|Commissioner||Greg Sankey (since 2015)|
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the Southern part of the United States. Its fourteen members include the flagship public universities of eleven states, two additional public land grant universities, and one private research university. The conference is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The SEC participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I in sports competitions; for football, it is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A.
The SEC is regarded as one of the most accomplished sports conferences in terms of its winning reputation, with 43 national football championships, 21 basketball championships, 41 indoor track championships, 42 outdoor track championships, 24 swimming championships, and 20 gymnastics championships. The conference is also highly successful financially, as it consistently leads most others in revenue distribution to its members, including an SEC record $455.8 million for the 2014–15 fiscal year, which was a sizable increase over the $292.8 million for the 2013–14 fiscal year, largely due to the revenue from the introduction of the SEC Network.
The SEC was also the first NCAA Division I conference to hold a championship game (and award a subsequent title) for college football and was one of the founding members of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The current SEC commissioner is Greg Sankey. The conference sponsors team championships in nine men's sports and twelve women's sports.
- 1 Member universities
- 2 History
- 3 Commissioners
- 4 Academics and SECU
- 5 Spending and revenue
- 6 Facilities
- 7 Sports
- 8 Football
- 9 Men's basketball
- 10 Baseball
- 11 Women's basketball
- 12 Other sports
- 13 National team championships
- 14 Television and radio contracts
- 15 Conference champions
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
The SEC consists of 14 member institutions located within the borders of 11 contiguous states. Listed in alphabetical order, these 11 states within the SEC's geographical footprint are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The geographic domain of the conference is predominantly within the Southeastern and Southern United States, and stretches from Texas in the west to South Carolina in the east and from Missouri in the north to Florida in the south.
The SEC is divided into East and West Divisions, although the divisional alignment is not strictly geographic, with Missouri in the East Division while being further west than several West Division schools, and Auburn in the West Division despite being located further east than East Division schools Missouri and Vanderbilt. These divisional groupings are applied only in football and baseball, for both scheduling and standings purposes. In football, the two division winners meet in the SEC Championship Game.
Since July 1, 2012, there are 14 members, with Vanderbilt being the only private institution.
- Enrollment figures include both undergraduate and graduate students.
- During the 2017–18 school year, Tennessee once again allowed all of its women's sports teams to use the traditional women's nickname of "Lady Volunteers" if they wished, reversing a change made in 2015 that saw only the women's basketball team retain "Lady Volunteers".
- LSU uses the "Lady Tigers" nickname in women's sports that also have men's teams. Teams in sports that are only sponsored for women use "Tigers".
|Sewanee: The University of the South||Sewanee, Tennessee||1857||Tigers||1932||1940||Southern Athletic|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta||1885||Yellow Jackets||1932||1964||Atlantic Coast|
|Tulane University||New Orleans||1834||Green Wave||1932||1966||The American|
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Founding and former members
The SEC was established on December 8 and 9, 1932, when the thirteen members of the Southern Conference located west and south of the Appalachian Mountains left to form their own conference. Ten of the thirteen founding members have remained in the conference since its inception: the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University ("LSU"), the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"), Mississippi State University, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University.
The other charter members were:
- The University of the South ("Sewanee") left the SEC on December 13, 1940, and later de-emphasized varsity sports. It is currently a member of the Division III Southern Athletic Association.
- Georgia Institute of Technology ("Georgia Tech") left the SEC in 1964. In 1975, it became a founding member of the Metro Conference, one of the predecessors to today's Conference USA. Georgia Tech competed in the Metro Conference in all sports except football, in which it was independent (the Metro did not sponsor football). In 1978, Georgia Tech joined another Southern Conference offshoot, the Atlantic Coast Conference, for all sports, where it has remained ever since.
- Tulane University left the SEC in 1966. Along with Georgia Tech, it was a charter member of the Metro Conference. Unlike Tech, however, Tulane remained in the Metro Conference until it merged with the Great Midwest Conference in 1995 to form Conference USA. Tulane remained an independent in football until C-USA began football competition in 1996. Tulane left C-USA in 2014 for the American Athletic Conference.
It was not until 1966 that African Americans first participated in an SEC athletic contest, and the first black scholarship athletes did not play in the SEC until the 1967–68 school year. The first African American to compete in the SEC was Stephen Martin, who walked on to the Tulane baseball team in that school's final SEC season of 1966. In August of that same year, Kentucky enrolled Nate Northington and Greg Page on football scholarships, and Vanderbilt enrolled Godfrey Dillard and Perry Wallace on basketball scholarships. At the time, the NCAA did not allow freshmen to compete on varsity teams, which meant that these pioneers could not play until 1967. Page died from complications of a spinal cord injury suffered during a football practice before ever playing a game, while Dillard suffered a career-altering injury before getting a chance to play for Vanderbilt's varsity and transferred to Eastern Michigan. The remaining two both played in the 1967–68 school year. Northington made his overall debut against Indiana on September 23, 1967 and his SEC debut against Ole Miss the following week on September 30 (the day after Page's death), while Wallace made his varsity debut later that year.
In 1990, the SEC expanded from ten to twelve member universities with the addition of the Arkansas Razorbacks and the South Carolina Gamecocks. The two new members began SEC competition with the 1991–1992 basketball season.
