It’s easy and fun to feel excited about your favorite SEC football program’s prospects in 2016 (except if you root for, say, South Carolina), but it’s far less easy or fun — and thus more noble — to hate your favorite team — and every other team in the Southeastern Conference for that matter.
This SEC preview is just for you, then. Below is a non-comprehensive guide to why you should despise, with the fervor of a thousand NCAA investigations rocketed into the sun and then that sun rocketed into another sun, all 14 SEC teams this year, regardless of your fandom’s creed or affiliation.
(Shout out to our friends at The Crimson Quarry, who gave us this idea.)
Minus giving away the GOT DANG GAMES TO OLE PISS, Alabama loses nothing. So, given that Alabama has destroyed your team (if it’s not named Ole Miss), there isn’t much convincing needed to hate THE TAHD.
While Alabama carries a houndstooth SEC banner into playoff and national title games, does that do your school any good? You know what, IT DOES NOT.
The four-star your school was recruiting just committed to Alabama after three five-stars and two four-stars were ushered out of Tuscaloosa following totally legit medical reasons.
I’m not sure what the most fortunate part of Arkansas’ history is, beating Ole Miss thanks to a 4th-and-25 lateral to no one or being founded in the nicest part of the state. On one hand, you did beat Ole Miss, which was one of seven steps to a front row seat at the Liberty Bowl, and got Bert’s SEC record up to 5-16. On the other hand, though Northwest Arkansas is quite nice, you’re still in the state of Arkansas. As the old Arkansas state motto goes, “Come to our state and wish you were in yours.”
In the time it took you to read this post up until now, the Arkansas offense started to consider leaving the huddle. Give them another 20 seconds and they’ll be ready. People like to say the Razorbacks’ offense is methodical. I can’t recall a looser use of a word. Methodical is a 19th-century farmer plowing a field with one mule. Arkansas’ offensive strategy is “I hope you die of boredom before the next play.”
That strategy is in direct opposition to their defensive program, which is “here have a touchdown.” By Jove your team just scored a touchdown! And another! And one more! How about another? Okay, four more!
But I’m sure those recruiting classes that are consistently in the high 20s will sort everything out.
Are you from the Atlanta area but couldn't get into Georgia's major state schools? Do you maybe want to become an engineer — in a very loose sense of the word, of course — while also screaming about WAR EAGLES and TIGERS but all the while harboring secret support for, say, Georgia or Georgia Tech? Welcome to Auburn, kiddo, here are your croakies, hat, coozy and crocs — all of them are camouflage for some reason.
Gus Malzahn is going to be shit-canned by, like, week 3 this year and it's going to be HILARIOUS. Remember when Jacksonville State took the No. 6 ranked Tigers to overtime? Harvey Updyke still tells anyone who'll listen about that game, and he's banned from the game of football in Alabama for life.
Love what you've done with that video board, tho...
Well, SOMEONE had to win the SEC East last year, soooo why not the Gators? Jim McElwain was the most vanilla-bean ice cream hire Florida could have made -- especially considering the Gators' previous two throne holders -- and how does my guy introduce himself to the world? By going full Chernobyl on the beloved son of an even more beloved alumnus. Ever see someone you've never met and just know they've got bad breath? That's Jim McElwain.
Also, what the hell, man?
SABAN: it's a dude tackling another dude, jim— gym low mar (@jimlohmar) December 5, 2015
MCELWAIN: i plugged it in tho
SABAN: it doesn't light up
MCELWAIN: huh pic.twitter.com/pU0LuIQDDF
Gainesville is a pool table of a city. Its tallest building is the damn football stadium, its best restaurant is 15 miles south in Micanopy, and Tom Petty's refusal to ever play a show there again is the only recommendation you need know. In the Swamp, only Urban Meyer gets out alive.
They held out as long as their boosters could bear, but in the end the Bulldogs just HAD to taste the fruit of the Saban coaching tree. Melted mayonnaise man Kirby Smart is going to restore ORDER and DIGNITY and a PROCESS in Athens, which even OH YOU HERSCHEL will faint at. Screw that. There's no worse underachieving program over the last decade in the conference than UGA, which is where real talent goes to die. Except maybe if you're a running back, in which case you better hope that overuse and overexposure don't catch up with you.
For a school that fancies itself something like the Virginia of the SEC, UGA attracts some of the dumbest droolers in the state of Georgia. If you're at a party and tell someone that you're majoring in a discipline other than "business," the party hosts are legally allowed to chase you off the premises with a hunting knife. Georgia is where you go to school if your answer to a minor disagreement with someone is to fire a gun at that someone's fraternity house.
This may feel like punching down until distant whispers of WE’RE A BASKETBALL SCHOOL come lumbering out of the shadows carrying gilt images of John Calipari. Mark Stoops shares an elevator with Calipari everyday on the way into work and Coach Cal still has no idea who Stoops is. Some fun Kentucky football facts, which are totally not made up:
- The Kentucky Wildcats lost the 2015 college football national championship game to the Wisconsin Badgers, 71-64. Sad!
- Every rostered player is a walk-on.
- Jared Lorenzen was and remains the most interesting thing about this program ever, full stop.
- Kentucky has never won a conference game in the SEC.
- The Wildcat offense was invented at Kentucky because never in program history has a quarterback completed a forward pass.
- It snows in Lexington during the winter. Snows!
- The Wildcats’ entire 2006 season was vacated after the NCAA learned that Barbaro was starting at running back.
- Jared Lorenzen.
