The 14 schools in the SEC have produced some of the most productive players and biggest personalities in college football history.
While current players continue to push the limits of football statistics, some records still remain out of reach. Sometimes the stars align perfectly to produce an unbreakable record. Other times, a Herculean performance in a single game might go unmatched for generations.
From historic highs to dismal lows, here are each SEC team’s most unbreakable records.
Bear Bryant’s six national titles at one school
Alabama has become the gold standard in college football, with 16 claimed national championships. The Crimson Tide have reached a level of prestige under Nick Saban that has rarely been matched in college football history. But before there was Saban at Alabama, there was Bear Bryant.
The legendary Alabama coach won six national titles with the Crimson Tide over the course of a 26-year tenure in Tuscaloosa. Saban is not far behind with five titles of his own. However, one of the championships came at LSU. Few coaches get the opportunity to stay at one program long enough to achieve such a record. Of course, if anyone can break this mark, it is Nick Saban.
Darren McFadden’s 321 rushing yards
Arkansas’ best running back ever saved his best performance for his final game at Razorback Stadium. Darren McFadden came into the game against South Carolina faltering after a poor performance against Florida International a week before. He left right in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. McFadden ran for an SEC record 321 yards on 34 rushing attempts. He even threw for a score in the third quarter.
McFadden has clinched almost every Razorbacks record, despite playing in Fayetteville for just three seasons. No other player in program history has even come within 50 yards of the record. Alex Collins’ 212 yards is the best performance since McFadden set the record. In addition to his numerous Arkansas records, McFadden is ranked second all-time in SEC rushing yards.
Cam Newton’s 51 single-season touchdowns
Cam Newton’s 2011 season is one of the greatest in college football history. During his lone season at Auburn, Newton nearly doubled Pat Sullivan’s 40-year Auburn record (26) with 50 total touchdowns. Just to show off, he added a receiving touchdown during a 51-31 win over Ole Miss.
Newton led the Tigers to their second national championship, their first since 1957. His single-season touchdown mark ranks second in SEC history. Nick Marshall put together a heck of a 2014 season, combining for 31 total touchdowns. However, even that put him 20 back of Newton. Even if a player can come close to the numbers Newton posted, it is unlikely to think anyone can have a similar effect on final scores.
Tim Tebow’s 145 career touchdowns
Newton might have put together the second-best season in SEC history (total touchdowns), but few have ever matched what Tim Tebow accomplished during his legendary career in Gainesville. Before the Heisman-winner arrived on campus, Danny Wuerffel led the SEC with 122 touchdowns in his career. Tebow obliterated the record and finished with 145 career touchdowns.
Tebow’s mark ranks eight ahead of Georgia signal-caller Aaron Murray. Wuerffel and fifth-ranked Chris Leak are also Gators, but neither is even within 20 touchdowns. It is hard to imagine another player coming through Florida who possesses the talent to be a true dual-threat and patience to play for four seasons.
Herschel Walker’s 5,502 career yards from scrimmage
Georgia has had numerous superstar athletes walk through its storied halls, but few are more legendary than Herschel Walker. Despite playing only three seasons in Athens, Walker has a stranglehold on the SEC yards from scrimmage record. Walker rushed for 5,259 yards and added 243 receiving yards. Had he returned at the same pace for his senior season, Walker could have challenged Ron Dayne’s all-time record for yards from scrimmage (7,429).
In addition to the top rusher, Georgia also boasts the most prolific passer in SEC history. Aaron Murray threw for 13,166 yards while in a Bulldog uniform, over 1,600 more than second-best David Greene. It’s hard to see any similarly prolific quarterback playing four years for Georgia.
Tim Couch’s 4,275 passing yards in 1998
While he might be better remembered for flopping in the NFL, Tim Couch was an elite college quarterback. During his standout junior season in 1998, Couch threw for an SEC record 4,275 yards and 36 touchdowns. He helped lead an otherwise-underwhelming Kentucky squad to a 7-5 record and berth in the Outback Bowl.
After his stellar season, Couch opted to forego his final season and enter the NFL Draft. He was pick No. 1 overall, but struggled to find his place at the next level. Even with his abbreviated collegiate career, Couch still ranks third all-time on the Kentucky passing yards list.
Josh Reed’s 1,740 receiving yards
LSU great Josh Reed did not exclusively play wide receiver until his sophomore season. Let’s say he is a fast learner. As a junior in 2001, Reed set SEC and LSU records with 1,740 receiving yards on 94 receptions. For his performance, Reed was honored with the Biletnikoff Award and consensus All-America status. He earned a second-round selection in the NFL draft a few months later.
