tors have eaten up the Southeastern Conference.
During the past 75 years, Florida’s athletics program rates as the best in SEC history, based on a formula created by The Birmingham News to measure all-time conference success in all sports. Georgia finished second, followed by LSU and Tennessee.
In the fight for state supremacy, Auburn finished sixth overall and Alabama ranked seventh. Measuring the best program within each of the current 18 SEC-sponsored sports, the archrivals split evenly, although Alabama won the big three sports of football, men’s basketball and baseball.
Are these conclusions debatable? Of course.
But if college football can decide a champion with the Bowl Championship Series, we can rank SEC schools with our Greatest Athletic Program. Or, as we call it, GAP – which also aptly describes the gaping holes between some SEC programs over the years.
GAP measures success in each sport for the 12 current SEC members over their entire SEC life. No results were counted before the SEC was formed in 1933, and there is much less history for South Carolina and Arkansas, which joined the league in 1991.
For each sport, The News selected varied measurements. More weight was placed on national titles and SEC titles than on other measurements such as number of All-Americans.
Because some SEC sports make more money and draw greater public interest, we weighted sports differently.
Football was weighted most heavily. Men’s basketball was weighted second-most heavily. Women’s basketball and baseball each were weighted less than football and men’s basketball but more than all remaining sports. All remaining sports and the Directors Cup rankings were considered equally.
We also have a conscience. Teams were penalized for every major NCAA violation.