The SEC’s most obnoxious fans: There’s a new orange No. 1

Our inaugural ranking of the SEC’s most obnoxious fans was presented in 2008, and much has changed over 24 months. Mississippi State has switched coaches. Auburn has switched coaches. (Then again, when doesn’t Auburn switch coaches?) Tennessee has switched coaches twice. Kentucky’s coach quit. Vanderbilt’s coach just quit. Florida’s coach quit and un-quit.

Amid such flux, it’s only fair that our rankings don’t remain static. Indeed, I’m proud — actually, I’m not sure if “proud” is the proper word — to note that our new rankings are completely different. Not one of the 12 positions has gone unchanged, which says … well, I don’t know what it says. But there we are.

A note: I asked for your input the other day, and I have taken your thoughts under the deepest advisement. Indeed, the results of our little poll are included herein. But I must stress that these are my rankings, and I’m a neutral. (Full disclosure: I’m a graduate of Kentucky, which hopes one day to start a football program.)

Oh, and I probably should mention that I attended my first SEC game in 1969, covered my first SEC game in 1976 and have seen a game at every SEC stadium. Meaning: I might be an idiot, but I’m a well-traveled idiot.

And with that, I hereby unveil the 2010 rankings of the SEC’s most obnoxious fans. In honor of our previous champion, fans of the new title-holder are required by executive order to wear jean shorts for the next two years.

12. Tennessee (No. 7 in 2008, No. 4 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Purely a sympathy vote. The formerly Big Orange has seen itself massively devalued from within. It has a lousy AD who hired the brat Lane Kiffin, and now this program is in a world of hurt. (In a display of bravery, the lousy AD just canceled a series with North Carolina) Put simply, I feel sorry for Tennessee fans. They deserve better than ham-handed Mike Hamilton.

11. Vanderbilt (No. 10 in 2008, No. 10 in 2010 AJC.com poll): It’s never a good sign when a coach quits a month before summer camp convenes, but that’s what Bobby Johnson did. He did it because he was tired of losing. Johnson is a fine football man who stands as Vandy’s best coach in the past quarter-century. He went 12-52 in league play. Imagine having to watch that every season, world without end.

10. Kentucky (No. 11 in 2008, No. 11 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Big Blue football rooters didn’t do anything obnoxious these past two seasons. Big Blue rooters save the obnoxious behavior for basketball, a sport for which they have no peers regarding exess. They’ve only moved up — or down, depending on your point of view — to No. 10 because I happened to feel really sorry for Tennessee and Vandy.

9. Mississippi State (No. 12 in 2008, No. 12 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Backers of the maroon Bulldog believe Dan Mullen can win more than his share of games. If so, it would  only trigger the scariest words in the English language: More cowbell!

8. Ole Miss (No. 9 in 2008, No. 9 in 2010 AJC.com poll): I can handle Rebel fans most years, but occasionally they’ll get all geeked up and  start sounding like Georgia or South Carolina folks. (“This is finally our year! This time for sure!”) For the Rebels, last season was such a time. Naturally, they went 4-4 in SEC play, including an egg-on-the-face loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. And now coach Houston Nutt, who’s nutty, has allowed quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to walk on despite having been kicked off the Oregon squad and having pleaded guilty in separate incidents. Nutt has promised “zero tolerance” regarding Masoli. Me, I anticipate more egg on the Ole Miss face.

7. South Carolina (No. 6 in 2008, No. 7 in 2010 AJC.com poll): I keep thinking the Gamecocks are going to be really good this year. I also keep wondering what will happen with their fans — who have thought the Gamecocks are going to be really good every year since ‘92 (and I mean 1892) — are finally proved right.

6. LSU (No. 8 in 2008, No. 5 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Here’s where you and I disagree the most. I’ve always considered a trip to Tiger Stadium a treat. Then again, I don’t sit in the stands, an experience I’ve been led to believe is most challenging. But I will tell you this: The best scripted moment in all of college football is when the Golden Band from Tigerland and the Golden Girls conduct their pregame march to midfield. Beats Ohio State’s “Script Ohio” six ways to Saturday.

