Rushing to national championships

We hear all the time how important running the ball is in the SEC, especially if you’re going to compete for championships.

Alabama was second in the SEC this past season and 16th nationally in rushing offense. The Crimson Tide averaged 227.5 yards per game.

In fact, they’re the sixth straight national champion to average at least 214 rushing yards per game.

During the SEC’s streak of seven straight national championships, the only team that didn’t average more than 200 rushing yards per game was Florida the very first year in 2006. The Gators averaged 160 yards on the ground that season and finished 38th nationally in rushing offense.

From that point on, every national champion has averaged at least 214 rushing yards and finished in the top 20 nationally in rushing offense.

The moral of the story: You better be able to run the football at a very high level if you’re going to navigate your way through the SEC and win a national title.

Below is a quick breakdown:

  • 2012 – Alabama, 227.5 yards per game, ranked 16th nationally

  • 2011 – Alabama, 214.5 yards per game, ranked 16th nationally

  • 2010 – Auburn, 284.8 yards per game, ranked 5th nationally

  • 2009 – Alabama, 215.1 yards per game, ranked 12th nationally

  • 2008 – Florida, 231.1 yards per game, ranked 10th nationally

  • 2007 – LSU, 214.1 yards per game, ranked 11th nationally

  • 2006 – Florida, 160 yards per game, ranked 38th nationally