Confessions of a Self-Loathing SEC fan: I hate the SEC

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If you are on this website, you’re here for one of two reasons: you’re either a fan of an SEC school, or you have an unhealthy amount of jealousy or hatred towards the SEC because of the national love fest and perceived dominance of the conference (especially you B1G and Ohio State fans). I happen to be both.

I am a lifelong Tennessee fan. I also hate the SEC.

I hate Florida. I hate Alabama. I hate Georgia. I hate Vanderbilt. I hate Kentucky. I hate that Auburn bought a championship. I hate that South Carolina is all of the sudden a better program than Tennessee.

LSU; for the most part, we are cool. I cannot deny that I have a soft spot for Les Miles. He’s like a drug I just can’t shake. I love corn dogs as well. HOWEVER, I have not forgotten about 2001 and Matt Mauck breaking my heart in the SEC championship, nor have I forgotten the $800.00 you would have lost me in the National Championship game if gambling were legal.

I really hate hypothetical gambling.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, I dislike you guys as well.
To the new kids on the block, Texas A&M and Missouri, we do not really have much baggage right now, but you are both well on your way to being on my hit list. Besides, I was never much of a Joey McIntyre fan, and let’s face it, Mark Wahlberg > Donnie Wahlberg (sorry to all my Blue Bloods’ fans). 
As you can see, the hatred for my foes overrunneth. 

But more than anything, I hate this new phenomenon that has overtaken the Southeastern Conference. Every person in the world knows the obsession that I speak of.

S-E-C!                    S-E-C!                    S-E-C!

A battle cry for the weak, a badge of honor for the down and out, this chant allows average programs to puff their chests out with the confidence of George Costanza after he pulled Kramer’s golf ball out of the whale’s blowhole.

Every SEC team faces the burden of carrying the torch. The nation rejoices when any team loses. Opening weekend, 2 Live Crew’s Uncle Luke took to twitter to elegantly boast that the ACC and Big East had taken down two SEC teams.
Yes, Clemson narrowly beating the Kiehl Frazier-led Auburn, and Louisville beating Kentucky was something worth celebrating. If you are keeping score, that is the more than likely Big East Champion and a top 10 team beating down this year’s doormats of the SEC, with all due respect to Ole Miss and Arkansas.
Every nonconference game has taken on new meaning.

I was in the Georgia Dome for Tennessee’s victory over North Carolina State. After arguably-and pathetically- the Volunteers’ biggest victory since we were thrown off of the Lane Train and landed in the back of the Dooley Truck, it was not Rocky Top the fans were singing. No, the fans were not interested in celebrating Double D’s “signature win” with “V-O-L-S” chants. 

S-E-C!                    S-E-C!                    S-E-C!

It was not great to be a Tennessee Vol. It was great to finally feel like we belong again. The fans, feeling worthy and able to carry the burden bestowed upon members of the NFL’s unofficial farm system, wildly mocked North Carolina State fans for being stuck in what might as well be Division II as far as they were concerned.

The madness has gone ever farther. Now, SEC fans mock others during conference games. Georgia wanted fans of the Missouri Tigers to know that the Bulldogs are MORE SEC THAN YOU ARE.
Here in Knoxville, conference ego supersedes rivalries and pride. Once January comes around, ask your friends, neighbors, or a random guy in cutoff jeans and a tank top in the grocery store who they want to win the National Championship. I do it every year, and I get the same response overwhelmingly.
“Roll Tide!”


“Go Gators!”

And yes, they even give out the gator chomp and talk about being gator bait.

They rooted for Killa Cam and the Tigers/War Eagles, and they rooted for LSU (except against ‘Bama of course). If LSU ends up in the game again this year, they’ll root for them. The same goes for Georgia or the Gamecocks. When I get this response, I have to ask why, and I get the same explanation every time:
“It’s the SEC man. We gotta show that we’re the best.”
Never mind that it is a reminder of my favorite school’s failures every time an SEC school wins a national championship while we are struggling. And let’s not worry that these successes only give the fan bases we absolutely loathe unlimited ammunition when arguing against them. Who cares about the recruiting advantages it gives the winners? None of this matters in this new age of fandom. All that matters is that you get to stand in your living room or at the bar chanting “S-E-C” at the top of your lungs feeling like you accomplished something. 
Do not get me wrong. I understand. Pulling for the conference allows you to be happy because probably, an SEC school will win 9 of the next 10 championships. Their success leads to more revenue for everyone. I just will never be able to do it. 
There are Tennessee fans who would be a little disappointed if a 3-3 Volunteer squad upset Alabama hampering their championship chances. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that many fans would rather their rival win a championship than to have to endure a potential Florida State-Oklahoma title game. Florida demolished Ohio State in January of 2007. Five national championships later and the game’s done changed. So here we are in 2012, and not only is it acceptable to root for your enemies, but it is blasphemy to not do so.
I write this not only to vent my frustrations, but also as a call to arms for fans to just be better. Someone needs to take a stand. 


I hate watching the schools that compete with my school succeed and win championships while we are stuck in purgatory. I hate Nick Saban being so much smarter than everyone else. I hate how Mark Richt never has to play Alabama or LSU. But most of all….


Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.