At the same time, the SEC organized competition for some sports into two divisions. The Western Division comprised six of the seven member schools in the Central Time Zone, while the Eastern Division comprised the five member schools in the Eastern Time Zone plus Vanderbilt, which is in the Central Time Zone but was placed in the Eastern Division to preserve its rivalry with Tennessee. Initially, the divisional format was used in football, baseball, and men's basketball. The divisional format was dropped for men's basketball following the 2011–2012 season.
Following expansion, the SEC was the first conference to receive permission from the NCAA to sponsor an annual football championship game that did not count against NCAA limits on regular-season contests, featuring the winners of the conference's Eastern and Western divisions. The 1992 and 1993 championship games were held at Legion Field in Birmingham, and all championship games from 1994 onward have been held in Atlanta—first at the Georgia Dome until its closure and demolition after the 2016 season, and since 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
On September 25, 2011, the SEC Presidents and Chancellors, acting unanimously, announced that Texas A&M University would join the SEC effective July 1, 2012, with Texas A&M to begin competition in nineteen of the twenty sports sponsored by the SEC during the 2012–13 academic year. On November 6, 2011 the SEC commissioner announced that the University of Missouri would also join the SEC on July 1, 2012. For football, Texas A&M was scheduled to compete in the Western Division, and Missouri in the Eastern Division. Texas A&M and Missouri both left the Big 12 Conference.
The office of Commissioner was created in 1940.
|1940–1945||Martin S. Conner|
|1966–1971||A. M. "Tonto" Coleman|
|1972–1985||H. Boyd McWhorter|
|1986–1989||Harvey W. Schiller|
|1990–2001||Roy F. Kramer|
Academics and SECU
Formation of SECU and SEC academic network
Under the leadership of Michael F. Adams the then President of the University of Georgia and chair of SEC Presidents and Chancellors, the member institutions of the Southeastern Conference joined forces in 2005 to form the SEC Academic Consortium (SECAC), a collaborative endeavor designed to promote research, scholarship, and achievement amongst the universities.
In 2011, the SEC Academic Consortium was relocated to the SEC headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, from its original home on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas and was renamed SECU. The SECU rebranded its mission to better serve as a means through which the collaborative academic endeavors and achievements of Southeastern Conference universities would be promoted and advanced. The SECU's goals included highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty, students and its universities; advancing the academic reputation of SEC universities; identifying and preparing future leaders for high-level service in academia; increasing the amount and type of study abroad opportunities available for students; and providing opportunities for collaboration among SEC university personnel. The Big Ten Conference has a similar program called the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
The SEC Symposium component of SECU was crafted by Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, who at the time was the Vice President of the SEC Executive Committee and liaison to SECU. In an interview with Dr. Zeppos about the formation of the SECU he noted, "that the member institutions of the Southeastern Conference are committed to a shared mission of fostering research, scholarship, and achievement. The SEC Symposium represents a platform to connect, collaborate and promote a productive dialogue that will span disciplinary and institutional boundaries and allow us to work together for the betterment of society."
The SEC Academic Network was created in 2009 in partnership with ESPN. The SEC Academic Network was an online library of institutionally produced videos featuring academic initiatives and stories from all Southeastern Conference institutions. The SEC Academic Network was officially merged into the SECU operation.
SECU academic programs
There are several programs that have been implemented under SECU.
The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program seeks to identify, prepare, and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has two components, a university-level program and two three-day, SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all participants.
The SEC Faculty Achievement and Professor of the Year Awards recognize faculty with outstanding records in research and scholarship. There is one winner per campus and one overall winner for the Conference.
The SEC Faculty Travel Grant Program is intended to enhance collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. The program offers faculty from each SEC university the opportunity to travel to other SEC universities to develop grant proposals and conduct research.
The SEC College Tour occurs each spring, and administrators from all SEC universities participate in events intended to introduce SEC universities to students, parents, and high school counselors from outside of the Southeast region.
The SEC Symposium is an academic conference-type event intended to address a scholarly issue in an area of strength represented by all SEC universities. Held in Atlanta, this marquee event puts on display the research and innovation of SEC institutions for an audience of academicians, government officials, grant funding agents, and other stakeholders.
In 2013, the SEC Symposium was organized and led by the University of Georgia and the UGA Bioenergy Systems Research Institute. The topic of the Symposium was titled, the "Impact of the Southeast in the World's Renewable Energy Future".
The SEC Cooperative Education Abroad Agreement provides opportunities for students from all SEC universities to access international programs offered at other SEC universities. As part of a renewable agreement, Italian engineering students from the Politecnico di Torino (PdT) have the opportunity to enroll at SEC universities each fall, and engineering SEC students may study there the following spring.
The SEC MBA Case Competition are graduate level competitions provide an opportunity for SEC business schools to showcase their students' skills at solving simulated, real-world problems that cover the spectrum of business disciplines (e.g., organizational dynamics, budgeting, capitalization, competitive environment, etc.). The competition is held on one SEC campus and teams of four MBA students compete against other SEC teams, the best receiving various awards and recognition. The event is generally in April.
The SEC University Collaboration Program gives university personnel groups (e.g., deans of colleges, chief financial officers, etc.) a mechanism to share best practices and ideas. Regular meetings and workshops are held university campuses, the Conference office or other similar locations.
