In advance of tonight’s college football national championship, the Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks matchup is going to show us a lot about the SEC. On the field, of course, as the conference is up for its fifth-straight BCS Championship. This game could be one of its toughest tests yet, with the Ducks and their rocketship offense actually favored over the Tigers at one point.
But what will we learn about SEC solidarity tonight? It’s no secret that Auburn’s rise to the top hasn’t been quite as widely appreciated around the conference as those of LSU, Florida, or Alabama. There’s the perception of Tigers fans having a nouveau riche air, along with not-yet-disproven allegations of cheating in the recruitment of Cam Newton, plus dirty play by Nick Fairley. And what many perceived to be cheerleading of Fairley’s play by Trooper Taylor, though I think Taylor really was trying to get Fairley off the field.
And let’s not even mention the program’s history — they’ve gotten caught cheating more than any other SEC school, and thus have degraded the conference’s proper cheating reputation.The SEC’s anti-Auburn insurgency isn’t composed just of Dawgs fans mad about Aaron Murray, either. If Auburn fans are expecting their rivals to rally as is custom in one last grand chorus of SEC! for God and conference before the desert night closes, they might find themselves hollering in the wilderness alone.
Auburn has to know they’re the bad guys here, even for the non-SEC viewer. Oregon is fun, different, and has a big duck. Big ducks matter.
I might be wrong, of course. If the Ducks’ offense offends the eye of the Southeastern football fan just so, the tides (…) could turn. I’d describe their thoughts before the game as mixed, but these things change.
Or they could lose, at which point they’d immediately know where they stand.