On this week’s “Bulldog Hotline” call-in show, an interesting discussion came up about whether Georgia fans should be playing the SEC pride card when it comes to the upcoming BCS national championship game.
Program host Neil “Hondo” Williamson was on the SEC bandwagon, noting he’s pulling for Bama to demolish the Irish and win a seventh straight BCS title for the Southeastern Conference.
However, a caller to the show pointed out that while Georgia doesn’t recruit against Notre Dame, it does go up against the Crimson Tide for quite a few players, especially the top-rated ones from our own region.
Another national championship for Alabama certainly won’t help with that. That crystal football trophy and those national championship rings tend to make a big impression on high school kids trying to decide where they want to play.
Indeed, this SEC pride thing can be tricky. A couple of years ago a lot of Georgia fans pulled against Auburn in the BCS game, not just because we didn’t want the Tigers to get a recruiting advantage, but because the manner in which they’d won the SEC, with their rent-a-QB and dirty play, left a lot of bad feelings.
But when it comes to Alabama, I’m not sure another national title is really going to make that much difference in terms of recruiting. This would be the Tide’s third BCS championship in the past four years so it’s not like they don’t already have that advantage.
Plus, Mark Richt’s Bulldogs impressed a lot of people nationally with their down-to-the-wire effort against the Tide in the SEC Championship, the most-watched college football game of the season, and if you’ve got to lose a game like that, it goes down a bit better to have done so to the eventual national champ.
And then there’s all the whining the Big 10 and PAC 12 folks have done about the SEC’s dominance. That’s music to the ears of many Southern football fans.
Of course, there’s another factor that has to figure into this: Bama’s BCS opponent.
It’s somewhat understandable that Auburn folks would be pulling for Notre Dame since they hate the Tide every moment of their existence (though I can’t believe AU fans actually would wear one of those WarIrish shirts someone is selling).
But it’s hard to see any true follower of the Red and Black ever pulling for the Fighting Irish, no matter who their opponent is or what the recruiting ramifications are. I even rooted for Steve Spurrier’s Gators when they played Notre Dame in a bowl back in the early ’90s!
What about you? Are you hoping Alabama brings the SEC another national title or would you like to see Nick Saban vanquished by destiny’s darlings, as ESPN touts them?
Got something you want to discuss concerning the 2012 football season, the upcoming Capitol One Bowl or looking ahead to next season? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg