A few years ago, during the height of the SEC’s BCS National Championship streak, the cool thing to do was hop on the SEC bandwagon. As a result, Alabama has more bandwagon fans than real fans and people who didn’t even attend an SEC school are chanting “SEC” at inter-conference games. It is because of the obnoxious bandwagon fans that you can’t even talk about SEC football without someone trying to discredit the SEC in some way. That’s the new cool thing to do: make petty complaints against “SEC bias.” The anti-SEC crowd has become so unbearable that it has almost completely overshadowed the obnoxiousness of SEC fans, which was a feat I previously believed could not be accomplished.
To be upfront, I am a Georgia alumnus and I do believe that the SEC is currently the best and toughest conference in college football. Of course I’m biased, but the data supports my belief, as over the past 15 years, the SEC collectively has a winning record against the other Power Five conferences, and not just by a hair. But that’s not what I’m writing about. The SEC is not invincible — I understand that — and frankly, college football would suck if no one could beat an SEC team. I’m proud of my team playing in a conference where if you get out of your schedule almost unscathed, it’s an amazing feat rather than, well, an expectation (looking at you, Ohio State). The Big 12 is just starting to understand this concept with the emergence of Baylor, TCU, and Kansas State as very good football teams — the Big 12 used to just be Texas or Oklahoma with an occasional spoiler by Oklahoma State. The Pac-12 has become the same way, and hopefully Harbaugh shakes up the Big Ten and makes things more competitive within that conference. That’s the key to strengthening your conference as a whole, but I digress. The bottom line is that the SEC’s success isn’t magic, it’s not arbitrary, it’s not necessarily about money, and whining about it is petty and childish. A few years before “SEC bias” began, I remember Ohio State had to get crushed in two consecutive national championships before it was no longer an automatic shoo-in to play in the championship game, and you didn’t see me taking to Myspace at the time, trying to point out why Ohio State wasn’t as good as people thought it was. College football is cyclical based on where the best coaches and recruits are, plain and simple. Right now, it’s the SEC’s time to shine while it can.
But the SEC hate continues, regardless of that fact. Here’s an example of the ridiculous pettiness of SEC hate. On Twitter, during the Texas Bowl, as Texas got manhandled pretty badly by Arkansas, ESPN’s Danny Kanell unleashed a series of tweets mocking the SEC. He started with this:
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) December 28, 2014
Followed by this, as Arkansas started pulling away in the game:
Congrats on the SEC going 3-0 to start the bowl season. Against teams with a combined record of 19-20. Wow. Impressive.
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) December 30, 2014
When someone called him out on being salty, he said that although Arkansas was beating Texas, BYU beat Texas by more. By the time I started writing this, that tweet had been deleted, probably because when Danny sobered up, he realized that no one gave a flying fuck if BYU beat Texas by more than Arkansas did. Was he really going to try to make the argument that BYU is a better team than Arkansas? I wish, because I could have used a good laugh last night. He continued with this retweet, trying to compare the quality of the three SEC bowl games to the seven bowl games already played by the ACC, as if these SEC schools really have much of a say in who they play in their bowl games.
— Scott Johnston (@therealscottyj) December 30, 2014
When you try to compare three SEC bowl games to seven ACC bowl games, you are really just grasping at straws. Maybe wait for more data to come out so you don’t look like a complete asstard if the SEC starts winning more bowl games? There are a few ACC versus SEC bowl games coming up, so why don’t you wait for those, buddy?
Danny really is just one small example of the obnoxious SEC hate crowd. Everyone remembers Bob Stoops calling out the SEC as overrated, followed by Oklahoma embarrassing ‘Bama in the Sugar Bowl. I’m not going to lie, I did enjoy watching Alabama fans’ reactions to losing by two touchdowns to Oklahoma, but Stoops has been a real anus about the SEC, which made it beautiful to watch his team get trounced in its bowl game this year against Clemson. Maybe he’ll start calling the ACC overrated next.
There is an entire sea of people like Kanell and Stoops running around, looking for every excuse to discredit the SEC, even when an SEC team wins a game. At least Stoops, as much as I hate him, had the balls to beat an SEC team on the field rather than cherry pick statistics to satisfy his hate of the conference. Yes, I know the ACC went 4-0 over the SEC (East) on rivalry weekend (all wins were by less than one possession, by the way, except for the Clemson-South Carolina game) and that’s just great, SEC haters. Good for you. That’s quite an accomplishment for you. But let’s see how the rest of the bowl games go — maybe soon, ACC hate will be the cool new thing and I can go back to enjoying quality football in peace..