It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SEC fans should have more conference pride than ever before.

"SEC! SEC! SEC! SEC!" If your team does not play in the SEC, this well-known, widely heard chant drives you crazy. As it should. Because we, as a conference, are simply better than you and your conference. Get over it. It's just the way it is, has been, and will be for quite a while. There is no harder conference than the SEC to win. Your schedule is comprised of 8 rivalry games, aka your "Conference Schedule". Then tack on your geographic, traditional rival over Thanksgiving. There are no cupcakes in the SEC. Vandy? Ole Miss? Even UGA this year? Sure, those teams do not have the record to claim National importance, but they can beat any team in the SEC without warning. It's the way it is every year. You NEVER look 2 weeks ahead when playing in the SEC. It's a battle in the trenches week in and week out. So with these facts laid out before you, maybe you understand why when an SEC team goes up against a non-SEC opponent, the SEC team has 11 other fanbases supporting them, all chanting the three letters loved by many, and hated by most.

The chant has a lot to do with th fact the last four BCS Champions have come from the SEC. But it truly does not rely on this fact, nor does it require it to continue ringing in the ears of all.

With Alabama losing to South Carolina last weekend, the chances of a BCS National Champion coming out of the SEC hit a major hurdle. It's not out of the question, yet, but is as unguaranteed as it has been in the past 5 seasons.

The Crimson Tide dropped from #1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll (the one that has BCS implecations) all the way down to #8. No longer the highest ranked team in the SEC, since Auburn comes in at #7. Auburn is still undefeated, and on paper, may be the SEC's best shot at the BCS. But they have played a less than intriguing schedule thus far, and still have the meat and potatoes to come. I can almost assure you Auburn will lose more than 1 game before it's all said and done.

Florida? They are proving to the Country that Tim Tebow meant more to their program than they wanted to admit this past offseason. They have already lost 2 games, have a tougher schedule ahead than they have already played, and have fallen to #22 in the Coaches Poll. You can almost safely say their shot at the BCS has a fork sticking out of their spine. Reloaded? Looks more like rebuilding to me.

But here is where I want to make a point about SEC pride. The media has been in bed with Alabama and Florida the past 2 seasons. And they've had good reason. Both teams may have been able to compete with some NFL teams over their stretches. But to have those two at the top, and breeze through their schedules for multiple seasons was good for them, but bad for the conference. I heard way too many times the media saying things to the effect of "Alabama, Florida, and the other 10" when grading the SEC as a whole.
This year, the SEC is absolutely in a Royal-Rumble with one another. There are NO guarantees this year. Does anybody feel 100% confident that Alabama will beat Ole Miss this week, or Florida will beat Mississippi State? No. And that is AWESOME!

So enjoy this year as an SEC fan, and hope and pray that this trend continues. If it does, when your team goes on a run and perhaps finishes the season undefeated, you can say it happened when the SEC was up as a whole, not just a couple of us. I promise you this season will give the SEC more integrity as a tough conference, and not as a conference playing for 3rd place while the King and Queen feast all year.

There is a great, great chance we will not see a SEC team in Tempe, AZ for the Title Game this January. But that does not mean we will not retain the title as the strongest, toughest, most enviable conference out there. So raise your voices, pump your fist, and say it with me... "SEC! SEC! SEC! SEC!"

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