The International/Education Abroad Activities program was established as a part of a renewable agreement. Italian engineering students enroll at SEC universities each fall, and engineering SEC students study in Italy each spring (i.e., February to July) at the Politecnico di Torino. In addition, by utilizing a cooperative programming agreement, students from all SEC universities have access to education abroad programs offered at other SEC universities.
Association of American Universities
Four SEC institutions are members of the prestigious Association of American Universities: Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Prior to the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M from the Big 12, the SEC had the fewest AAU members among Power Five conferences. The Big 12 Conference had seven AAU members through the 2010–11 school year, but four of these schools left the conference in 2011 and 2012—Nebraska for the Big Ten in 2011, Colorado for the Pac-12 in 2012, and Missouri and Texas A&M for the SEC in 2012, leaving that conference with three AAU members.
Spending and revenue
Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds, and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food, and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/grounds, maintenance, utilities and rental fees, and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues, and insurance costs.
|Institution||2016–17 total revenue from athletics||2016–17 total expenses on athletics|
|1||2||Texas A&M University||$211,960,034||$146,546,229|
|2||4||University of Alabama||$174,307,419||$158,646,962|
|3||6||University of Georgia||$157,852,479||$119,218,908|
|4||8||University of Florida||$149,165,475||$131,789,499|
|5||9||Louisiana State University||$147,744,233||$131,717,421|
|7||11||University of Tennessee||$145,653,191||$134,880,229|
|8||16||University of South Carolina||$136,032,845||$129,317,382|
|9||17||University of Kentucky||$130,706,744||$125,333,866|
|10||19||University of Arkansas||$129,680,808||$112,902,474|
|11||24||University of Mississippi||$117,834,511||$108,885,512|
|12||31||Mississippi State University||$100,062,237||$86,351,432|
|13||32||University of Missouri||$97,848,195||$102,409,131|
- Two games played each year at Little Rock, one non-conference game and one SEC game.
- One men's home game per year played at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
- Dudy Noble Field's official seating capacity is 7,200, but its total capacity is 15,500, which includes privately owned seating in Left Field Lounge. Mississippi State holds the all-time NCAA on-campus record for one day attendance at 14,991.
The Southeastern Conference sponsors championship competition in nine men's and twelve women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Under SEC conference rules reflecting the large number of male scholarship participants in football and attempting to address gender equity concerns (see also Title IX), each member institution is required to provide two more women's varsity sports than men's. A similar rule was recently adopted by the NCAA for all of Division I.
|Swimming & diving|
|Indoor track & field|
|Outdoor track & field|
Men's sponsored sports by school
|Tennis||Track & field
|Track & field
|Total SEC Sports|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southeastern Conference which are played by SEC schools:
|Kentucky||Great America Rifle Conference||Conference USA||No|
|South Carolina||No||Conference USA||No|
- * = Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. Kentucky has a coed team.
Women's sponsored sports by school
|School||Basketball||Cross country||Equestrian||Golf||Gymnastics||Soccer||Softball||Swimming &
|Tennis||Track & field
|Track & field
|Volleyball||Total SEC sports|
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southeastern Conference which are played by SEC schools:
|Kentucky||No||No||No||Great America Rifle||No|
|Mississippi||No||No||No||Great America Rifle||No|
|Vanderbilt||No||Southland Bowling||No||No||The American|
- Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. Kentucky has a coed team, and Ole Miss has a women's team.
- (RS) indicates regular-season champion
- (T) indicates tournament champion
- Italics indicate 2017–18 champion
|Season||Sport||Men's champion||Women's champion|
|Fall 2018||Cross country||Ole Miss||Arkansas|
|Soccer||Vanderbilt (RS)||LSU (T)|
|Winter 2018−19||Basketball||Auburn/Tennessee (RS)||Kentucky (T)||Mississippi State (RS)||South Carolina (T)|
|Gymnastics||LSU (RS)||LSU (T)|
|Swimming & diving||Florida||Texas A&M|
|Track & field (indoor)||Alabama||Arkansas|
|Spring 2019||Baseball||Florida (RS)||Ole Miss (T)|
|Softball||Florida (RS)||Florida (T)|
|Tennis||Texas A&M (RS)||Mississippi State (T)||Vanderbilt (RS)||Vanderbilt (T)|
|Track & field (outdoor)||Florida||Florida|
For the current season, see 2018 Southeastern Conference football season.
SEC teams did not play a uniform number of conference games until 1974. Prior to that, the number of conference games teams played ranged from 4 to 8, but most played a 6 or 7 game schedule. The league adopted a uniform 6 game schedule from 1974 to 1987, and added a 7th conference game from 1988 to 1991. Through this period and through the earlier years each SEC school had 5 permanent opponents, developing some traditional rivalries between schools, and the other games rotated around the other members of the conference.
After expansion to twelve programs in 1992, the SEC went to an 8-game conference schedule, with each team playing the five other teams in their division and three opponents from the other division. The winners of the two divisions would then meet in the SEC Championship Game.
