Missouri and Texas A&M - Welcome to the SEC
Who are y'all gonna hate first?
To the University of Missouri and Texas A&M: As a graduate of the University of Georgia, one of the teams you will now be playing in college sports, allow me to welcome you to the SEC. Let me just add that you have absolutely no business being here.
On what planet is a state west of the Mississippi River in the South East region of the country? If we wanted to add members to this conference we could have invited Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Tulane, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, or (God Forbid) Georgia Tech. At least those schools are located in the South. You could remind us that Arkansas has been in the SEC for years, but most of us have blocked out that fact. They are ranked in the top 25 at present, so I should give them some credit for that. They are pulling their weight.
If you can’t get up at zero-dark-thirty, load your car up with tailgate paraphernalia, and make the drive to an away game stadium in time for a noon kick-off (the time of day God intended for college football to be played), you shouldn’t be in the conference. How long do you think it takes to drive from Gainesville, Florida, to wherever the heck the University of Missouri is? I reckon we are all fixing to find out. And if you find that expression hilarious, that is one more reason you have no business in the SEC.
But the real problem is not where your state is located. The problem is, we hardly know you. I don’t know your mascot, your colors, your perennial rival, or your number of national titles (most SEC teams have at least one). I do know Texas A&M seems to be mostly concerned with not playing Texas any more. The way they’ve carried on you’d think someone’s eternal destiny was at stake. You don’t like being in the SEC? We have an expression down here. “Delta is ready when you are.” Georgia Tech is not in the SEC and Georgia manages to play them every year. Just set aside one of your non-conference games for them. Florida does the same thing for their cross-state rival, Florida State. It is hardly a problem without a solution. Of course with two more teams in the conference, none of us will have very many games available any more for playing anybody but each other.
The coach at Missouri has been quoted as saying he always thought the SEC had an inflated opinion of itself and that he would probably have to change his way of thinking. You think? Let’s see how inflated that opinion is after his first taste of the SEC this season against the University of Georgia Bulldogs - really - a great welcoming committee. Can I give you a nickel’s worth of free advice? Not a great way to introduce yourself to the rest of us.
Which brings me to the real problem with adding these two teams to the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA. We don’t know you. We still don’t know Arkansas very well. And no team should be playing in the SEC if we don’t know you well enough to hate you. Yes, that’s what I said.
A couple of years ago a television sports anchor was introducing his audience to the Georgia/Georgia Tech game in the minutes preceding the kick off. He mentioned the rivalry was known as “Good Old Fashioned Hate.” He commented, “That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it?” How a sports professional with so little knowledge of his subject matter ever got the Georgia/Georgia Tech gig is beyond me. I immediately turned off the volume on the television, and tuned in to Larry Munson on the radio. Used to be the best way to listen to a Georgia game anyway. Rest in peace, Larry.
As our cousin Lewis Grizzard (a great American) used to say, “The way they play football in the rest of the country is like two mules fighting over a turnip. I mean, who cares? They ain’t serious as us.” As you will find out.
It's done now, and I'm sure there was a great deal of money at stake, which is the point, correct? That's college football these days, isn't it? Re-writing the map is a minor detail anymore. But there is a another side to the equation. It just takes some time, and there is no way to hurry the process.
After this first season is over, if either of you win a bowl bid, the entire SEC will cheer for you against whatever team you draw. We may hate each other during the regular season. But when the bowl games come around, it's us against them. At that point, you will be one of us.
We do take our football serious in the SEC. GO DAWGS! WAR EAGLE! ROLL TIDE! GATOR CHOP! HOLD THAT TIGER! ROCKY TOP!
There are so many of us to choose from. Who are y’all gonna hate first?
NOTE: Really? U of M and T A&M get to have their SEC opponents come to them for their inaugural conference games? Who thought that up? If they've got the stuff to be in the SEC, let them march into Sanford and Ben Hill Griffin stadiums and take their first shot like grown men. We don't suffer fools. Letting them hide behind their mommies' aprons for their first conference games did not do them any favors in the SEC. The powers that be should have let them have a better first chance at impressing us. I suspect they would have risen to the challenge. That's what being in the toughest conference in college football is about..
NOTE: Both new SEC teams led at the half in their conference openers - then lost basically in the fourth quarter - Texas A&M to Florida and Missouri to Georgia. We play all four quarters in the SEC. They fought hard and look like they will figure it out.
NOTE: That is a South Carolina Gamecock the Kentucky guy is stepping over, isn't it?