With a win, SEC fans will claim Florida State, too

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Southeastern Conference has a streak of seven consecutive college football national championships on the line when the Auburn Tigers play the Florida State Seminoles Monday night in Pasadena, Calif. That’s a lot of winning, and in most of those title games, the SEC team was the overwhelming favorite.

That’s not the case this year.

FSU is the better team on paper. They’re favored by at least a touchdown, and reasonable experts seem to believe the only way Auburn wins the championship is if their incredible run of luck and destiny continues.

Something fun will happen if the Seminoles win the big game Monday night: SEC fans – who band together and cheer for whatever team is representing the conference in any game ever played in any sport ever – will claim Florida State as one of their own. They’ll start calling it “Southern football” instead, telling everyone that even though their championship streak ended, it was ended by a team built to resemble their powerhouses.

How do I know this? Because it’s already started.

FSU was built in an SEC mold, they say

This is basically SEC fans and national writers acknowledging Florida State has lots of speedy talent and plays defense. Because head coach Jimbo Fisher coached under guys like Nick Saban and Les Miles, people assume he’s striving to be an SEC coach.

For one, FSU is dominant on both sides of the ball. SEC teams have long been known for their stifling defenses, but there’s been a flip to dominant offense in the conference this season. Only Alabama and Florida had defenses that could be considered “elite,” and FSU scored 37 points on Florida’s defense a month ago.

“You can say the SEC [is on top], but there are teams in the SEC that couldn’t even step on the same field with us,” FSU freshman safety Jalen Ramsey told NoleDigest.com.

Ramsey isn’t wrong.

FSU could have been in the SEC, you know

If it weren’t for a couple of scared schools in the SEC (apologies for linking to that awful site, non-SEC fans), Florida State could have been this year’s SEC representative in the national title game. The FSU-Auburn matchup would’ve happened in the SEC Championship game instead (assuming FSU would’ve been placed in the SEC East), and then the winner would have faced Michigan State.

If you recall, FSU and Clemson were close to joining the SEC a few years back, but in-state rivals Florida and South Carolina were allegedly part of a three-school pact – Georgia was the third school – who agreed to keep the Seminoles and Tigers out. So it’s clear FSU was up for the challenge, and if they beat the SEC champion on Monday night, they’ll have all the respect needed from SEC fans to be adopted by the whole twisted clan.

The narratives are being repeated ad nauseum

Writers have irritated FSU players and coaches with constant questions about their hypothetical standing against an entire conference, despite the fact that they’re only playing 1/14th of the conference Monday night. According to CBSSports.com writer Jeremy Fowler, FSU cornerback LaMarcus Joyner took 10 questions about the SEC in a 20-minute media conference the other day – 10 questions that had nothing to do with Auburn.

It’s all an effort to size up FSU as the 15th SEC team, even if they never play a single game in the conference. SEC fans want to have an excuse if their streak ends, so they’ll try to keep FSU as close to the family tree as possible, even if they’re not, and will never be, a branch.

At least let’s hope FSU never becomes a branch of the SEC, because it seems really tough to be an SEC fan, even if you’re winning championships left and right.

Good luck to FSU against the entire SEC on Monday night. Hope I finally get to celebrate a championship as a member of the Garnet and Gold Nation.

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