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Jadennis: The Big Six

Jonathan Dennis, known to our message posters as jadennis, writes his first weekly column for Auburn Undercover today. Jonathan will share his unique grasp of statistics and Auburn history each Thursday.

Auburn is 5-0 against Tennessee since 2001.

By Jonathan Dennis (jadennis)

The Southeastern Conference has earned a reputation as the top conference in the country. Five straight BCS titles go along way in making the case lately, but historically the conference has established itself by having six programs among the top 17 in all-time winning percentage.

The 2011 season will be the 20th for the SEC in its current format. So how have these six programs fared against each other in the Past 19 seasons?

Let's look first at all 19 seasons, going back to 1992. Then we'll look at the past decade, going back to the 2001 season.

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Since 1992

ALABAMA vs. Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 34-41

AUBURN vs. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 40-38-1

GEORGIA vs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 27-43-1

FLORIDA vs. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, and Tennessee: 58-25

LSU vs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee: 33-41

TENNESSEE vs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and LSU: 35-39

NOTES

Auburn and Florida are the only teams with winning records vs. the other "powers." … Auburn has a winning record vs. every team except Florida. … - Georgia is 17-15-1 vs. the three SEC-West teams, but only 10-28 vs UF and UT. … Alabama is .500 vs. UF (the No. 1 team) and UGA, but below .500 vs. AU, LSU, and UT. … Thanks to Florida, East Division teams are 63-50 against West Division teams.

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Since 2001

ALABAMA vs. Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 16-23

AUBURN vs. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 23-16

GEORGIA vs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee: 20-20

FLORIDA vs. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, and Tennessee: 23-16

LSU. vs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee: 25-17

TENNESSEE vs.Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and LSU: 13-28

NOTES

Auburn is the only team to go undefeated vs. a Big Six team (5-0 vs UT). … LSU is .500 or better vs. every team. … Florida is 20-10 vs. UGA, LSU, and UT, but 3-6 vs. Alabama and Auburn. … Tennessee has a losing record vs. every team. … Alabama is 10-9 vs. the three East Division teams, but 6-14 vs. Auburn and LSU. … The West Division is 32-26 vs the SEC-East.

I would compare the Big Six records against the other six members of the conference, but things are much harder to compare due to the inequality of those six teams. The three in the West have been much stronger than the three from the East.

Here are the conference records of each of the other six teams since 1992:

Arkansas 72-81-2, 47.1% (11 winning seasons)

Ole Miss 61-91-0, 40.2% (8 winning seasons)

South Carolina 61-91-0, 40.2 % (10 winning seasons)

Mississippi State 56-96-0, 36.9% (8 winning seasons)

Kentucky 43-109-0, 28.3% (2 winning seasons)

Vanderbilt 24-128-0. 15.8% (1 winning season)

Totals:

West Division schools: 189-268-2, 41.4%, 31 winning seasons

East Division schools: 128-328, 28.1%, 17 winning seasons

As you can see, the three Big Six programs in the East have had the benefit of playing Kentucky and Vanderbilt 19 times each since 1992. Those two teams have a combined three winning seasons in that time frame. The three Big Six programs in the West have faced Ole Miss and Arkansas, two teams that won 60 percent of their games over that time.

As is always the case in major college football, who you play means everything.

Next week I'll have an analysis of what Auburn's all-time record might be had they played a historical schedule equivalent to that of Nebraska. It makes a difference when you play Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Clemson, and Tennessee for 506 of your 1,157 games, or nearly 44 percent of your games.

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