The SEC is regarded as one of the most accomplished sports conferences in terms of its winning reputation, with 43 national football championships, 21 basketball championships, 41 indoor track championships, 42 outdoor track championships, 24 swimming championships, and 20 gymnastics championships. The conference is also highly successful financially, as it consistently leads most others in revenue distribution to its members, including an SEC record $455.8 million for the 2014–15 fiscal year, which was a sizable increase over the $292.8 million for the 2013–14 fiscal year, largely due to the revenue from the introduction of the SEC Network.
The SEC was also the first NCAA Division I conference to hold a championship game (and award a subsequent title) for college football and was one of the founding members of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The current SEC commissioner is Greg Sankey. The conference sponsors team championships in nine men's sports and twelve women's sports.
The SEC consists of 14 member institutions located within the borders of 11 contiguous states. Listed in alphabetical order, these 11 states within the SEC's geographical footprint are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The geographic domain of the conference is predominantly within the Southeastern and Southern United States, and stretches from Texas in the west to South Carolina in the east and from Missouri in the north to Florida in the south.
The SEC is divided into East and West Divisions although the divisional labels are misnomers given Missouri's East Division alignment while being located in the west geographically, and Auburn's West Division alignment despite being located considerably further east than Missouri and Vanderbilt. These divisional groupings are applied exclusively to football and baseball as well as their scheduling and standings.
Since July 1, 2012, there are 14 members with Vanderbilt being the only private institution.
The SEC was established on December 8 and 9, 1932, when the thirteen members of the Southern Conference located west and south of the Appalachian Mountains left to form their own conference. Ten of the thirteen founding members have remained in the conference since its inception: the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University ("LSU"), the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"), Mississippi State University, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University.
The other charter members were: