Is the SEC behind Alabama this Saturday night?

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“Seven in a row.”

It has a nice ring to it and will seamlessly replace the current “Six in a row” statement that countless SEC fans have filled college football conversations with for the better part of 2012.

First and foremost, SEC fans want their team to succeed. They want to win games – ideally, every game – and go play for a national championship. Second to this priority, fans want the SEC to bring home another championship. The exception to this is sometimes when that team happens to be a hated rival. Typically, this is Auburn and Alabama more than anything. I know plenty of Alabama fans who rooted for Oregon, and I know plenty of Auburn fans that rooted for Texas (or LSU). While some Georgia fans rooted against Florida in their respective Championship Games, it’s not the same as the in-state, in-conference rivalry.

Bringing home the title to the SEC accomplishes two things. First, SEC fans do take actual pride in the conference itself. The SEC is an entity which brings us pride. It represents the best of the best in football at the collegiate level and winning the BCS gives us something to point to as evidence of this fact.

Secondly, when the SEC wins the title, it makes us feel better about our own team. After all, our team plays in the conference of champions. If you got crushed by Alabama, well, it helps when you know that everybody else did too.

It is undeniable that we SEC fans want the SEC to win the BCS Championship Game this year. As such, you might argue that the majority of SEC fans will be watching the Alabama-LSU game on Saturday night and rooting for Alabama to win.

The fan bases that won’t be rooting for Alabama? Well, I’d suggest Auburn, LSU and Georgia. Auburn hates Alabama. Period. LSU clearly wants to win themselves, win out and get into the BCS. Georgia with a clear path to the SEC Championship would probably rather play LSU than Alabama.

LSU fans might argue that LSU can still win the BCS as well since they only have a single loss. This is true, but a unblemished team from the SEC is guaranteed to get into the BCS Championship Game. While a one-loss SEC Champion might likely get in as well, it’s not guaranteed. Moreover, there’s no question that Alabama has “looked” better than LSU thus far this season. After all, there’s a reason that Alabama is a 8-ish point favorite as the road team this Saturday night.

You might compare the process of selecting an SEC representative for the national scene like the primary process in Presidential politics. Back at the beginning of 2012, Republicans around the country had their own candidates. Some folks like Mitt Romney, others Newt Gingrich and others Ron Paul. Over time the feed narrowed and eventually Republicans had a single nominee to represent them. The various competing interests, then, for the most part, coalesced around their party’s nominee. It happens in a similar way in the SEC (with few exceptions as we’ve already noted). As teams get knocked out of the race, we coalesce around the team which gives us the best opportunity to keep the BCS Trophy in the SEC.

On a final note, this again brings up the issue of an in-state, in-conference rival. College football just works better when your bitter rival is in another conference. For example, South Carolina fans can’t stand Clemson and Florida fans can’t stand Florida State. This is very clean and straight forward. Not only are you free to hate your rival without any competing interests, but it further encourages repeated bashing of a conference like the ACC. As a Florida fan, I wouldn’t want to consider rooting for Florida State simply because they’re in my conference; therefore, I do understand the hesitation of Auburn/Alabama fans to root for their rival in the BCS.

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

COMMENTS

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  • I’m rooting for Bama, but its also my Mom’s Alma Mater, so I’m a bit biased. When/If UGA plays Bama in the SEC championship ill be torn

  • As much as I’d like Georgia to play LSU in the SECCG because we have a better chance of winning. I’m rooting for Bama this weekend. I know losing to Bama will cost us the Sugar Bowl but defeating them will put us in better position for the NC. However unlikely anyone thinks that is, I think if both the O and D show up we might have a chance. I’m all in

  • I was with you and agreed with you 100% UNTIL you compared it to the political process. That’s putting compromise and getting the least “bad” team in position to have a shot at it, at the cost of the best team. Being a Gamecock, we are not in consideration for the national football title, nor have we ever been, so I can be considered a relatively unbiased commenter. So, since you’ve pointed out that the FBS is political, now I can go back to hating the Fightin’ Sabans without remorse. By the way, I never said that what you wrote was inaccurate. It’s just that I don’t like to be reminded of it.

  • Well, I’ll be rooting for Bama (duh), but I also was pulling for Auburn in the Iron Bowl in 2010 (on the inside, anyway) for this very reason. I love the Tide, and I wanted to see them win. However, I felt that the SEC might not have been represented if they won that game, as Bama was already 9-2 at the time. ROLL TIDE, ROLL!!!

    • You’re Fired!!
      Your loyalty to the SEC should never trump your passion for your team!

      • Make no mistake – I pulled for Bama. I especially loved seeing Cam Newton having to pull himself up from the grass often. Contrary to popular belief, many Bama and Auburn fans like both teams (not most, just many). I can pull for Auburn 11 games out of any season. As a matter of fact, it pains me greatly to see Auburn in the shape they’re in this year. A rivalry means much less when one team is sucking wind….

  • I always go for the SEC team being a Alabama fan myself. I even rooted for Auburn against Oregon. People forget that the State of Alabama has had 3 straight NC, and It will be 4. Forget the SEC the state of Alabama is where the best football is played period. I am in Hawaii currently in the military, and when South Alabama comes to play Hawaii, I will be there rooting for SA. Roll Tide.