Time Out with Newt Clark

With college football season quickly approaching, it won’t be long until the only thing you hear on ESPN is talk about the SEC going for their eighth straight BCS National Championship, and if any one of the 14 SEC teams makes the National Championship game this season, you can bet they will have nearly the entire southeast pulling for them to win that game. Not only will the fans of other SEC teams be pulling for the team that is playing for the national title, they will brag about them winning it like it was their team, which is something I’ve always had a problem understanding, most likely because the biggest offenders are the fans of that school in Athens. Last season, if you weren’t a fan of Alabama, sorry, but your team wasn’t the one winning the national championship. The amount of times I saw “#SEC” at the end of a tweet during last season’s national championship by fans of other SEC schools may have had you thinking otherwise. In my opinion, it’s similar to putting accomplishments of your classroom peers on your resume.

Do I have issue with fans rooting for the other teams in their school’s conference? Not at all. There are plenty of reasons why you would want other teams in your conference to be successful. The success of Alabama and LSU have helped teams like Vanderbilt and Ole Miss improve their recruiting because they can tell recruits that they will be playing in the best conference in the country. The success of other teams in your conference can also help land enormous television contracts, and since all but one BCS conference splits the revenue among the teams equally, the Big XII being the exception, it can help generate revenue for your school. I almost always root for other ACC teams in non-conference games. During week one of this upcoming season, I will most definitely be rooting for Virginia Tech to beat Alabama, and for North Carolina to upset South Carolina in Columbia, but there is a difference between cheering for them and bragging about the accomplishments.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I believe fans of UGA are the guiltiest of the conference bragging. The funny part about it is, they’ve never won a BCS National Championship. I feel as if UGA fans should be more concerned about the trend of them not winning a National Championship, opposed to just telling fans of other conferences how great all the other schools in their conference are. If Alabama can win three, Florida two and Auburn, LSU and Tennessee have all won one, shouldn’t UGA fans be more upset about the fact they can’t win a BCS National Championship? That sounds the most logical thing for them to do to me, but as students here at Tech, we know that’s not always how they think over in Athens.

Since there have been eight SEC teams in the last seven national championships, it is a safe bet there will probably be one in this year’s game. While fans of fourteen schools will be rooting for them, there will also be people who will be pulling hard against them. My uncle, who is a life long Michigan fan, and I had a discussion about this about a week ago. He said, growing up there is no scenario in which he would ever root for Ohio State to win a game, much less a national championship. Now, he would much rather see Ohio State win it this season than to see an SEC team win an eighth straight championship, just to shut them up. My uncle and I dream of a world in which fans only brag about the accomplishments of their team, not the accomplishments of a conference. One day the SEC’s reign over college football will come to an end, and for folks like my uncle and I, it will be a glorious day.