Root, root, root for the conference opponent?

Year2 has a good piece about the etiquette of supporting other SEC teams and I agree with him that being a fan means following your heart, not coldly calculating what’s good for the conference may be indirectly good for the team you support.

Where I think I part ways with him is that, with at least some conference rivals, I can’t even get into the intellectual justification as a fall back exercise.

That then changes the question to whether it is good for your team to see other SEC teams do well. In the aggregate, the answer is an easy “yes”.

There is a subjective element to how every NCAA postseason field comes about. The better the league’s reputation is, the more likely it is that its teams will get into those fields ahead of other conferences’ teams. It is especially important in the revenue sports, because more spots means more money to the conference, and the conference divides the loot evenly. The conference’s good reputation has paid off concretely in football…

Was Florida’s loss to Georgia Southern bad for the conference’s reputation?  Certainly.  As a Georgia fan, would I have changed the outcome had I the power to?  Are you freakin’ kidding me?

There are some SEC schools I’m always going to root against… unless they’re playing Georgia Tech.  (Maybe.)  There are some conference schools I may dislike for a time because of a player or coach whom I instinctively pull against.  And there are some teams in the SEC I support.  If that makes me a bad conference fan, so be it.  Besides, outside of Mike Slive, who wants to be a conference fan anyway?


Filed under SEC Football

58 responses to “Root, root, root for the conference opponent?


    Whomyou “root” for has absolutely no outcome on the game…that said, I hope FU never wins another game.🙂

  2. PansyTheDawg

    There are some teams in the SEC one shouldn’t support out of common decency, whether one is a football fan or not. I hate Auburn.

  3. Stuck in Red Stick

    Georgia has always been my second favorite SEC team because my father always told me Georgia was one of the good guys. I think this sentiment stems from the Bryant/Butts fixing thing. There is still a bumper sticker in my grandmother’s house the reads “Bear Is Innocent”. My dad stuck on on his bedroom wall when he was a kid. He told me Georgia folks had bumper stickers that read “Our Butts Is Clean”.

  4. DawgPhan

    I always thought that the ESSEEESEE stuff was based firmly in an “US v Them” culture of the south.

    If I am going to watch a game, I like to have a rooting interest. I typically will cheer for the SEC when they are playing a non-sec team. When it is SEC v SEC I am typically cheering for the underdog or whatever team needs to lose for UGA to advance.

    • I’m with ya on that. Bowl games and big non-conference regular season games, I pull for SEC. Not a conscious decision, I just find myself doing it. But there’s no doubt that there is some great schadenfreude in seeing one of your rivals take an embarrassing loss. But just as great as it was seeing UF lose to Ga Southern, I was in turn rooting for them going into the FSU game to pull out a miracle, as hopeless as that was.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Yep to all the above…I generally root SEC too…except Auburn and Florida, I just can’t do it.

  5. I will not root for UF or Auburn, period. I’ll hold my nose and pull for USCe if it helps us. I’ll pull for the league in other out of conference games.

    • Macallanlover

      Those are the two SEC I never want to see win also. The rest of the SEC gets my support in OOC games, screw FU and Auburn. The only time I don’t passionately hope they lose is when their winning benefits UGA, almost always in conference play. It doesn’t impact any game played but I feel better about myself. (and Auburn was only added after 2010 but that is because I was a slow learner, they have always deserved to be hated.)

      • “and Auburn was only added after 2010 but that is because I was a slow learner, they have always deserved to be hated”

        Said just about every UGA fan under 50

        • Macallanlover

          65, so that confirms the retarded comment, just slow to the party. I always thought it was just the west Georgia crowd that hated them for the proximity. It is now as much about the fans who sold their souls to overlook the obvious as it was the lack of character of that 2010 team. There was nothing, nada, they would not excuse that season….and you can throw the administration and staff in that same boat. Empty souls, and now they cannot change it. They may not like it, but the Scarlet A will always be on their foreheads.

          • AusDawg85

            If your hate for Auburn has not lasted longer than since 2010, you should consult your physician and check for interactions with your other medications.

            • Macallanlover

              I have to admit, I liked, and respected the rivalry. I knew they had a dirty side but nothing like what they showed in 2010. They just out and out declared themselves to against all that was ever good about CFB. It is one thing to give a few $100 handshakes to players but to give standing ovations to thuggery on the field and bags of gold coins to lure players was over the top.

              • Dog in Fla

                “but to give standing ovations to thuggery on the field and bags of gold coins to lure players”

                I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of giants reading Rudyard

        • 81Dog

          and a bunch of us over 50, too.

      • They have always deserved to be hated.


  6. Bulldawg165

    The SEC has won 7 of the last 8 natties and has had 9 of the last 16 title game participants. I don’t think our brand needs any help. I’ll always pull against Auburn and Florida, I don’t even care if they’re playing against ISIS.

  7. uglydawg

    But what to do when FU plays AU or even out of conference FSU? I hate all of them. (My hatred for FSU is just blooming, but it’s there). I usually end up watching the game if nothing else is on, and then deciding (on the behavior of a specific coach or player or even the sickening bias of the announcers or maybe even some clown in the stands…like the yelllow painted bozos at GT for instance) who to pull against. I can’t say I pull “for” any of them.
    I really am that shallow.
    Georgia seems to have so many rivals…AU, FU, TN, SC, GT all come to mind as year in and year out teams I hate.
    (Yes…it would be easier to name the teams I don’t hate.)

