After yesterday's announcement of a Boise State-Ole Miss game in 2011, it got me thinking about when the last time each SEC team has lost to someone from outside the automatic qualifying conferences (excluding Notre Dame, of course). I couldn't name the instances for each one, so I decided to look them up. I post them here for the similarly curious.
Alabama: 31-17 loss as a 12-2 team to 13-0 Utah in the Sugar Bowl, 1/2/2009.
Arkansas: 31-14 loss as a 6-6 team to 8-5 UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl, 12/21/2000.
Auburn: 10-9 loss as a 5-6 team to 4-7 Southern Miss at home, 10/5/1991.
Florida: 17-11 loss as a 7-5 team to 6-5 Memphis at home, 10/8/1988.
Georgia: 11-7 loss as a 5-6 team to 8-3 Southern Miss at home, 8/31/1996.
Kentucky: 28-16 loss as a 2-9 team to 4-7 Ohio at home, 10/2/2004.
LSU: 13-10 loss as an 8-4 team to 7-4 UAB at home, 9/23/2000.
Ole Miss: 24-14 loss as a 3-8 team to 4-7 Wyoming at home, 9/24/2005.
Mississippi State: 31-24 loss as a 5-7 team to 10-4 Houston at home, 10/10/2009.
South Carolina: 21-3 loss as an 0-11 team to 9-3 East Carolina at home, 9/18/1999.
Tennessee: 13-7 loss as a 5-7 team to 4-8 Wyoming at home, 11/8/2008.
Vanderbilt: 16-13 loss as a 2-10 team to 5-7 Army on the road, 10/10/2009.
I guess the moral of the story is watch out for Wyoming and Southern Miss. I find it interesting that only a third of the conference (Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina) has avoided this kind of ignominy in the last 10 years, though another clean season adds Arkansas and LSU to the list. It makes sense that it's fairly rare though given that SEC teams rarely host good non-BCS programs or play them in bowls thanks to the way tie-ins have shaken out.
Only Alabama, Florida, and LSU have seen their last losses to non-BCS programs come during a winning year. Alabama's is understandable because it came against a great Utah team in the Sugar Bowl, but I probably don't need to remind you of when their last one before that was (11/17/2007).