 West Virginia 5–0–0
1957 VMI 6–0–0
1958 West Virginia 4–0–0 Washington and Lee leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
1959 VMI 6–0–1
1960 VMI 4–1–0
1961 The Citadel 5–1–0
1962 VMI 6–0–0
1963 Virginia Tech 5–0–0
1964 West Virginia 5–0–0 East Carolina joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1965 West Virginia 4–0–0 Virginia Tech leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
1966 East Carolina
William & Mary
4–1–1
1967 West Virginia 4–0–1
1968 Richmond 6–0–0 West Virginia leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
1969 Davidson
Richmond
5–1–0
1970 William & Mary 3–1–0 George Washington leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
1971 Richmond 5–1–0 Appalachian State joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1972 East Carolina 7–0–0
1973 East Carolina 7–0–0
1974 VMI 5–1–0
1975 Richmond 5–1–0
1976 East Carolina 4–1–0 Chattanooga, Marshall, and Western Carolina join the Southern Conference.[11]
East Carolina and Richmond leave the Southern Conference.[11]
1977 Chattanooga
VMI
4–1–0 William & Mary leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
1978 Furman
Chattanooga
4–1–0 Division I splits into I-A and I-AA subdivisions.[12]
East Tennessee State joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1979 Chattanooga 5–1–0
1980 Furman 7–0–0
1981 Furman 5–2–0
1982 Furman 6–1–0 Southern Conference drops from I-A to the I-AA classification in football.[2]
1983 Furman 6–0–1
1984 Chattanooga 5–1–0
1985 Furman 6–0–0
1986 Appalachian State 6–0–1
1987 Appalachian State 7–0–0
1988 Furman
Marshall
6–1–0 Furman wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[13]
1989 Furman 7–0–0
1990 Furman 6–1–0
1991 Appalachian State 6–1–0 Georgia Southern joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1992 The Citadel 6–1–0 Marshall wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[14]
1993 Georgia Southern 7–1–0
1994 Marshall 7–1–0
1995 Appalachian State 8–0–0
1996[15] Marshall 8–0 Marshall wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[14]
1997 Georgia Southern 7–1 Marshall leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
Wofford joins the Southern Conference.[11]
1998 Georgia Southern 8–0
1999 Furman
Georgia Southern
Appalachian State
7–1 Georgia Southern wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[16]
2000 Georgia Southern 7–1 Georgia Southern wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[16]
2001 Georgia Southern
Furman
7–1
2002 Georgia Southern 7–1
2003 Wofford 8–0 Elon joins the Southern Conference.[11]
VMI leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
2004 Furman
Georgia Southern
6–1
2005 Appalachian State 6–1 Appalachian State wins NCAA Division I-AA national championship.[17]
East Tennessee State leaves the Southern Conference.[11]
2006 Appalachian State 7–0 Appalachian State wins NCAA Division I FCS national championship.[18]
2007 Wofford
Appalachian State
5–2 Appalachian State wins NCAA Division I FCS national championship.[19]
2008 Appalachian State 8–0 Samford joins the Southern Conference.[11]
2009 Appalachian State 8–0
2010 Appalachian State
Wofford
7–1
2011 Georgia Southern 7–1
2012 Appalachian State
Georgia Southern
Wofford
6–2
2013 Furman
Chattanooga
Samford
6–2 Appalachian State, Elon, and Georgia Southern leave the Southern Conference.
2014 Chattanooga 7–0 Mercer joins the Southern Conference. ETSU and VMI rejoin the Southern Conference. ETSU to resume football in 2015.
2015 Chattanooga
The Citadel
6–1 ETSU plays as FCS Independent in first year of program return.
2015 The Citadel 8–0 ETSU rejoins conference in football.

Championships by school[edit]

Current members[edit]

School Championships Years
Furman 13 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2013
Chattanooga 7 1977, 1978, 1979, 1984, 2013, 2014, 2015
VMI 7 1951, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1974, 1977
Wofford 4 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012
The Citadel 3 1961, 1992, 2015
Samford 1 2013
East Tennessee State 0
Mercer 0
Western Carolina 0

Former members[edit]

School Championships Years
Appalachian State 12 1986, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
Duke 10 1933, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1952
Georgia Southern 10 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2011, 2012
West Virginia 8 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1964, 1965, 1967
East Carolina 4 1966, 1972, 1973, 1976
Richmond 4 1968, 1969, 1971, 1975
William & Mary 4 1942, 1947, 1966, 1970
Marshall 3 1988, 1994, 1996
Clemson 2 1940, 1948
Maryland 2 1937, 1951
North Carolina 2 1946, 1949
Washington and Lee 2 1934, 1950
Virginia Tech 1 1963
Davidson 1 1969
Elon 0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Current member UNC Greensboro does not sponsor football.
  2. ^ a b Southern Conference (2008-06-30). "The History of the Southern Conference". Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  3. ^ a b Southeastern Conference (2007). "About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)". Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  4. ^ a b Atlantic Coast Conference (2008). "About the ACC". Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  5. ^ a b Southern Conference (2008-12-01). "Southern Conference Football: SoCon Playoff History" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  6. ^ Southern Conference. "Football Record Book" (PDF). 2005 Southern Conference Football. p. 144. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  7. ^ a b Southern Conference (2008-08-06). "Annual Leaders, History" (PDF). 2008 Southern Conference Football Media Guide. pp. 168–171. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  8. ^ "Vanderbilt Is Named For Pickens Trophy". The Washington Post. December 2, 1923. 
  9. ^ a b c Alabama Athletics. "Traditions: National Championships". Archived from the original on 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  10. ^ Georgia Tech Athletics. "Georgia Tech Titles". Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Southern Conference (2008-08-06). "About the Southern Conference" (PDF). 2008 Southern Conference Football Media Guide. p. 8. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  12. ^ On August 1, 1973 the NCAA's membership was divided into three legislative and competitive divisions at the first special convention ever held. All major schools were reclassified as Division I and other schools were divided into Division II and Division III. Roman numerals were chosen to be used rather than the Arabic 1, 2, 3. In 1978, Division I members voted to create subclassifications I-A, I-AA, and I-AAA for the sport of football. The major difference (at this point) besides sponsorship is the amount of scholarships allotted. I-A gets 85, I-AA gets 63, and I-AAA is for institutions that do not sponsor football. Only NCAA Division I is divided into subclassifications and only in the sport of football.
  13. ^ Willie T. Smith III (2008-11-14). "Furman to honor 1988 national champs". The Greenville News. Retrieved 2008-12-16. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b "NCAA History: FCS History". NCAA. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  15. ^ Overtime rules in college football were introduced in 1996, making ties impossible.
  16. ^ a b Georgia Southern University Athletics (2006-03-06). "Championship Tradition". Georgia Southern Eagles. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  17. ^ Appalachian Sports Information (2005-12-15). "Apps Win National Championship!". GoASU. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  18. ^ Appalachian Sports Information (2006-12-15). "Richardson Goes For 4, Apps Get No. 2". GoASU. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  19. ^ Appalachian Sports Information (2007-12-14). "Thrice is Nice: Apps Rout Delaware For Third-Straight National Title". GoASU. Retrieved 2008-10-02.