In the simplest terms I can put it, here’s why I feel conference affiliation is weird, SEC fans. Obviously, if you’re a fan of an SEC program who is pulling for Alabama in tonight’s BCS Championship game simply because you don’t like Notre Dame, you have your own argument and your own reasons. This wouldn’t apply to you.
Alabama is a national superpower on the brink of a dynasty. Three championships in four years would qualify the Crimson Tide for dynasty status, making them untouchable in the college football world. Thus, if you’re a top-notch recruit, you’re going to want to play for a dynasty.
But let’s rewind back to the early years of the Nick Saban era in Tuscaloosa. They were building something great, and Saban got them to their first national title game in January 2010 against the Texas Longhorns. In the midst of an SEC-wide championship monopoly, fans from Georgia and Florida and everywhere else in SEC country sided with their conference buddy, Alabama.
Guess what? Some of those recruits that might have been previously considering the Bulldogs or Gators went to Alabama instead, based on their success. Can I name names? No, but I’m sure it happened.
Now, those kids are all grown up, and there are still a lot of kids from neighboring states that are going to Alabama instead of staying in their own state. There’s a chance one of them made a key play for the Tide in December’s SEC title game, ending the Dawgs’ pursuit of their first national title in 30 years and furthering the push for more championships in Tuscaloosa.
And you’re going to root for them tonight, Georgia fans? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Of course, Alabama fans will happily welcome you onto their bandwagon for a night, as long as you continue to wish and hope for their continued success. It’s great for them!
As a Florida State fan, if I had to watch conference rivals in the national title game every year, I’d be fuming. I certainly wouldn’t be hoping Clemson or NC State went on to do good things, because in college football, the rich can get richer very quickly. But that’s just me.