Alabama Football: Rooting for SEC rivals in OOC matchups not easy

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Generally, Alabama football fans enjoy seeing Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and Georgia lose. Considering Playoff implications should we be rooting for them instead?

Old habits are hard to break. Some Alabama football fans (a lot more than a few) hate for Auburn, Tennessee, LSU, and more recently, Georgia, to win a game. Almost any game. Even when a victory by one of the rivals increases the odds of the Alabama Crimson Tide making the CFB Playoff field.

Such rancor can be irrational but it is a frequent byproduct of fanaticism. If it is foolish or bad form, count this Alabama football fan as one of the guilty parties. Going back too many years to count, I have always enjoyed the antics surrounding LSU football. So pulling for the Bengal Tigers from time to time has come easily. As for the other three, I want them to lose every game. It is impossible for me to watch a Tennessee vs. Auburn game because seeing either team win is agony.

I have honest remorse if my opinion offends fans of our hated rivals. My defense is, borrowing a line from a Harry Crews novel, I “just cain’t hep it.”

This season I can’t escape a premonition a 12-1 Alabama Crimson Tide might fail to reach the CFB Playoff. That is if the loss comes in the SEC Championship game. I am honestly vexed. It seems to be in the best interest of Alabama football for Auburn to beat Oregon, Tennessee to beat BYU and Georgia to beat Notre Dame. Later, and less important, but potentially important still, the Vols need to not trip up against UAB.

My head says the OOC wins for Alabama football rivals could help ensure a 12-1 Crimson Tide makes the Final Four.  But my heart will pull for the Ducks, Cougars, Blazers and bizarre as it feels, even to me, the Fighting Irish. In August and  September, I can easily root for Florida, LSU, Ole Miss (twice), the Aggies, Gamecocks and the Missouri Tigers.

I should be reassured knowing the national complaints about the 2019 Alabama football schedule are mostly ingrained envy. Not counting Clemson and Oklahoma (or The Citadel), Alabama football opponents were 83-71 last season. Perusing the schedules of the Tide’s 2019 opponents (not counting Western Carolina) the wins should surpass 83 in the coming season.

But TAMU has a tough schedule. Likewise for South Carolina, who along with Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Auburn are probably all in the six-to-eight wins range. Hopefully Duke and Southern Miss can exceed expectations and pick up some slack.

Next. A positive perspective heading into the season. dark

Maybe Alabama football fans don’t need to chant “SEC, SEC, SEC” all season. I hope not, because after the Crimson Tide dispatches with the Blue Devils, I am going to be searching for an old duck-caller I have tucked away somewhere.