I will admit that I can usually be described as an SEC "homer". I like the fact that SEC fans tend to band together when playing out of conference games and I do the same unless it is a rival who is playing. And in college athletics, where perception is so important, I believe that rooting for the conference to perform well on the national stage is necessary to help elevate the perceived strength of our individual programs.
Most of the casual college football fans I know followed this line of thinking and were rooting for Auburn last night. As an Alabama fan, I could never do this. But, I could not fault those with no particular disdain for the Auburn program to choose to root for the SEC team over the Pac-10. This is what I expected of them.
What I did not expect was for so many of the hardcore football fans of SEC programs that I know, even lacking a rivalry with Auburn, to join me in hoping for an Oregon victory.
We all expected the tigers to be victorious and the streak to be pushed to five. Thought, well, even if Auburn wins, at least its an SEC team and that will make it ok. But after it was over, no one felt all that good about it. Was this exclusive to my group? Had I infected them with my anti-Auburn sentiment? Or was this feeling reflected in other areas???
***I tip my hat to AU and congratulate them on their victory. I will not belittle them or their accomplishment. They are the BCS champions. Do not think I am trying to take anything away from you. I am just trying to understand why an SEC victory feels . . . wrong.