5. Alabama (No. 4 in 2008, No. 3 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Being old enough to have seen Alabama under the Bear, I dreaded the thought of the Tide rising again to eminence. In the ’70s and ’80s, there were no worse fans. (Except maybe Kentucky basketball fans, and even then it was a coin flip.) But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the relative moderation that has accompanied Bama’s latest national championship. Maybe this has to do with Nick Saban, who never crows and is never satisfied. Whatever the case, I offer this relatively benign ranking as a thank-you.

4. Georgia (No. 3 in 2008, No. 2 in 2010 AJC.com poll): If it’s possible to have sympathy for folks who take pride in trashing their own campus, I have some sympathy for Dawg-lovers. Because I think every Georgia road game this autumn is going to be off the hook. I think this because of Damon Evans and red panties.

3. Arkansas (No. 5 in 2008, No. 7 in 2010 AJC.com poll): It wasn’t enough that Hog fans ran off Houston Nutt and welcomed Bobby Petrino as a conquering hero, not the sinking-ship-deserting rat he was. But now apparently you have to pass a loyalty test to work for an Arkansas radio station. (Reporter Renee Gork was fired after wearing a Florida hat to a press conference; being Petrino, he noticed and objected.) And Hog fans reacted as if her dismissal was a good thing. Where’s Edward R. Murrow when you need him?

2. Florida (No. 1 in 2008, No. 1 in 2010 AJC.com poll): I know, I know. It takes effort not to put the hated Gators — and they’re hated in every SEC outpost, not just Athens, Ga. — at the top of anything involving the word “obnoxious.” But I have to confess: I never understood why everybody hated Tim Tebow. He was a really good player who seemed like a really good guy. If he played for Georgia or Alabama, would those fans have not similarly lionized him? But if you’re asking me to defend jorts … well, that line I will not cross.

1. Auburn (No. 2 in 2008, No. 6 in 2010 AJC.com poll): Because Tiger fans still worship at the tainted feet of Pat Dye. Because they run off coaches on a whim. Because they’ve grown as arrogant as Alabama backers without one-tenth the justification. Because they’re still whining over the national championship they didn’t win in 2004. Because the world’s worst fan — the Montgomery banker Bobby Lowder — is an Auburn man. And because I would pay money (though not a lot) to see Bobby Lowder in jean shorts.

1,009 comments Add your comment

Les W. Moore

August 26th, 2010
10:35 am

The Tennessee fans should enjoy flying under the radar.

Vol Max

August 26th, 2010
10:36 am

Florida and Georgia fans—much more obnoxious than auburn. Not even close.

chm

August 26th, 2010
10:37 am

Oh jorts! Tee hee. Sports columnists are funny!

Mark Bradley

August 26th, 2010
10:38 am

I’m sorry. I have come to find the concept of jean shorts hysterically funny. I do not know why.

Logical Person

August 26th, 2010
10:43 am

Ask any sane person to name the most obnoxious fans and the top 3 will always be :
TH(uga), Gators, and UAT Fans(The Bear really is dead I hate to break it to you.)
Nothing is more obnoxious than being barked at by grown men, or heckled by jean short wearing mullet heads. Plus UGA fans have a tendency to get liquored up and throw bottles at games.

Bradley once again you show how nonobjective you are.

The General Feeling

August 26th, 2010
10:43 am

Mark, Kentucky basketball fans would be my #1 most obnoxious fans even though this is a football poll. These folks fully expect some kind of NCAA penalties to come but for now, this brief period, they will enjoy the return to glory.

kb

August 26th, 2010
10:44 am

Mark,

Interesting. Auburn No. 1? I know NO ONE who worships at the feet of Dye. Run off coaches on a whim? Seriously? Running off Cutcliffe at Ole Miss was on a whim, Tuberville after his tenure and the state of the program = not a whim. Are Auburn fans upset the Tigers didn’t get a chance to play for the 2004 title? Sure. But no one I’ve ever spoken with thinks it should be theirs. And only because the FWAA recently (and decided to simply vacate it today) brought it up, did it become a discussion again. And I don’t think you’ll find a real Auburn fan who thinks AU’s history is on par with Alabama’s (or in the ballpark). Now, Bobby Lowder, there’s your best point.