Alabama Heisman finalist Amari Cooper came close to the record during a 14-game junior season in 2014, but came 13 yards short. Despite having star receivers during the last few seasons under Les Miles, only one player in program history has come within even 500 yards of the record: Wendell Davis in 1986 (1,244 yards).
Billy Jackson’s 49 career sacks
Before the 1980s, finding consistent sack information could prove to be difficult. Regardless, Billy Jackson could rush the darn quarterback. Jackson is attributed with 49 sacks between the 1980 and 1983 seasons and was a terror on the defensive side of the ball.
Tyrone Keys ranks second on Mississippi State’s all-time list – and he compiled 26 career sacks. In the last decade, only Preston Smith has accumulated even 15 career sacks. Finding another player who can sack like Jackson will be a tall order.
Chase Daniel’s 101 touchdown passes
With the last few years of Missouri football, it may be hard to remember that at one point, the Tigers boasted an elite offense. Quarterback Chase Daniel was the ringmaster for Gary Pinkel’s show, and he changed the game in Columbia. Daniel has several passing records at Mizzou, but easily the most dominant is his career record for touchdown passes (101).
Daniel threw for 45 more than second-place Brad Smith. Even more impressive, Daniel holds all three of the top passing touchdown performance in Tigers history. He passed for 39 touchdowns during his senior season. Fourth-place Maty Mauk posted just 25 touchdowns to be the best non-Daniel player on the list.
Deuce McAllister’s 3,181 rushing yards
While Deuce McAllister is underrated in the annals of SEC history, Ole Miss fans will not soon forget his impact. During his four-year career with the Rebels, McAllister broke several career rushing records. Most impressive, he ran for 3,181 yards in his four seasons; no other player has come within 300 yards. It will be difficult for any individual player to get enough carries and stay long enough to reach that record at Ole Miss.
Coming a close second to McAllister’s records is Eli Manning, who leads the Ole Miss passing charts with 10,119 career yards. However, five-star quarterback singee Shea Patterson may begin chasing that record the second Chad Kelly exhausts his eligibility after the 2016 season.
George Rogers’ 5,091 career rushing yards
With the NFL on the horizon, few star college football players pass up a shot at the league. That is what makes George Rogers’ 5,091 career rushing yards at South Carolina so untouchable by another Gamecocks running back.
South Carolina gave Rogers 143 rushing attempts during his freshman year, but he became a superstar as a junior. He rushed for 1,681 yards and eight touchdowns. Rogers somehow was even better the next year, winning the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns. Brandon Bennett ranks second on the South Carolina list, more than 2,000 yards behind Rogers. This is a record that should not be touched.
Tennessee’s 17-game shutout streak
Tennessee’s athletic facility is called “Neyland Stadium,” and for good reason. Former head coach Robert Neyland helped lead some of the most dominant teams in college football history. Perhaps his best came between the 1938 and 1940 seasons, when Neyland’s Volunteers reeled off 17 consecutive regular-season shutouts. With the way football is played today, that record will never be touched.
The magical streak started on Nov. 5, 1938, when Tennessee dominated Chattanooga 45-0. The Volunteers then went through the entire 1939 regular season undefeated, combining to outscore opponents 212-0 in 10 games. The streak went three games into the 1940 season, until Alabama scored in a 27-12 win for Tennessee. The Volunteers captured national championships in 1938 and 1940.
Johnny Football’s 5,116 total yards as a freshman
With all the TMZ drama involving “Johnny Football” since he left College Station, Texas, it can be easy to forget just how dominant a college football player Johnny Manziel was at Texas A&M. His most masterful season came in 2012 as a redshirt freshman. The former three-star prospect compiled 5,116 total yards, by far an SEC record. Manziel notably led the Aggies to a 10-3 record in their first season in the conference, which helped set the tone for the program.
Perhaps just as impressive, Manziel posted the second-most prolific season as a sophomore, compiling 4,873 total yards in 2013. No other Texas A&M player ranks even among the top 25 single-season total offensive leaders in SEC history. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly ranks third all-time, with 4,551 total yards in 2015.
Kurt Page interceptions in a season
While many SEC players rank among the best in NCAA history, one former Vanderbilt player has a record that he probably would like to forget. In 1983, quarterback Kurt Page took the field for 11 games. He went on to throw an SEC and NCAA-record 29 interceptions, or 2.6 interceptions per game. Even worse, Page threw only 14 touchdowns for the Commodores and turned the ball over once every 17 pass attempts. Vanderbilt’s 2-9 record was no coincidence.
Page improved in 1984: 2,405 yards, nine touchdowns and a 5-6 record. More importantly, Page threw just nine interceptions, or one every 39 pass attempts.