Ignoring the fact that this is the only school capable of challenging Auburn in the “won seven straight Powerball drawings” department, what’s really irritating about LSU is that their fans always seem to be having way more fun than you. The obvious solution to this irritation is to try and have more fun, but lest we forget THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF DESIGNED TO DRAIN THE LIFE OUT OF YOU OVER FOUR HOURS. HOW DARE YOU ENJOY IT.
I suppose their joy comes from knowing some Les Miles absurdity is bound to happen, no matter how badly LSU has been dominated, or that when any LSU quarterback is your quarterback, you’re already dead, despite the gross abundance of riches in receivers, running backs, and offensive linemen. To say nothing of the defense, which probably stays in a separate hotel for road games.
I, for one, can’t wait to see Tiger fans, covered in beads, purple, and yellow, dancing and celebrating Brandon Harris and Leonard Fournette as they accept a second straight Advocare V100 Texas Bowl trophy. COMIN’ FOR YOU, HOUSTON.
Before you even decide whether or not you should hate them, State already hates you for your inability to #GRIND. So how does one #GRIND when you’re signing recruits with more than three stars? WHO KNOWS. THAT’S FOR THE POORS. THEY COACH ‘EM UP IN STARKVILLE, BABY.
However, you should be aware that, by not #GRINDING, your recruiting class is filled with pre-Madonnas who only want to coast through life, collect cash, and not put in the work to be part of a college football team that dominates the Belk Bowl. And you can be certain your team will not develop Belk Bowl talent like the Bulldogs of Starkville.
If you’re a fan of Ole Miss or Alabama, none of this makes any sense at all because Mississippi State is that speed bump you roll over on your way to the next game (HOW THE HELL DID I END UP IN THIS CUL-DE-SAC, GOOGLE MAPS?). But it’s nice to see the YouTube tributes to second-half touchdowns when trailing by three scores.
Mizzou’s fine. You’re fine.
Is ... that a tie? And a blazer? It’s 94 damn degrees out here and you’re dressed like you’re going to DUI court instead of a football game. Oh, you are going to DUI court later? Cool, cool.
And lest we forget, Ole Miss stole that croot your team wanted by loading him up with cash, cars and strippers. A recruiting trip to Oxford looks like a scene out of Wolf of Wall Street, and Hugh Freeze has the Jordan Belfort-sized balls to go along with it: remember when he went all COME AT ME, BRO on Twitter? The NCAA did indeed come at him.
"Y'see, my hat says COCKS, which [wink wink] means two things at the same time, knowhatimean?" Yeah, we get it, bozo. By the way, have you named a starting quarterback yet? No? Hmmm... seems less than ideal.
The worst part of this is that the personnel situation at Carolina can almost make you feel sorry for Will "I eat rocks" Muschamp. Coach Ball of Rage inherited a decimated program from Spurrier, and there's a better than even chance that Muschamp, too, will be gone in three years.
The football in Columbia, S.C. is so malodorous that the stadium is a mile off campus. Some tailgating scene y'got there, y'all. College football is in such high demand at Cocky that the price of student admission on game days is... showing your student ID. George Clinton played a show on New Year's Eve in downtown Columbia a few years ago, but there’s been no occasion for joy in the city before or since.
If you were given a blank map of the state of Tennessee, and someone told you to point to the epicenter of the ass-middle of nowhere within the state’s borders, there is a 2,000 percent chance you’d point to exactly where Knoxville is located. Nearly three hours from Nashville, two hours from Chattanooga, and 47 hours from Memphis, Knoxville, home of the 1982 World’s Fair, boasts a Sunsphere, which, when the sun hits it just right, blinds everyone to Butch Jones farting away games he should win.
Fortunately, Butch has enacted a “brick by brick” program, which shields prying eyes from the fact he hasn’t won the East in its most garbage state. And let’s not forget the suspect shielding of his recruiting successes, which have been greater than those of, say, Hugh Freeze, despite having a worse record in a weaker division.
Still, when adversity hits for the Vols, Butch can turn on the purple-faced rage charm that motivates his starting quarterback to complete less than 60 percent of his passes in his third year. And when you see Butch with that coaches’ shirt top button buttoned tight in Tennessee’s first game, please know that even the Zodiac killer thought that was weird.
If you’ve never been to College Station, let me save you some time and money. First, imagine the flattest place on Earth. I’m surprised all of the world’s levels are not manufactured and tested in College Station. One bank of a catfish pond in the Mississippi Delta is 50 feet higher than anything in College Station.
Second, picture yourself sweating as you hike around a massive campus with the architectural scheme of Bauhaus’s drunk brother and like six trees over 1,500 square miles. During said hike, you’re pretty sure you’ve stumbled into a cult’s camp, but no one is trying to recruit you or give you “some literature that you might find interesting.”
And third, once you make it to the multi-kabillion dollar stadium that could be paid for in two Kevin Sumlin buyout clauses, prepare to be surrounded by the quietest 100,000-plus people that ever walked the earth. Sure, they could create ear-shattering noise, but they instead demand the army-thing wave towels and everyone doing cheers that no one understands, which are led by men dressed like milk boys from the 1950s.
In A&M’s defense, these could be perfectly normal reactions to knowing your offensive line stinks, every quarterback you’ve ever loved has transferred, you’re starting a fifth-year transfer quarterback in the head coach’s fifth year on campus, and the defense’s EKG reading is somehow flatter than College Station.
ALRIGHT, LET’S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT ABOUT THESE HARVARD OF THE SOUTH FRAYED TITLEIST HAT PEOP—
Well, hey, you know, you’re not that bad, Vandy. Keep that head up.