In case you haven't noticed, over the last couple of weeks, several of SB Nation's SEC blogs have submitted their choices for the worst disaster in the histories of their respective programs. It was completely voluntary for all our sites, and fortunately most of them participated. So here are the nominees, as well as some of the cases that were made for them. (NOTE: Teams that joined the SEC in expansion years were allowed to include events prior to their joining the league. Each voter can weigh that however they like before voting.)
I'll give you 10,000 RBR dollars if you can name me a darker time in Alabama football history. From 2000-2006 Alabama had 52 wins, 17 of which were vacated and had a dismal 34 losses. (Final count of 35-34) Oh yeah, we also went 3-11 against Tennessee and Auburn.
I thought it might be better, if we wanted to drag it out and make a series, to break up 2012 into different moments and let people vote. We could do different segments on the motorcycle incident, the John L. Smith hire, the ULM game, SMILE!, and whatever else, but that didn't seem fair. It's all too connected.
It's the type of story that includes, "and then, and then, and THEN, AND THEN, AAAAND THEEEEN...."
Harrick was a known NCAA violator. He'd been in trouble everywhere he ever coached. Mike Adams, however, liked his old coach at Pepperdine, and got what he wanted. Then there were ESPN reporters hiding behind dumpsters, and money order receipts, and sanctions, and protests, and a great big smoking crater where a basketball program used to be.
Bryant took his leave from Kentucky due in part to the focus of the school's athletics administration on basketball, as epitomized by the infamous myth that during one football-basketball banquet, Rupp was given a four-door Cadillac and Bryant presented with a cigarette lighter.
When Curley Hallman took the LSU job, LSU had never had more than two consecutive losing seasons in its entire history. Well, Hallman took that as a challenge and completely rewrote the LSU record book on futility. He inherited a 5-6 team coming off of two straight losing seasons, and he righted the ship.
Right into the iceberg.
The loss, of course, cost us a chance at a national championship. Carolina was ranked second in the nation at the time, and the Orange Bowl had contacted the program regarding the opportunity to play Nebraska or Oklahoma in a national title showdown, should the Gamecocks get past Navy and Clemson. Oklahoma would beat top-ranked Nebraska on the same day Carolina lost to Navy, meaning that Carolina would have gone into the Clemson game with our first-ever number one ranking if we had beaten Navy.
Dooley presided over the worst defense (by far) in school history. He presided over the tied-for-worst SEC record in school history. He presided over the other tied-for-worst SEC record in school history. When he took over, Tennessee was competing with Georgia and South Carolina for second in the SEC East (and generally fairing pretty well). In this first summer following his tenure, nobody, not even Vols fans, are mentioning UT in the same breath as those two. Tennessee was picked 5th in the SEC East preseason polls, and one of our staff members is claiming without a hint of irony that Vanderbilt is the most important game on the Vols' schedule.
TEXAS A&M: Hiring Dennis Franchione - Good Bull Hunting
Good Bull Hunting told us that a post on what one things fans would change could serve as their nominee for this. So that post is not structured very much like a case for this dubious honor, but just look at this Franchione-era box score to get an idea of what they're talking about.
Voting will close at 11:55 p.m. on Aug. 1. So, engage democracy mode now.