Conference Allegiances: Why Are College Football Fans So Bias?

James ColtCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2008

Every year you hear the same conversations.  The SEC is great.  The Big 12 is better.  The Pac-10 is only one team.  The ACC and Big East are garbage.  Every year the conversations and debates go on and on like the Energizer Bunny.

But why?

Why do college football fans care so much about conferences, and pledge our allegiance to the conference that is home to our favorite college sports team?

With the match up of OU vs. Florida this year in the National Championship game people think that the debate will be settled by the outcome of this singular sports event. But why even care?  Why would a fan of the University of Georgia root for the Florida Gators to win the national championship of college football?

That is like the New York Yankees making it to the World Series, and all of Red Sox nation is cheering them on, including the Boston Red Sox themselves.  Why shouldn't that happen?  They're both not only in the American League, but also in the same division. 

I'm glad they don't though because that kind of display would be more than enough to make me puke. 

Well, all of these "conference loyalists" are really starting to border on that kind of level of intolerability for me.

I've played around in some of these conversations before because it's what people tend to talk about.  I might defend the Big 12 if people condemn it in general because its home to my beloved Longhorns. 

But I will NEVER root for OU or any other Big 12 team to win a national title. 

It makes me sick any time somebody from the Big 12 does anything better than Texas.  I almost cried when Kansas won the national title in basketball because I knew that Texas was just as good.

For all I care the Big 12 could be the weakest conference in country.  USC has a setup right now that I truly envy.  I'm not saying the Pac-10 is the weakest conference in the country, but it certainly isn't one of the stalwarts, and what has that gotten USC? 

Six straight Pac-10 titles (interesting note, the Pac 10 site has ASU listed as the Co-Champ this year), perennial national contention, and a yearly birth in the BCS.  For all you complaining USC fans, we should all be so cursed as to have to go the Rose Bowl every year.

If Texas played in a conference that was so weak they could win six straight titles that would be my heaven.  Instead they lose one game all year and can't even win their own division.  Big 12 fans are loving the strength of the Big 12 this year, but I'm bemoaning it. 

I certainly will never say to myself, "Well Texas had a tough year, but at least the Big 12 was great."  That is a loser mentality.

I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong to have pride in your conference, but it certainly is odd in the world of sports to cheer for your rival to win something that you were unable to do yourself.  

Perhaps if someone could point to a similar occurrence in sports then I might be able to understand, but as of now this concept is alien to me.

I know some people might be anxious to point out that baseball has its loyalists.  Some people root for the American League and some for the National.  This, however, has its roots in the fact that they were actually two separate leagues that never played each other except for its champions in the World Series.

Recently, however, interleague play, along with free agency, and even the commonizing of the umpires has really begun to do away with these biases.

The same could be said for pro football because the AFL and NFL used to be two different leagues that didn't compete with each other on the field, but only for fans and revenue.  However, the merger was so long ago that you really don't see an AFC/NFC bias.

Perhaps I'm just lost in the days of yore when hating your rival was a year-round type of event and not just a one, or maybe two, Saturday-a-year ritual like Thanksgiving. 

Imagine, you go to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail party and the Red River Shootout (don't say RRR), and while your there you hear all about how the Gator's suck and other hateful things from Georgia fans, and you hear the same from Longhorn fans in Dallas about OU.

Now imagine those same fans that said those hateful things are now cheering for those very same teams.  That would be a paradox in the literary world.  In the sports world I simply call it unfaithful.

I know, people will criticize me for insulting them by calling them unfaithful.  However, as a Longhorn fan I have an unwritten and unspoken oath to hate with every ounce of my soul every team that gets in the way of my Longhorn's and their greatness, conference affiliation be DAMNED!!!!!!!