From 1992 through 2002, each team had two permanent inter-divisional opponents, allowing many traditional rivalries from the pre-expansion era (such as Florida vs. Auburn, Kentucky vs. LSU, and Vanderbilt vs. Alabama) to continue. However, complaints from some league athletic directors about imbalance in the schedule (for instance, Auburn's two permanent opponents from the East were Florida and Georgia – two of the SEC's stronger football programs at the time – while Mississippi State played Kentucky and South Carolina every year) led to the SEC reducing the number of permanent inter-division opponents to one starting in the 2003 season. The TV networks televising SEC games were also pressuring for the change so attractive match-ups between non-traditional opponents would occur 2 of every 5 years instead of happening 2 of every 8 years. With the subsequent expansion to 14 members in 2012, non-permanent cross-division opponents face each other in the regular season twice in a span of 12 years.
Under the current format, each school plays a total of eight conference games, consisting of the other six teams in its division, one school from the other division on a rotating basis, and one school from the other division that it plays each year. The current scheduling arrangement was originally set to expire after the 2015 season, but the SEC presidents voted 10–4 in April 2014 to keep the current format for an additional six to eight seasons beyond 2015. Additionally, beginning in 2016, SEC teams will be required to schedule at least one opponent each season from the other so-called "Power Five" conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, or Pac-12); games against football independent schools also qualify, including Army, BYU, and Notre Dame.
The following table shows the current permanent inter-divisional opponent for each school listed by total number of games played (records through week 11 of the 2015 season with West Division wins listed first):
|West Division||East Division||Series record|
|Texas A&M||South Carolina||3–0|
All-time school records (ranked according to winning percentage)
Through end of the 2017 season. Records reflect official NCAA results, including any forfeits or win vacating.
|#||SEC||Record||Win %||SEC championships||Claimed national championships|
- Alabama's record reflects 21 wins being vacated (2005–2007) and 8 wins and 1 tied forfeited (1993).
- Mississippi State's record reflects 18 wins and 1 tie being forfeited (1975–1977).
- Two former members have also won conference titles, Georgia Tech with 5 and Tulane with 3.
The SEC Championship Game pits the SEC Western Division representative against the Eastern Division representative in a game held after the regular season has been completed. The first two SEC Championship football games were held at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Since 1994, it has been played in Atlanta—first at the Georgia Dome through 2016, and since 2017 at its replacement, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with the current hosting contract running through 2027. The "home team" designation alternates between the division champions, going to the East champion in even-numbered years and the West champion in odd-numbered years. As of 2017, the West division leads in overall wins in the championship game against the East division, 14 to 12.
|Pick||Name||Location||Opposing conference||Opposing pick||Payout|
|1^||Sugar Bowl||New Orleans||Big 12||1||$18M|
|2†||Orange Bowl||Miami Gardens, Florida||ACC||1||$18M|
|3||Citrus Bowl||Orlando, Florida||Big Ten – ACC°||3/4/5 – 2||$4.2M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Outback Bowl||Tampa, Florida||Big Ten||3/4/5||$3.5M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Belk Bowl||Charlotte, North Carolina||ACC||3/4/5/6/7||$1.7M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Texas Bowl||Houston, Texas||Big 12||4||$3.0M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Liberty Bowl||Memphis, Tennessee||Big 12||5||$1.4M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Gator Bowl||Jacksonville, Florida||Big Ten – ACC‡||6/7/8 – 3/4/5/6/7||$2.8M|
|4/5/6/7/8/9||Music City Bowl||Nashville, Tennessee||Big Ten – ACC‡||6/7/8 – 3/4/5/6/7||$2.8M|
|10||Birmingham Bowl||Birmingham, Alabama||American||5||$1.1M|
|11||Independence Bowl||Shreveport, Louisiana||ACC||8/9/10||$1.2M|
Payout is per team for the 2014 season; if different for opposing conference, payout for the SEC team is shown. Each conference member, irrespective of bowl participation, also receives an equal split of a payout to the SEC conference.
^ The Sugar Bowl is contractually obligated to select the SEC champion if that team is not participating in the College Football Playoff. In years where the champion is unavailable the Playoff Committee will assign another SEC team to participate in the Sugar. Alternatively, in years where the Sugar hosts a playoff game the SEC Champion will be sent to the Fiesta, Cotton, or Peach Bowl if not selected for the playoff.
† The Big Ten and SEC will be eligible to face the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl at least three out of the eight seasons that it does not host a semifinal for the Playoff over a 12-year span. Notre Dame may be chosen the other two years if eligible.
° In years when the Big Ten places a team in the Orange Bowl, the Citrus Bowl will select from ACC teams remaining after the Playoff Committee and Orange Bowl make their selections.
‡ The Big Ten and ACC will switch between the Music City and Gator bowls on alternating years.
Head coach compensation
The total pay of head coaches includes university and non-university compensation. This includes base salary, income from contracts, foundation supplements, bonuses and media and radio pay.
|Conference pay rank||Institution||Head coach||2016 total pay|
|1||University of Alabama||Nick Saban||$7,087,481|
|2||Texas A&M University||Jimbo Fisher||$7,500,000|
|3||Auburn University||Gus Malzahn||$4,104,500|
|4||Mississippi State University||Joe Moorhead||$4,000,000|
|5||University of Florida||Dan Mullen||$3,983,359|
|6||University of Arkansas||Chad Morris||$3,960,666|
|7||University of Tennessee||Jeremy Pruitt||$3,633,000|
|8||University of Georgia||Kirby Smart||$3,500,000|
|9||University of Mississippi||Matt Luke||$3,000,000|
|9||University of South Carolina||Will Muschamp||$3,000,000|
|11||Vanderbilt University||Derek Mason||$2,399,576|
|12||University of Missouri||Barry Odom||$2,350,000|
|13||University of Kentucky||Mark Stoops||$3,263,600|
|14||Louisiana State University||Ed Orgeron||$3,500,000|
- Rivalry Notes
- Trophy first awarded in 1996.