Mark, take a trip to Auburn this fall for a game and see if this column holds up.

Really?

August 26th, 2010
10:44 am

Have you ever, would you ever wear Georgia Tech apparel to a UGA practice/press conference? And if you did, would you expect consequences from your employer?

For the life of me, I can’t understand the outrage behind the Gork story. Unprofessional behavior, treated as such.

Joshua Barlowe

August 26th, 2010
10:45 am

This list is so off base it’s not even worthy to be on the internet.

Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee make the rest look like amateurs at being obnoxious. You must have personal bias against Auburn because they’re not even in the top 5. Arkansas are just obnoxious because they THINK they should be in the top 5, that’s what makes them obnoxious.

Vikinghorse

August 26th, 2010
10:45 am

There is no sympathy note for Tennessee. Ever. And the cowbells of State don’t bump them up to the top 6?

Benjamin

August 26th, 2010
10:46 am

I’m surprised by the Auburn choice; having been to home games at seven of the twelve, Auburn included [twice], I would rank them about fifth of those seven.

The very first UGA football game I ever went to was on my sixteenth birthday, the night Auburn beat us in the late nineties in Athens. I watched a grown UGA football fan shove a girl that couldn’t have been older than seven off her seat after Auburn scored a touchdown, which she was celebrating. Though I love my Dawgs, that fan alone solidified the obnoxious vote for me.

Andy Griffith

August 26th, 2010
10:46 am

I wouldn’t call you an idiot but you’re way off base (as usual). To say that Auburn fans are more obnoxious than Alabama or Georgia fans is absurd. And Tuberville was the longest tenured coach in the SEC before he left so just how often is Auburn changing coaches? A whim huh? Had to work hard to find reasons for you ridiculous choice didn’t you? And hey, want to list the most obnoxious fan? How about Alabama’s Paul Finebaum who spouts his venom over the airways every day. Nice try but you really messed this one up Mark.

clifton

August 26th, 2010
10:46 am

Enter your comments here

noah

August 26th, 2010
10:48 am

tim tebow in jorts and sandals.. he really is fearless.

Paul H

August 26th, 2010
10:48 am

Mark, “pride” in trashing their own campus? A few rednecks who probably never went to UGA does not represent the entire fan base. That was a cheapshot and unfounded.

Mark Bradley

August 26th, 2010
10:49 am

I’ve probably covered 30 games at Auburn, kb.

cattledawg

August 26th, 2010
10:49 am

I bet none of the Golden Girls come from Lake Charles, La. That place is the armpit of the South.

Benjamin

August 26th, 2010
10:50 am

In addition to my comment above, Georgia fans — of which I am one — are easily top two in the conference because of the behavior that we display both on our own campus [which Bradley mentioned] and because of how we interact on here. Just my two cents.

Pago Pago DAWG

August 26th, 2010
10:51 am

Now I want to see the Golden Band and Golden Girls do their pre-game.
I’ve seen the Script Ohio many times and it’s pretty neat. And of course , The Dixie Redcoat Band is tops.

clifton

August 26th, 2010
10:54 am

My count shows Alabama having 4 coaches in past 10 years. Do they lead pack for most coaches?

Barry

August 26th, 2010
10:54 am

Mark:

Regarding UT:
1) Remember the burning mattresses after Lame left? (And what about Mrs. Kiffin having to sneak out of Knoxville?)
2) Remember the threats uttered against the gentleman assaulted in the Knoxville Bar by UT players?
3) Remember the fan who didn’t want to press charges against Nukeese Richardson because he was a UT football player?

Sorry – UT fans are number 1, at least in this category.

uga_b

August 26th, 2010
10:54 am

From personal experience I was surprised at how bad the Arkansas fans were. I have never been randomly cursed out from so many passing cars before. It wasn’t even a I like our team it was just in your face.