  8. Derek

    I’ll pull for vandy pretty every time except for when we are playing them. UT, Auburn and UF are never getting my support. I’ve never had real issues with ole miss or lsu or msu or usce for that matter. We need to beat sakerlina but I have no hostility there. They’re a damn sight better than clempson. I pulled for bama to crush notre dame but that isn’t saying much. Living in birmingham, the only tolerable bama fan is a depressed bama fan.

    • ScoutDawg

      Maybe now I will pull for Vandy, but there for a while they were starting to seem like USCe 2.0.

  9. Ben

    This has always interested me from a fan perspective. I remember asking my grandfather one time (who is a lifelong Dawg fan) that if there was one team on the schedule he wouldn’t mind losing to, who would it be. He said it was Ole Miss (I never found out why; maybe he liked Archie?), and I kind of stuck with that when I was younger. Since Tuberville, though, all of their coaches have been completely unlikable, so I don’t know if he still sticks to that.

    Before we moved to Alabama, I had a fondness for Alabama that probably grew out of not playing them very often. My disdain for Auburn was strong, though. That feeling flipped after getting to know some Alabama people here (and getting drubbed in 2008), but now I really don’t cheer for either one of them at all. (let it be known, though, that all of the actual Auburn people I know here are great, great folks. And the Alabama people, too. I just can’t stand them winning so much)

    Hell, last week I was pulling for UVA in the CWS because my hatred for Vandy has grown so much since Franklin took over. So I guess I could say that in today’s SEC, there’s not a single team (other than UGA) that I could imagine pulling for in any scenario.

  10. Eagledawg

    I would pull for Al-Qaeda against Florida.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Depends on how many points Flarduh is getting.

    • Bob

      The only problem with that is that Florida never plays OOC out of state and having Al Qaeda that close to Savannah could be hazardous. But in principal, I could not agree more.

      • Bob

        I was mad at Tom Osborne in 95 when he fell on the ball near the Gator endzone and only winning by about 40 in that wonderful Fiesta Bowl. I was a huge Husker fan that night.

  11. 81Dog

    “Conference Loyalty” is a wayyyyyy overrated commodity, in my opinion. Am I going to bite my lip and accept the factual reality if a situation presents itself where a win by one of our SEC rivals directly benefits UGA (example: If Auburn beats S Carolina, and it puts us in sole possession of first in the East), I am ok with it. If one of our conference rivals plays someone in a bowl and beats them, just enhancing the SEC’s overall rep, I am ok with it. But if they get beat by 4 scores, and humiliate themselves in the process, subjecting the SEC as a whole to some extra scorn, I am even more ok with that.

    I don’t pull for other SEC teams unless there is an immediate, tangible, and direct benefit to UGA. “Enhanced conference respect” is not one of those things. It’s just a way to soothe my disappointment every time some bowl opponent doesn’t hang half a hundred on Auburn, Florida, UT, etc. If that makes me a bad SEC loyalist, I’m perfectly good with that. Your mileage may vary, but I always fall back on what the late Lewis Grizzard said quoting JIm Minter, his former editor: “Any one who says he’s a UGA fan, but he pulls for Tech when UGA isn’t playing them, is a damn liar.” That goes double for me with our neighbors in the conference.

  12. I am a Georgia fan, not an SEC fan. The Southeastern Conference is nothing more than a means to an end, as were the SIAA and the Southern Conference before it. For the last 30 years or so, the SEC’s decisionmaking rather clearly has been contrary to Georgia’s interests (not deliberately so, of course; there is no anti-UGA conspiracy, but the only way I know to judge SEC decisionmaking is by its impact on my school).

    The one team I love is in the SEC, but every team I strongly oppose either is in the SEC, used to be in the SEC (Georgia Tech), or ought to be in the SEC (Clemson). I feel absolutely no loyalty whatsoever to the SEC and absolutely no obligation to root for any team in it other than my own.

  13. Slaw Dawg

    You can definitely lump me in the “wouldn’t root for UF or AU if they were playing against Satan” category. I thoroughly enjoyed Louisville’s asskicking of Florida a couple years back and was with FSU all the way in last year’s title game. While not as virulent, I generally prefer the Billies to be kicked around, too. That long streak still sticks in my craw. Plus, they’re orange.

    I also generally pull for the Rebs (except when playing us, of course), ’cause I always liked their fans. Otherwise, I don’t GAS. I’ve got one team, just like I have one wife. I may occasionally scope out others, but True Love is eternal, unwavering and passionate. Put another way, I wouldn’t want a man with 2 college football rooting interests to marry my daughter–wouldn’t trust his ass any farther than I could throw it–and would probably report him to the Department of Homeland Security, because his multiple allegiance problem may extend to my favorite country, too.

  14. Bulldog Joe

    Depends on the team.

    I did some research on the last time I cared enough to pull for each SEC opponent in an out-of-conference game. Here goes:

    Last time I pulled for:
    Missouri – 2014 Cotton Bowl
    Mississippi – 2013 Music City Bowl
    South Carolina – 2013 vs. Clemson
    Alabama – 2013 BCS Game
    A&M – 2013 Cotton Bowl
    LSU – 2011 vs. West Virginia
    Arkansas – 2011 Sugar Bowl
    Kentucky – 2009 Music City Bowl
    Vanderbilt – 2009 vs. Georgia Tech
    Mississippi State – 2009 vs. Georgia Tech
    Auburn – 2005 vs. Georgia Tech
    Tennessee – 1987 vs. Georgia Tech
    Florida – 1981 vs. Georgia Tech

    I am not a pull-for-the-SEC-team-for-the-sake-of-the-conference guy.