- Series was annual rivalry when Arkansas and Texas A&M were both in the Southwest Conference. The teams began playing annually at Cowboys Stadium starting in 2009; beginning in 2012 the series became a conference matchup and reverted to a home-and-home for 2012 and 2013, then returned to Cowboys Stadium in 2014 and beyond.
- The series does not have an official nickname (the unofficial nickname is due to both teams sharing the same mascot name), though some individual games do. Not an annual rivalry until Auburn and LSU were placed in the SEC West in 1992.
- Played in Jacksonville, Florida since 1933, with only two exceptions due to stadium construction. Formerly known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," though the SEC and schools now discourage the use of the term due to the issue of excessive alcohol use.
- Starting in 1925, the trophy of this game was an orange, white, and blue beer barrel. However, this practice was discontinued in 1999 following a fatal alcohol-related car crash involving two Kentucky football players.
- Series was annual rivalry when Arkansas and Texas were both in the Southwest Conference. The teams have played only three times in the regular season since Arkansas joined the SEC, as well as two meetings in bowl games.
- Met annually from 1944 to 1987, but now played only intermittently.
- From 1987 to 1999, the trophy of this game was a red, white, and blue bourbon barrel, but this practice was discontinued in 1999 following a DUI accident that killed two Kentucky football players.
- Whereabouts of the original rag are unknown; a new rag was presented to LSU after victories in 2001 and 2006. Series was only contested twice from 1995 through 2005, but a 10-year contract began in 2006.
50th anniversary All-Time SEC Team
In 1982, the SEC Skywriters, a group of media covering the Southeastern Conference, selected members of their All-Time SEC Team for the first fifty years (1933–82) of the SEC.
Coach: Paul "Bear" Bryant
For the current season, see 2018–19 Southeastern Conference men's basketball season.
Since the 2012–13 season, SEC teams have played an 18-game conference schedule, which includes two games (home and away) against each of three permanent rivals and single games against the remaining 12 teams in the conference. Men's basketball formerly used the East/West divisional alignment for regular-season scheduling and seeding the conference tournament, but it no longer does.
Before expansion to 14 teams, the conference schedule was 16 games. Although the divisions were eliminated beginning with the 2011–12 season, that season's schedule was still set according to the divisional alignments, with each team facing each team from its own division twice and each team from the opposite division once. As part of the proposal by SEC head coaches that led to the scrapping of the divisional structure, a task force of four coaches and four athletic directors was set to discuss future conference scheduling. At that time, options included a revamped 16-game schedule, an 18-game schedule, or a full double round-robin of 22 conference games. However, these discussions came before Texas A&M and Missouri were announced in late 2011 as incoming members for the 2012–13 season, which required a format that could support 14 teams rather than 12.
At the 2012 SEC spring meetings, league athletic directors adopted an 18-game conference schedule. Each school had one permanent opponent that it played home and away every season, and faced four other opponents in a home-and-home series during a given season, and then the remaining teams one each (four home, four away). The permanent opponents were Alabama-Auburn, Arkansas-Missouri, Florida-Kentucky, Georgia-South Carolina, LSU-Texas A&M, Ole Miss-Mississippi State, and Tennessee-Vanderbilt. The home-and-home opponents, apart from the permanent opponent, rotated each season.
The 2014 SEC spring meetings saw a further change to the scheduling format. While the athletic directors voted to stay with an 18-game conference schedule, they increased the number of permanent opponents for each school from one to three. Each school retained its permanent opponent from the 2012–2014 period while adding two others.
Before the 1990 expansion to 12 schools, teams played a double round-robin, 18-game conference schedule. No team was undefeated during this era,[when?] though three teams went 17–1 (Kentucky in 1970 and 1986, LSU in 1981). During the period from 1992 to 2012 when the league slate was 16 games, Kentucky went undefeated in SEC play in 1996, 2003, and 2012 (although only the 2003 team went on to win the conference tournament).
Since the return to an 18-game conference schedule following the 2012 conference expansion, two teams have gone undefeated in SEC play: Florida in 2013–14 and Kentucky in 2014–15.
The table below lists each school's permanent men's basketball only scheduling partners beginning in 2014-15.
|School||Partner 1||Partner 2||Partner 3|
|Ole Miss||Mississippi State||Auburn||Missouri|
|Mississippi State||Alabama||Ole Miss||South Carolina|
|Missouri||Arkansas||Ole Miss||Texas A&M|
|South Carolina||Georgia||Mississippi State||Tennessee|
The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament (also known simply as the SEC Tournament) is the competition that determines the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Notably, it does not determine the SEC conference champion in men's basketball—the conference has awarded its championship to the team(s) with the best regular-season record since the 1950–51 season. It is a single-elimination tournament and seeding is based on regular season records.
With the expansion to 14 members in 2012, the 2013 tournament was the first with a new format covering five days. The teams seeded 11 through 14 play on the first day, with the winners advancing to play the No. 5 and 6 seeds on Thursday. The top four teams receive a "double bye" and do not play until the quarterfinals on Friday.
As of the most recently completed 2017–18 season, the tournament has most often been held at two venues that have each hosted 12 times. Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky served as the regular host from 1941 until the tournament was discontinued after the 1952 edition. The Georgia Dome in Atlanta first hosted the tournament in 1995 and most recently hosted in 2014. Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee is now the regular host, with that venue hosting the tournament from 2015 through 2025, except in 2018 and 2022 (years in which it will instead host the SEC women's basketball tournament). Sometimes, the tournament will take place at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, or Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The 2018 tournament was held at Scottrade Center, now Enterprise Center, in St. Louis, Missouri, and the 2022 tournament will be at Amalie Arena.
Prior to moving to the Georgia Dome, the tournament (during its modern, post-1979 era) was most often contested at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, home of the SEC's headquarters and centrally located prior to the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina. Other sites to host include on-campus arenas at LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt; Rupp Arena in Lexington; and the Orlando Arena.
NCAA tournament champions, runners-up and locations
† denotes overtime games. Multiple †'s indicate more than one overtime.
The SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year is awarded to the player who has proven himself, throughout the season, to be the most exceptional talent in the Southeastern Conference. Various other awards, such as the best tournament player in the SEC Tournament and all conference honors are given out throughout the year.
Schools play a 30-game league schedule (10 three-game series). From 1996 through 2012, schools played all five schools within their division and five of the six schools from the opposite division. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, schools will now miss three opponents from the opposite division in a given season.
Since 1990, the SEC has become the most successful conference on the college baseball diamond. That year, Georgia captured the conference's first national championship at the College World Series. Following that, LSU won 6 of the next 19 titles, including 5 of 10 between 1991 and 2000 and its sixth title in 2009. This was followed by South Carolina winning back to back titles in 2010 and 2011, Vanderbilt winning its first title in 2014, and Florida winning its first title in 2017. During that same span, nine teams have also been runners-up at the CWS. The CWS final series has featured two SEC teams in 1997, 2011, and 2017. The only current SEC member that has never appeared in the CWS is Kentucky. Among other current SEC members, only Missouri has not appeared in the CWS while a member of the SEC (and has yet to make the NCAA tournament as an SEC member), although it made six CWS appearances in the 1950s and 1960s while in the Big Eight Conference. Both Georgia Tech and Tulane have made appearances in the CWS after leaving the SEC.
SEC teams have also become leaders in total and average attendance over the years. In 2010 five of the top six drawing programs hailed from the SEC. Six more teams placed in the top 35 nationally.
The NCAA automatic berth is given to the winner of the SEC Baseball Tournament, which was first started in 1977. It is a double-elimination tournament and seeding is based on regular season records. Since 1998, the tournament has been held at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama and contested under the format used at the College World Series from 1988 through 2002, with two four-team brackets leading to a single championship game. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.
SEC presidents and athletic directors voted to expand the SEC Tournament to 10 teams starting in 2012. The division winners received a bye on the first day of competition, and the tournament became single-elimination after the field is pared to four teams.
With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M for the 2013 baseball season, the tournament was expanded to 12 teams. The top four seeds receive a bye on the first day, with seeds 5-12 playing single elimination. The tournament is double-elimination for the next three days, then reverts to single elimination when four teams are remaining.
In addition to the winner of the SEC Baseball Tournament, the Southeastern Conference usually gets several at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Many teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament despite failing to win a game in the SEC Tournament. One of those, Mississippi State, went 0-2 in the 2007 SEC Tournament, but reached the College World Series in 2007.
College World Series champions, runners-up and scores
Note: Teams in bold are current SEC members who advanced to the CWS while in the conference. Teams in bold italics are current SEC members who were in another conference at the time of their appearance.
College World Series appearances
|School||Appearances||Most recent||Highest finish|
|South Carolina||11||2012||1st (2×)|
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Several baseball rivalries have developed in the SEC:
- Historically these schools were arch-rivals in all sports, but following Tulane's decades-long de-emphasis of sports, including its exit from the SEC in 1966, baseball is the only sport in which the two schools are relatively evenly matched. On several occasions match-ups between the two have drawn national record-setting attendances. Tulane reached its first College World Series in 2001 by defeating LSU in three games in the NCAA Super Regional. In 2002, the Tigers and Green Wave drew an NCAA regular season record crowd of 27,673 to the Louisiana Superdome.
- Before the arrival of Skip Bertman as LSU's baseball coach in 1984, Mississippi State had long dominated the conference in baseball, with most of that success coming under coach Ron Polk, who returned to coach the Bulldogs in 2002 after retiring in 1997. When Bertman arrived in Baton Rouge, LSU's long-dormant program took off, winning 11 SEC championships and five College World Series championships between 1984 and 2001.
- This instate rivalry is an intense local affair, with the Gamecocks and Tigers meeting each regular season, and has gained national prominence as both teams are often ranked in the top 10 nationally. The highlights of the rivalry include the 2002 and 2010 meetings in the final four of the College World Series. Each time, South Carolina emerged from the losers bracket to beat Clemson twice and advance to the national championship series.
- The Gamecocks and Tar Heels met five times in the NCAA tournament between 2002 and 2013, including the 2002 NCAA Regional, 2003 NCAA Super Regional, 2004 NCAA Regional and 2013 NCAA Regional, with the Gamecocks holding a 3–2 edge.
The SEC has historically been the most dominant conference in women's basketball. Since the 2009–10 season, teams have played a 16-game conference schedule with a single league table; prior to that time the conference schedule was 14 games, again in a single table. Like SEC men's basketball, women's basketball used the divisional alignment for scheduling purposes through the 2011–12 season; however, the women's scheduling format was significantly different from the men's. Each team played home-and-home games against five schools—one permanent opponent, two teams from the same division, and two teams from the opposite division; the non-permanent home-and-home opponents rotated every two years. The remaining games were single games against the six other schools in the conference, with three at home and three away.
The league voted to keep a 16-game league schedule even after the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. Arkansas and LSU are no longer permanent opponents, with the Razorbacks picking up Missouri and the Lady Tigers picking up Texas A&M. The other permanent opponents are the same as men's basketball, except for Florida-Georgia and Kentucky-South Carolina (both pairs had been permanent women's basketball opponents before the 2012 expansion). Each school plays two others home-and-home during a given season and the other 10 once each. The divisional alignments no longer play any role in scheduling.
The recent history of SEC women's basketball is dominated by Tennessee, who have won regular season and/or conference tournament championships in 20 of the last 22 seasons, as well as 8 national championships since 1987. In the 28 seasons the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship has been held, SEC schools have reached the Final Four 32 times, more than twice as often as any other conference.
The SEC Women's Basketball Tournament is currently held a week before the men's basketball tournament. Like the men's version, it is a single-elimination tournament involving all conference members, with seeding based on regular season records. With the expansion to 14 schools, the bottom four teams in the conference standings play opening-round games, and the top four receive "double byes" into the quarterfinals. The winner earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA women's basketball tournament. Also paralleling the men's tournament, the women's tournament does not determine the SEC champion; that honor has been awarded based on regular-season record since the 1985–86 season.
The tournament, inaugurated in 1980, was originally held on campus sites; the first tournament to take place at a neutral site was in 1987. The two most frequent sites for the tournament have been McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee (seven times) and the Albany Civic Center in Albany, Georgia (six times); however, the tournament was last played in Albany in 1992 and Chattanooga in 2000. Because demand for women's tournament tickets is generally lower than for the men's tournament, it is typically played in a smaller venue than the men's tournament in the same season. The most frequent venues since 2000 have been Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (five times), Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia (four), and Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas (four).
NCAA tournament champions, runners-up and locations
† denotes overtime games. Multiple †'s indicate more than one overtime.
- The Lady Vols have historically been one of the nation's dominant programs in that sport. Starting in the mid-1990s, UConn has emerged as Tennessee's main rival for national prominence. The Huskies won four national titles between 2000 and 2004; in three of those years, their opponent in the NCAA final was Tennessee. Connecticut also defeated Tennessee in the 1995 Championship game, the Huskies' first-ever title.
Besides football, basketball, and baseball, there are a number of other sports in which the Southeastern Conference actively competes.
- These two storied programs have often butted heads for not only SEC titles, but NCAA titles, as well. Georgia has won ten national championships to Alabama's six. For decades the rivalry was dominated by the two long standing coaches of the two schools, Suzanne Yoculan of Georgia and Sarah Patterson of Alabama. Yoculan and Patterson have since retired, bringing their personal rivalry to an end.
- These two nationally acclaimed softball programs have proven to be the elite of the SEC and the nation. While consistently being ranked in the nation's Top Ten, both teams find their way to the SEC Tournament Finals and often clash once more in the Women's College Softball World Series.
- One of the youngest rivalries featuring an SEC team, the Tigers and Texas Longhorns are the two most successful swimming and diving programs in the country. The two have combined for 17 NCAA National Titles since 1981 (9 for Texas, 8 for Auburn) and between 1999 and 2007 won every national title awarded. The two regularly face off in a meet during the regular season, Auburn's men own a 12–9 record over the Longhorns. The women just recently began an annual series, with the Tigers winning the series so far 3–1. Texas was the only team to beat the Auburn men between 2001 and 2007.
National team championships
Since the SEC's founding in December 1932, the varsity athletic teams of its current 14 members have won over 200 national team sports championships.
The following is the list of the national team championships claimed by current SEC member schools, including those tournament championships currently or formerly sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA has never sponsored a tournament championship for major college football, the championship game for which is currently part of the College Football Playoff (CFP) system. Prior to 1992, championships for major college football were determined by a "consensus" of major polling services, including the Associated Press and United Press International college football polls. Recognized women's championships from 1972 to 1982 were administered by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), not the NCAA. There was a one-year overlap period during the 1981–82 school year, when both the AIAW and the NCAA operated women's championship tournaments; since 1982, only the NCAA has sponsored women's championship tournaments. National equestrian tournament championships are currently sponsored by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), not the NCAA. Those national championships dating from before 1933 predate the founding of the SEC in December 1932; championships won by Arkansas and South Carolina before the 1992–93 school year predate their membership in the SEC; championships won by Missouri and Texas A&M before the 2012–13 school year predate their membership in the SEC.