Alabama fans rival Atlanta’s World of Coke in a bad way. Winning back in 2003 there was a scary experience.

Gator fans have both flavors but I have held many wonderful football related conversations and the hatred is more ingrained than personal.

Auburn fans have always been good to me. UK fans were fun. Vandy is kind of annoying but you don’t take them serious.

My number one would probably be Arkansas and UA and USC tied at two. I think my own school will be toned down but still deserves top 5 status.

cattledawg

August 26th, 2010
10:55 am

Well , I lost all respect for Auburn fans after the game in 2002. Ive never been cussed at by so many women in my entire life, and I keep my mouth shut on the road. Why do all Auburn fans go and sulk after a loss? Lord help, if Auburn wins you will hear about it for the next 6 months.

RJ

August 26th, 2010
10:56 am

Truer words never spoken. Auburn fans really are the worst. They have a HUGE inferiority complex and are incredibly delusional.

Steve

August 26th, 2010
10:56 am

you should do one for most delusional fans. ugag wins that hands down.
2010-1980= 30 years but you would think they have won 3 times since then.

Sheila Bair

August 26th, 2010
10:57 am

Lowder’s a former banker.

Bobby Lowder

August 26th, 2010
10:57 am

Why am I the “world’s worst fan?”

Vick=Dog killing Thug

August 26th, 2010
10:58 am

dumb article

Joke of a column

August 26th, 2010
10:59 am

Auburn at 1 and Florida at 2, huh? Way to appease your hometown fans Bradley.

Congrats on blaming Auburn fans for two complete embarrassments that our former “leaders” were responsible for and the fans had nothing to do with (Jetgate and Lowder). The only explanation for this ridiculous column is that you are trying to become Atlanta’s version of Finebaum. Ambitions.

Robby Gerry

August 26th, 2010
10:59 am

Interesting, I am an AU guy(’00) and huge fan, and the first time I have ever heard of Auburn fans considered in the upper half of most obnoxious was when you re-posted your article early this week. This article is the second time. I am interested in following this trail to see the feedback from fans of other SEC schools…

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 26th, 2010
11:01 am

I say part of this is skewed just by the sheer volume of posters on Bradley’s blogs who are Auburn,UF,UGA and Bama fans. It skews it when you have the moronic fans posting insane comments on here. If Kentucky and Mississippi had the internet I am sure the fan base would be much higher in the Rankings!

RickNole

August 26th, 2010
11:01 am

Jorts in Hogtown? say it aint so?

Sheila Bair

August 26th, 2010
11:01 am

Bobby Lowder’s a former banker.

Border Dawg

August 26th, 2010
11:02 am

To know an abnoxious fan, you have to reside with them. I’ve lived from one end of this state to the other and I know all the border wars and I am familiar with all the fans. I’ll tell you straight up as far as the east goes, there is NOTHING more obnoxious than a Tennessee fan. They are talking smack right now as I write this entry. If ever there was a time for UT fans to shut the hel up it is now. Yet they hoot like a family of howler monkeys all the same. In case you’re wondering this impression of mine does not come from a couple of loud mouths in orange. It comes from the vol nation as a whole. What a bunch of clueless loud mouthed hicks.
Florida fans are bad yes. Auburn fans are the most tolerable as of late. Alabama fans have reason to howl. Georgia fans….sure we can be unruly I won’t deny but we are nothing as obnoxious as a UT fan. Never have been never will. I suspect you wrote this column to spark debate Mr. Bradley. This again is no more than a polished turd in the world of sports writing.

TruthSeeker

August 26th, 2010
11:03 am

Auburn fans aren’t nearly the most obnoxious. Speaking as a Georgia fan, their fanbase is by far the most respectful of any of our rivals.

JCubby

August 26th, 2010
11:03 am

Georgia fan here. I sat in the stands at Auburn the day Reggie Brown got popped in the head and lay unconscious on the field. The Auburn fans began chanting Reggie Reggie Reggie. It was a nice moment of sportsmanship that should automatically move them down to at least number 5.

