Conference Allegiance in College Football: Who Am I Rooting for Again?

Ryan Senior Writer IJuly 17, 2008

As a college sports fan, both of hockey and football, I notice a recurring trend every January when bowl games roll around.

Fans proclaim their support for whatever conference their favorite program plays in, even rooting for a rival in hopes that their victory will make the conference look superior.

I guess I have to ask—why?

As a fan of the Big Ten's Michigan Wolverines, there is only one instance when I'm rooting for anyone other than the Wolverines—when someone is playing the Buckeyes, also a Big Ten school.

What do I care how the rest of the conference does?  In the bigger conferences especially, there are enough power programs that it's pretty much guaranteed that a poor showing from top to bottom isn't going to wreck the conference.

Hell, the Big 12 has been a two-team race since its inception, though the Big Ten has been basically the same.

What satisfaction am I supposed to be getting if the Big Ten wins more head-to-head matchups against the SEC or Pac-10, especially if it's involving a team that I would normally root against with all my might?

I never understood SEC fans proclaiming to have the best conference in the country.  Is this just a fallback when your team flounders?  Something to cheer about when your team is playing in a meaningless bowl game?

Maybe there's something I'm missing here, but my allegiance is to my team and my team only.

Well, and to whoever is playing Ohio State, too.