Yes. You figured us out. We are anti-SEC. The proverbial “haters,” if you will. But now its time to tell YOU something you may NOT realize… YOU should be anti-SEC too! And you might be surprised by the reason.
SEC fans have argued with us on our twitter site (@SEC_Exposed) for the past couple months since our inception, largely in defense of their blessed conference. It is quite amazing what we have seen! Auburn fans defending Alabama! Florida fans sticking up for Georgia! Mississippi State fans throwing down the gauntlet in defense of Ole Miss! It has been nothing short of astounding, and certainly a learning experience in our journey this summer. The claim of a team in the SEC that their greatest “hated rivalry” is another regional SEC team is more a punch line than a reality. Sure, there might be competitive spirit. But this is nothing like true HATED rivalries that USED to exist between teams like Auburn and Alabama or like Georgia and Florida. The past 7 years of SEC national championship dominance have clearly gone to their heads in an epic way, and it has led to a plague that is slowly eating away at the foundation of college football and threatening to destroy it… something we can only describe as redneck nationalism.
SEC fans will presume that all haters of the SEC are fans of programs from other conferences whose teams have been beaten by SEC schools and are simply jealous. In many cases, this is true. However, in OUR case it is NOT. And for those of you hating on the SEC because of jealousy, you should hate for a reason that is far more concerning: the self-fulfilling SEC dominance perception of college football, further fueled by the “S-E-C” Chanting drones, is killing our beloved sport.
How can SEC arrogance be killing the sport of college football, you ask? To begin with, the aforementioned redneck nationalism plague has led to the withering excitement of interesting rivalries that once captivated the entire nation. Now, when historic rivalry games take place between SEC teams, nobody outside of the SEC really cares anymore (unless of course their team can benefit from the higher ranked of the two over-ranked SEC teams losing). And can you blame them for losing interest? After all, the losing team’s fans are still going to ultimately celebrate victory, cheering for their once bitter rival to win the national championship so that they can wear “SEC: National Champs 8 years in a row!” T-shirts. So really, there is no losing anymore for these guys. For these teams, it’s like when your big brother kicks your butt in the back yard, but later that day you root for him as he beats up the under-sized neighbor. At least you are related to him, so in a way, you kind of win too, right?
This mentality is nothing short of asinine when it comes to college football, but it is life as we now know it in the SEC. And oddly enough, it occurs nowhere else. Ohio State and Michigan share conferences as well as a storied history of hatred. No Michigan fan would be caught dead rooting for Ohio State in the national championship game, as if it were an indication that a Big Ten National Champion thereby makes Michigan a better team. However, thanks to modern day media poll collusion (see our previous article), the SEC has managed to convince the world that yes, all their teams really ARE better than all other teams in every other conference top to bottom simply because they have carried the national champion for so long. So of course Vanderbilt can cheer wildly after losing by 30 to Alabama. Getting the holy hell beat out of you by the national champion is an honor and a privilege, and makes you a national champion as well by association, right?
Funny how no other sport in ANY other corner of civilization displays such awe-inspiring stupidity. Imagine the New York Jets rooting madly for the New England Patriots during the Super Bowl, chanting “A-F-C… A-F-C!” Because of course if New England wins, the Jets no longer have to feel the weight of getting their teeth knocked down their throat by the Patriots the previous month. Because now the Jets can celebrate their AFC as National Champs! Seems pretty foolish, doesn’t it? Well , not in the SEC apparently.
SEC fans embrace the ignorance. And the arrogance. You can’t faze them with all this talk. And why would you? They know that nobody can do anything about it. Mainly because deep down they know that this manufactured dominance is likely to never end. Despite the fact that historically all conferences eventually have some “down” years, they know that the polls and the media (especially ESPN) will never let it happen to the $EC. If some middle of the pack team (Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee) manages to go undefeated in the SEC because the overrated teams that year are far worse than the polls let on, those teams will just come flying in from obscurity to be seated #1 in the nation and in the big game at the end. (See Auburn 2010.) So really there is no end to the cycle. And meanwhile, college football fans around the nation are subsequently growing bored. They are tired of all the talk about how THEIR team stinks because every year it seems to lose a conference game that it should win (if it happens in the SEC, it is called top-to-bottom conference strength parity… anywhere else, it is a reflection of conference weakness). What is the point in getting psyched up for your team to compete when the polls are telling you before the season not to bother, because if you lose one game, you are going to fall behind the five other SEC teams clogging up the Top 10, at least 2 of which do NOT belong there and will likely finish the season with at least 3 losses.
Stop complaining, non-SEC fans! The Oregons. The Oklahoma States. The Stanfords. They all suck. And they wouldn’t last a day in the SEC… right? Wait… what is that you say? Texas A&M, a historically second fiddle Big 12 team, is challenging for the SEC championship in only their second year? How ever could THAT be possible??? Could it mean that maybe the SEC slate, despite the media hype over every single game all season long, is just not the most challenging gauntlet in the universe, as we are constantly being told??? Or are we just to presume that Texas A&M, a team that recruited Manziel WHILE they were still in the Big 12, suddenly and coincidentally has become a national powerhouse after 20 years of practical invisibility in the Big 12 dating back to the days of Coach R.C. Slocum, and it has NOTHING to do with the fact they are now in an overrated conference?
Whether or not Alabama is overrated in the preseason doesn’t matter since they earned their spot. They truly are deserving of their #1 preseason rating and likely are the best team in the SEC. They proved last year they are better than most SEC teams (except for the one that came from the Big 12) and better than Notre Dame (another perennially overrated franchise, but that is a topic for another blog). It’s completely fair to say the national champion is still champ until somebody beats them. But what about the rest of the tag-alongs in the pre-season top 10? You know, the ones that are strategically placed by pollsters to heighten the probability that Alabama will get to re-play another SEC team for the national championship in the BCS’ final year. Yes, the same ones who will likely also be in NEXT year’s Top 10 as well to ensure 2-3 of the Final Top 4 will be SEC teams competing in the new NCAA “playoff” system. Is it really necessary EVERY season to have 5+ SEC teams in the preseason Top 10 (a travesty exposed by last year’s Arkansas team, who finished with a LOSING record on the year)? And at what point does all this pre-determined fate for the rest of the nation grow so tiring that college football fans across the rest of the nation just stop caring about college football altogether? I say the day is closer than you realize.
For a league that each day reveals how ruthless and unethical their coaches allegedly are, how reckless and irresponsible their players allegedly are, how unscrupulous and allowable their recruiting allegedly is, and how loud-mouthed and condescending their fan base is, the $EC is akin to college football what Napoleon was to Europe. Well folks, we say it’s time for college football’s Redneck-Napoleon-ruled era to end. And it begins when and only when the other major BCS conference teams STOP treating their inter-conference scrimmages with SEC teams as just any other game while their coaches are more worried about saving their best efforts for their own conference battles. It is clear that the SEC has built their supremacy illusion based on the outcome of these out-of-conference games, which their teams prepare for as if they were competing to win the World Cup of Gloating. Now other conferences, if they truly want to be given the respect they deserve, need their teams to start putting the same amount of effort into inter-conference games with the SEC during the regular season. Then and only then will the SEC trolls in the media be forced to stop stacking the deck each preseason with all the SEC contenders and pretenders they can find… and other major BCS conferences will finally have a chance to compete in January even if their heavyweight contender happens to drop a game in conference play.
If you love college football, and you are not part of the moronic, half-witted chanting drones that idolize Honey Boo-Boo and fly a rebel flag over your mobile home, then its time you UNITE for all of college football and root hard this season AGAINST every SEC team in EVERY game they play.