As we approach kickoff of tonight's widely anticipated BCS Championship Game between two of the most storied and tradition-laden teams in college football lore, the Crimson Tide of Alabama and the Longhorns of Texas, it occurs to me that most fans of the Southeastern Conference simply have no respect for the boys from Austin...or anywhere else for that matter.
And frankly, this is not necessarily solely the fault of SEC fans (see $2.5 BILLION marriage between ESPN and the SEC).
This conference's "greatness" is practically shoved down the country's throat by CBS and ESPN, so why would they, living in the southeastern United States, think anything different?
Don't get me wrong, folks. I was born and still live in this region. I grew up here and played baseball, football and golf here my entire life.
I get it.
Believe me, I get it.
However, over the past month, during conversations over many a beer with my fellow college fans, it occurs to me that these people, these SEC fans-extraordinaire, just do not respect Texas at all.
Make no mistake, folks. Texas is not just playing Alabama tonight.
It is playing an entire conference of fans who, for approximately four hours, will all become as one, praying for the Tide to roll and bring with it another national championship to their beloved conference.
Some of it is because of the aforementioned force feeding that has occurred over their lifetimes. But sadly, it is mostly out of sheer ignorance of the accomplishments of the SEC's most recent adversary.
As such, please allow me to shed a little light on this, your collective opponent tonight.
First and foremost, understand this, SEC fans: Texas is NOT Oklahoma. Texas wins its bowl games.
Going into tonight's game, the Longhorns have an all-time record of 858-317-33, a winning percentage of .741 (wikipedia.org).
Further study reveals that only Notre Dame and the University of Michigan have a greater winning percentage of games played than does Texas.
Oh yeah and only the Wolverines have won more games than have the 'Horns.
2nd (to Alabama) in the number of bowl game appearances with 48
Since 1936, UT has been ranked in 64 of 74 seasons
Have finished in the Top 10 in at least one poll 29 times (more than 1/3 of the time)
Finished in the Top 25 47 times.
More recently, Coach Mack Brown, currently in his 12th season, has a record of 128-26 (.831), currently has a streak of nine (9) consecutive seasons of 10 wins or more, and is coaching in his 11th straight post-season appearances (8-3).
Furthermore, since 2004, the Longhorns boast a record of 20-4 against ranked opponents, and are 3-0 in BCS games.
LSU in the 2004 Cotton Bowl
Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl
USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl
Iowa in the 2007 Alamo Bowl
Arizona State in the 2008 Holiday Bowl
Ohio State in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.
Again, I bring these points to your attention solely to either remind or inform you SEC fans that -although not playing in as competitive a conference as your beloved Southeastern-Texas has an outstanding out-of-conference record, to include, by the way, a 95-44-3 record all-time versus SEC opponents (8-0-1 versus Alabama).
With the above in mind, and no matter who wins the game tonight, in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, "Hey, how about a little respect." That's all we ask.