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?