Border Dawg

August 26th, 2010
11:04 am

dadgummit I’ve been so close to the TN border for so long I misspelled obnoxious!

Border Dawg

August 26th, 2010
11:05 am

and hell……and probably some other stuff too!

RJM Dawg

August 26th, 2010
11:05 am

Not sure Auburn should be #1, but I agree they are top 3. I’ve been to several games in that stadium and have never been threated in any other SEC opponent’s stadium(been to most of them) than I have at Jordan-Hare… and just for simply rooting for my team!

Dawg Trainer

August 26th, 2010
11:06 am

After the Vols come down to Neyland South (aka Sanford) and put yet another beatdown on the Dawgs, we’ll be back to #1. After we show Mikey Hamilton the door (idiot putting bean-counting over the fact that we ARE called Volunteers for a reason), we’ll be OK on the gridiron too.

Ree Roe

August 26th, 2010
11:07 am

I disagree, although I am a fan of the peerless University of Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn fans are not the most annoying. The ones I know are passionately humble about their team and their chances. The crocs of Gainesville Community College should have EASILY won this.

-REEap what you Roe!!!

Ken C.

August 26th, 2010
11:07 am

This article is just about right, I’d imagine. I’ve never seen as much hatred from the auburn fans as I have seen in the last few years. When Alabama won the NC, I think that unhinged most of them. They run their mouths even when they have no reason to, reference this season coming up. I have never seen a fanbase run their mouths as I have seen auburn fans do before this season.

Autiger

August 26th, 2010
11:09 am

Mark, completely disagree. Auburn fans are MUCH nicer to the opposing visiting team fans. The rudest and most obnoxious are UGA’s. I had a grandmother once try to pick a fight with fan for cheering for an Auburn TD once while at a game in Athens.

Whatever your dislike for Auburn is, it unwarranted and has no credibility.

mudcat

August 26th, 2010
11:09 am

I agree with you so much and so often that it is scary at times, but you’ve defininately got your head up your ass on this one. Auburn fans are downright sedate compared to Florida and Alabama fans. What’s wrong with you???!!!???

joe

August 26th, 2010
11:10 am

Florida and Georgia have the most obo fans hands down. Auburn not even close…have to say Bama and UT before them.

zach

August 26th, 2010
11:11 am

Mark, you must have a bias against Auburn fans (and must not know many Alabama fans). Glad to see that most people on here so far recognize that AU fans are much more grounded and respectful than Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Florida.

Mark Bradley

August 26th, 2010
11:11 am

What’s wrong with me? Where should we begin?

Cousin Avi

August 26th, 2010
11:11 am

OMG Mark Bradley, Gators wear jorts! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! You are oozing with originality for charging Gator fans with the Jort libel.

Guess what? Gator fans don’t care! I will proudly wear jorts while we beat you soundly in Jacksonville and continue to push the UGA football program to irrelevancy.

Why do you fail to recognize the Head in the Sand Georgia Football Fan? You know the Dawg fan that thinks 9 or 10 wins a year are great even though you lose rivalry games and play in non-BCS bowls consistently. But don’t fret UGA fans, I know you are still looking forward to a Recruiting National Title and are still sky high after your Pre-season National Title you earned in 2008.

Dont you get it Bulldawg fans? You are the most obnoxious in the conference because you think you are top tier but in reality you are no better than Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Curious George

August 26th, 2010
11:12 am

Mark,

When it comes to Tennessee fans, are you sure we aren’t confusing “obnoxious” with “ignorant, rotten-toothed, undereducated, uncouth, unwashed & dubiously hygienic” here?

Seriously, do those people really know any better?

T

August 26th, 2010
11:12 am

How can you pick the most obnoxious fans in the SEC without tailgating and sitting in the stadium. press box does not give the same feel.
Without a doubt alabama has moved to the top. bama feels they will never lose again and can’t imagine why anyone would dispute their status(Listen to F-baum’s show one day to see)gaytors are a close 2nd with vols in 3rd(no sympathy)