<
>

Sizing up the numbers for SEC champions

After taking a look earlier this week at where each of the SEC champions the last decade finished nationally in total defense, several of you have inquired about where they finished within the league in total defense.

Likewise, I’ve had several questions about where the league champs the last decade finished in total offense.

Remember, only two of the last 10 SEC champions finished lower than 18th nationally in total defense, which cements what we’ve already known.

Defense wins championships in this league.

But looking at it from an offensive perspective, only three of the last 10 SEC champions have finished in the top 20 nationally in total offense. Florida was 15th in 2008 and 19th in 2006. LSU was 11th in 2001.

Both of Georgia’s SEC championships last decade (2002 and 2005) came with the Bulldogs finishing 49th nationally in total offense.

In terms of how the league champs finished within the SEC in both total offense and total defense, only once in the last 10 years has the champion not finished in the top three in the league in either total offense or total defense.

Georgia in 2002 was fourth in total offense and fourth in total defense.

And taking it a step further on defense, only three times over the last decade has the SEC championship game loser finished lower than 26th nationally in total defense.

Tennessee was 70th in 2007 and 45th in 2004, while Arkansas was 43rd in 2002.

In short, simply getting to the SEC championship game the last decade has hinged more on having a good defense as opposed to having a good offense.

No SEC champion over the last 10 years has finished in the top 10 nationally in total offense, while six of the last 10 SEC champions have finished in the top 10 in total defense.