In the 24 years since the SEC divided into divisions in 1992, just six programs have won an SEC Championship Game.
Florida, Alabama and LSU have combined to win 17 of the 24, while Auburn (3), Georgia (2) and Tennessee (2) have earned victories as well.
Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi State and South Carolina are a combined 0-7 in the game, while four other current member institutions have yet to make an appearance in the game.
Which of the eight teams still waiting on their first SEC championship game victory will have the shortest wait? We put that question in front of a pannel of our experts.
WHICH SEC TEAM WILL BE THE FIRST TO BREAK ITS FOOTBALL TITLE GAME DROUGHT?
Connor Smolensky (@ConnorSmo): Ole Miss
Hugh Freeze has shown he is capable of singing some big-time prospects. The NCAA violations could hinder his ability to continue doing so depending on the ruling, but the Rebels possess the nation’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback from last season in Shea Patterson. Expectations are high for Patterson, and Gil Brandt recently predicted that teams will be trading up in the draft to choose him once he’s eligible.
Given the fact that Kelly is returning, Patterson may redshirt this season, giving him the opportunity to learn the system for a year before taking the reins himself. If Patterson is all he’s cracked up to be, Ole Miss could have their first SEC Championship in the next four years.
Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22): Texas A&M
It might not be with Kevin Sumlin in charge. The Aggies are uniquely positioned in the SEC’s new footprint. If Texas continues to struggle and Baylor becomes a non-entity, the Aggies could collect even more of Texas’ top talent in the next 3 to 5 years.
Sumlin has been able to recruit top talent, but struggled to keep some of it. He, or the next coach, could put together a team capable of winning the SEC, even if it takes a down year from Alabama and LSU to make it happen. The 2016 team isn’t a bad long-shot bet, considering the potential of Trevor Knight at quarterback and a defense than continues to improve with John Chavis pulling the strings.
Alec Shirkey (@AShirkey): Texas A&M
If Ole Miss did not find itself in so much hot water with the NCAA, Hugh Freeze and the Rebels would be the easy pick to capture an SEC title in the near future. But a likely postseason ban would stunt the momentum of this blossoming program and leave the door open for Texas A&M to temporarily supplant the powerhouses at Alabama and LSU.
The Aggies are nestled squarely in one of the country’s high school talent hot beds and perhaps the only school on this list that can recruit toe-to-toe with Ole Miss. Second-year coordinator John Chavis has everything it takes to turn this defense into an NFL prospect factory. All this team needs is a serviceable quarterback to replace grad transfer Trevor Knight. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s high-octane offense and the plethora of elite in-state receiver recruits should take care of the rest.
Nick Cole (@nickcolesports): Arkansas
Give me the Razorbacks in this debate. Since joining the conference in 1992, Arkansas has either shared or won the outright SEC West division title four times. So while that championship trophy may have successfully eluded Fayetteville thus far, of the teams that remain without a conference championship, Arkansas is the program that has come closest to tasting victory. In other words, the Razorbacks have proven capable of competing at the league’s highest level.
Though Arkansas has finished better than third in the division just once since Houston Nutt’s team lost to the eventual national champion Florida Gators in 2006, Bret Bielema appears to have this program again on an upward plane. Situated as the only Power 5 school in its state, Arkansas has the chance to recruit the foundation of a team capable of producing an SEC title. Bielema’s physical approach is counter to the direction many teams have taken in recent years, and it’s possible he could assemble a team that simply muscles its way to a win in Atlanta.