Men's basketball (12):
Women's basketball (10):
Women's bowling (2):
Men's cross country (12):
Women's cross country (1):
Women's equestrian (16):
2005 – South Carolina
Men's golf (12):
Women's golf (4):
Women's gymnastics (20):
Women's soccer (1):
Men's swimming (11):
Women's swimming (15):
Men's tennis (6):
Women's tennis (10):
Men's indoor track (29):
Women's indoor track (15):
Men's outdoor track (23):
Women's outdoor track (21):
* A championship marked by an asterisk (*) indicates that the institution was not a member of the SEC at the time of the championship.
National team titles claimed by current SEC institutions
The fourteen members of the Southeastern Conference claim over 200 national team championships in sports currently or formerly sponsored by conference members. The following totals include national team championships sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1906 to the present, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) from 1972 to 1982, and, in football, the Bowl Alliance, Bowl Coalition, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and College Football Playoff (CFP) since 1992, as well as consensus national championships determined by the major football polls prior to 1992.
- LSU – 46
- Arkansas – 43
- Florida – 40
- Georgia – 37
- Alabama – 25
- Tennessee – 23
- Auburn – 19
- Texas A&M – 17
- Kentucky – 12
- South Carolina – 9
- Vanderbilt – 4
- Mississippi – 3
- Missouri – 2
- Mississippi State – 0
NCAA and AIAW national tournament team titles won by current SEC institutions
The following totals include national team tournament championships sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1906 to the present and the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) from 1972 to 1982. The NCAA did not sponsor tournament championships in women's sports before the 1981–82 academic year, and the NCAA has never sponsored a national championship playoff or tournament in major college football. To date, the fourteen members of the SEC have won 212 NCAA and four AIAW championships, including:
- LSU – 43
- Arkansas – 42
- Florida – 37
- Georgia – 29
- Tennessee – 17
- Auburn – 14
- Texas A&M – 12
- Kentucky – 11
- Alabama – 10
- Vanderbilt – 4
- South Carolina – 3
- Missouri – 2
- Mississippi – 0
- Mississippi State – 0
Television and radio contracts
The SEC televises football games across various networks during the fall. SEC coverage is primarily provided by CBS and the ESPN family of networks, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ABC. Fox Sports Networks also has rights to air seven live football games over the course of the season.
ESPN reported paying $2.25 billion for broadcast rights of SEC football games beginning in the 2009 season and running through fiscal year 2025.
Games scheduled for airing are generally picked two weeks before they occur, with a few matches that are selected by CBS and ESPN prior to the season.
CBS has the first pick for a game and selects the highest-profile game to broadcast to a national, over-the-air audience. The CBS game is usually broadcast at 3:30 Eastern. Some weekends, CBS will air a doubleheader of SEC games. CBS also has the rights for the SEC Championship Game.
ESPN will air several SEC games each week among its various channels, with Saturday time slots generally at 12:00 ET, 7:00 ET, and 7:45 ET, and some SEC games will be shown on Thursday nights. In previous years, Raycom Sports (and before it, Jefferson-Pilot/Lincoln Financial Sports) syndicated regional coverage for an SEC game of the week at 12:30 ET, but the new contract replaced it with a new ESPN-produced syndication package, the SEC Network—whose football games kickoff at 12:21 ET.
The currently scheduled Fox Sports Net games are set for 7:00 ET.
For games not selected by any broadcast provider, certain schools may offer regional pay-per-view.
As of 2008, all SEC schools are affiliated with XM Radio, offering their radio broadcasts to an audience on XM. According to SiriusXM, the SEC will not be included as part of the "Best of XM" package deal for Sirius customers.
2008 television contract
During the 2007–2008 fiscal year review meeting, there was discussion among SEC leadership about the possibility of starting a TV network dedicated to its conference, much in the same way the Mountain West Conference and Big Ten Conference have done with the mtn. and Big Ten Networks, respectively. A decision was made to postpone the decision until at least the following year.
In August 2008, the SEC announced an unprecedented 15-year television contract with CBS worth an estimated $55 million a year. This continues the relationship the SEC already has with CBS, which puts the SEC in the unique position as the only conference to have its own exclusive national television network of the four major over-the-air broadcast networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox) to display the SEC's events.
In the same month, the league also announced another landmark television contract with ESPN worth $2.25 billion or $150 million a year for the life of the contract, which is for fifteen years. It is the longest and wealthiest contract among all television deals among the major conferences. With these contracts, the SEC had, at the time of the deal, the richest television deals in the country outside the Big Ten and helped make the SEC one of the most nationally televised and visible conferences in the country with the coverage that was provided by these contracts.
2014 SEC Network launch
The SEC Network is a television and multimedia network that features exclusively Southeastern Conference content through a partnership between ESPN and the SEC. The network launched on August 14, 2014 with the first live football game scheduled for two weeks later between Texas A&M and South Carolina on Thursday, August 28 in Columbia, South Carolina
The network is part of a deal between the Southeastern Conference and ESPN which is a 20-year agreement, beginning in August 2014 and running through 2034. The agreement served to create and operate a new multiplatform television network and accompanying digital platform in the hope of increasing revenue for member institutions and expanding the reach of the Southeastern Conference.
The Southeastern Conference sponsors nine men's sports and twelve women's sports, and awards a conference championship in every one of them.
- List of NCAA conferences
- List of SEC men's basketball tournament locations
- SEC on CBS
- Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium, located in Fayetteville, Arkansas
- SEC Community Service Team
- Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference
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