Once upon a time, the SEC was this one big, happy family. When an SEC team made it to the Final Four or into a big-time bowl game, the rest of the family cheered for that SEC team – even if it was an archrival.
It was called, you know, “conference pride. Remember? “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!”
But maybe all of that was my selective memory, or simply a fantasy.
These days in the ultra-competitive SEC, it appears things are different. The conference drama more resembles a twisted episode of “Vikings,” with each family member angling for the throne at any cost.
Perhaps a lot of that had to do with the rise – and dominance – of the “evil empire,” otherwise known as Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Perhaps they have dominated too long.
It sure seemed like a lot of SEC fans were satisfied when Clemson beat Alabama for the national championship game.
But what about basketball? Will SEC fans, most notably UGA fans, be rooting for Auburn in the Final Four?
The first answer is “no” or “no chance.” After all, this is the same Auburn place where its football coach bragged the Tigers “beat the Dog Crap” out of UGA after the 2017 regular-season game. Even though the Bulldogs later extracted revenge against Auburn that same season in the SEC championship game, some UGA fans will never forgive or forget. That’s why it’s called the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” right?
On the flip side, the answer is “yes.” Auburn is still family. They’re in the SEC, and the better they perform, the better the entire SEC looks to the rest of the nation. Besides, this year’s Auburn team is a rag-to-riches basketball story that is inspirational, giving hope that UGA’s basketball team can have a similar run with “Ant Man” joining the squad.
Are you cheering for or against Auburn next weekend? Please explain your reasons below.