Florida kicked off the SEC football season by defeating Miami (Fla.) 24-20 on Saturday night. The other 13 members of the conference begin their seasons this week. SEC Football by the Numbers previews the 2019 campaign with 10 stats:
0 Teams on Georgia’s 2019 schedule defeated the Bulldogs in their most recent meeting. Georgia has won its past nine games against Kentucky, past five against Missouri, past four against South Carolina and past two against Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs have won both of meetings with Arkansas State and Notre Dame. The other team on Georgia’s 2019 schedule, Murray State, is squaring off against the Bulldogs for the first time. No other team in the SEC has a 2019 schedule without a loss in its most recent game against at least one of its opponents.
0 SEC teams have new head coaches for the 2019 season after five teams had new coaches for the 2018 season. This will be the second time in 27 seasons, joining 2006, in which each SEC team will kick off the campaign with the same coach that started the previous season. This was more common in the conference’s first 60 years, when the league had the same coaching lineup in back-to-back seasons nine times.
1 SEC quarterback and one SEC wide receiver have been consensus All-Americans twice, an accomplishment Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and WR Jerry Jeudy would duplicate this season if they repeated the All-American accolades they earned in 2018. Kentucky’s Babe Parilli in 1950 and 1951 is the only two-time consensus All-American quarterback in SEC history. Tennessee’s Larry Seivers in 1975 and 1976 is the only two-time consensus All-American wide receiver in SEC history. Two other 2018 consensus All-Americans return to the SEC for the 2019 campaign — Texas A&M P Braden Mann and LSU S Grant Delpit. No SEC punter has been a consensus All-American twice. Three SEC safeties have been — LSU’s Tommy Casanova in 1970 and 1971, Georgia’s Terry Hoage in 1982 and 1983 and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2016 and 2017. In all, 27 SEC players have been consensus All-Americans twice, including Georgia RB Herschel Walker, the conference’s only three-time consensus All-American in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
1 SEC team returns its leading rusher, passer, receiver and tackler from the 2018 season — Tennessee. RB Ty Chandler ran for 630 yards on 115 carries, QB Jarrett Guarantano threw for 1,907 yards, WR Marquez Callaway caught 37 passes for 592 yards and LB Daniel Bituli made 79 tackles for the Volunteers last season.
3 Bye weeks are on Florida’s schedule this season. Every other SEC team has two open dates. Usually, college football teams have one open date each season. But 2019 is one of those years that has 13 Saturdays in September, October and November. With every SEC team playing its season-opening game before Labor Day, that leaves 13 dates for 11 games in 2019. Florida gets an extra off week because it kicked off its campaign in Week Zero, playing Miami (Fla.) on Aug. 24 before the formal start of the season. Florida’s first open date comes before it plays NCAA FCS opponent UT-Martin on Sept. 7. The other open dates come before rivalry games against Georgia on Nov. 2 and Florida State on Nov. 30. In addition to its extra open dates, Florida is the only SEC team that plays two NCAA FCS opponents in 2019. The Gators’ game against UT-Martin comes a week before Florida faces Kentucky. The Gators play Towson on Sept. 28, the week before they square off against Auburn.
4 Players have won the Heisman Trophy in the season after finishing second in the voting for the award. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa was the runner-up to Oklahoma QB Kyle Murray for the 2018 Heisman Trophy. The Heisman winners who had finished second the previous season are Michigan’s Tom Harmon, Army’s Glenn Davis, Southern Cal’s O.J. Simpson and Georgia’s Herschel Walker. Harmon won the 1940 Heisman after finishing second to Iowa’s Nile Kinnick. Davis won the 1946 Heisman after finishing second to teammate Doc Blanchard. Simpson won the 1968 Heisman after finishing second to UCLA’s Gary Beban. Walker won the 1982 Heisman after finishing second to Southern Cal’s Marcus Allen.
10 Consecutive SEC rushing champions have played for a Western Division team. Three of the SEC’s eight 1,000-yard rushers in 2018 return for 2019, and all play for Eastern Division teams. Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn ran for 1,244 yards, Missouri’s Larry Rountree III ran for 1,216 yards and Georgia’s D’Andre Swift ran for 1,049 yards last season. The most recent SEC rushing champion to come out of the Eastern Division is Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno in 2008. Since then the SEC’s top rushers have been Alabama’s Trent Richardson in 2011, Auburn’s Cam Newton in 2010, Tre Mason in 2013, Cameron Artis-Payne in 2014, Kamryn Pettway in 2016 and Kerryon Johnson in 2017, LSU’s Leonard Fournette in 2015, Mississippi State’s Anthony Dixon in 2009 and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel in 2012 and Trayveon Williams in 2018. (The leading rusher is the player with the highest average of rushing yards per game during the season.)
10 Bowl teams from the 2018 season are on the 2019 schedules of three SEC teams. Georgia, LSU and Tennessee are scheduled to play 10 2018 bowl teams apiece this season, the most in the SEC. Alabama and Mississippi State, with six 2018 bowl teams on their 2019 schedules, will play the fewest. Ole Miss plays nine, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt play eight apiece and Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A&M play seven each.
23 Years since Florida’s Danny Wuerffel became the only QB to start three consecutive SEC championship games and the most recent QB to win back-to-back SEC titles. Both of those achievements could be matched this season. Georgia QB Jake Fromm returns after starting the previous two SEC title games, and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is back after the Crimson Tide won last year’s league crown. Wuerffel started at QB in Florida’s victories in the SEC championship games in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He’s the only starting QB with more than one victory in the league title game and the only one to start three. Last season, Fromm joined the list of two-time starters that includes Alabama’s Jay Barker, Florida’s Tim Tebow and Georgia’s David Greene and Aaron Murray. Like Fromm last year, Greene in 2003 and Tebow in 2009 had the opportunity for back-to-back wins, but they lost in the title game the second time around.
113 Games have been won by Alabama since the start of the 2010 season, the most in NCAA FBS. Ohio State is second on the victory list in the 2010s with 104. The NCAA FBS record for victories in a decade is 114 by Marshall in the 1990s. Predating the NCAA, Penn won 124 games and Harvard won 116 as major-college football powers in the 1890s. Alabama seems likely to lead major-college football in victories in a decade for the third time in the 2010s. In the 1960s, Alabama won 85 games, and in the 1970s, the Tide won 103 games. Alabama finished second in the 1930s with 79 wins to Tennessee’s 83.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.