If you are Auburn, do you root for Alabama or Michigan?

Submitted by M-Dog on August 30th, 2012 at 9:06 AM

If you are Auburn, do you root for Alabama or Michigan?

Do you root for Alabama because, you know,        "Ess Eee See!!!" and all that?  Or do you root for Michigan because you would root for the University of Iran, College of  Nuclear Studies before you would ever root for Alabama?

I hate to say it, but if it was Ohio State playing Alabama on Saturday, I'd have to root for Ohio State, to give the Big Ten a boost. 




August 30th, 2012 at 9:10 AM ^

I will say that SEC fans in general are better at rooting for their conference-members, despite rivalries, than Big Ten fans tend to be.

However, I also believe that there are few rivalries in the SEC as heated as the many we have in the Big Ten. For example, during my time here in Knoxville, the Florida and Alabama weekends have felt nothing like Michigan's OSU or MSU weekends.

Auburn-Alabama is a little different. I bet you'll find it split 50-50 between Auburn fans rooting for the SEC to win (becuase they proably won't admit that they are rooting for Bama) and half rooting for Michigan. 


August 30th, 2012 at 9:31 AM ^

As my name indicates-- or, rather, would indicate if not for a typo-- SEC fans are irrationally fans of their conference, especially in lean times. I got to Tennessee, and I swear the past few years people in these parts spend as much time talking about the SEC and how awesome it is as they do talking about how average their team is. I hate hate hate this. I NEVER thought of Big Ten as something whose honor needed coaxing-- Big Ten football is more about good offensive lineman, close games, cold weather. I hate that I feel obligated to root for big ten teams just because I can't stand how much SEC teams talk about themselves. "You need a good running game to win in the SEC. You need a good Offensive/ Defensive line to win in the SEC. You need to throw/defend the pass/kick/block punts/score points/ keep other teams from scoreing to win in the SEC." 


August 30th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

I didn't mean SEC fans were better than Big Ten fans. I meant that from my experience, they tend to be better at pushing aside rivalries and rooting for and supporting their conference. 

I'm with you about Tennessee fans. I mean, have you seen the "Things Vols fans say" videos? They're hilarious becuase it really covers everything you might hear in Knoxville. SEC fans are in for a rude awakening when all this success goes away. 

931 S State

August 30th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Having lived in Atlanta for the last ten years I can say that, generally, SEC West fans will be rooting for Michigan and SEC East fans will be rooting for Bama.  For some reason the SEC East fans (maybe because the power has shifted away from their division over the last few years) are fans of the conference regardless of rivalries and how their record affects them.  I found this to be much less the case with SEC West fans, particularly Auburn and LSU fans.

Like stated above, many (not all) UGA and UT fans are more concerned with the perception of the SEC than that of their own programs.  I am convinced that their opinion of the threat posed by the Big Ten is about what an average Michigan fan thinks of MAC teams.  No joke.  

Mr. Rager

August 30th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I worked with a kid from Wiscy, who was adament about B1G basketball (this was before we became the dominant conference the last two seasons).  I had never heard a person in such adament support of the B1G before.

I think at Michigan, since we are the self proclaimed "Leaders & Best" - we come first (along with our rivalries) and the conference comes second, but that viewpoint is not exactly shared by the rest of the conference (OSU and perhaps MSU aside).  


August 30th, 2012 at 9:12 AM ^

Alabama and Ohio State, I choose bloody gruesome Braveheart death (except if they insist on the "streching" part, that's a little much.  In that case, I'll take Bama)


August 30th, 2012 at 9:13 AM ^

My roommate is an Auburn fan and she said she and her family (made up of almost all Auburn grads) are universally rooting for Michigan.  The thought never even occurred to them to root for their hated rival.  She figures the SEC is going to be the best anyway in the end, they don't need to prove anything.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:14 AM ^

no matter the circumstances.  I was at a bar in Chicago for the OSU-Miami (YTM) title game a decade ago, and I was the only person rooting against the Buckeyes.  I got a lot of flak from others in the bar that night, especially once they found out I was a UM alum ("Why aren't you rooting for the Big Ten?" "What's wrong with you?" "Get out of the bar you [expletive]") but I just couldn't bring myself to do it ever.  I'm sure it's that way for an Auburn fan, their hatred for Bama overcomes any SEC loyalty.  Just like I'm pulling for Boise this week as well, I can never root for Sparty or OSU in any game, no matter who they are playing, even if they're playing each other.  In those games I just root for the game to be laughably awful like last year so both teams embarrass themselves.


August 30th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

Let's say there's a world in which Ohio and Michigan don't play the last game of the season and instead Ohio plays MSU. Let's say for the sake of the scenario that an MSU win clinches the division for them and a loss clinches the division for Michigan. In this (hopefully) impossible scenario, do you root for an Ohio victory?


August 30th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

No - I root for a Sparty Choke.  I never want OSU to succeed, if I need them to win like in your scenario, I'd root for the other team to choke horrendously.  Fortunately in your scenario, rooting for MSU to choke is something I always do, so that one is an easy decision.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

We always get threads like this a couple times per year. "Do you root for OSU/MSU vs Nameless Opp that may help M in the rankings should they lose?"

My answer is generally no. M will determine its own fate, rooting for a mortal enemy be damned.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

Sparty or Boise State.  Presents the same quandry for us, as Bama/Michigan does to Auburn (or LSU, for that matter).

I think the difference is, SEC doesn't need to have the conference ego boosted, so Auburn's or LSU's fortunes are NOT affected if/when Bama gets Denarded.

Whereas, B1G's national reputation has been suffering a "malaise," as President Carter would have described it, so wins/losses by our conf bretheren direct affect our national standing, and possibly even recruiting and advertising in some lesser, indirect way.

Thus, Auburn probably roots for Michigan, out of hate for Alabama (and b/c we were kind enough to lose 3 recruiting battles with them last year).  Whereas, I don't know if we UM fans can afford to root for Boise State -- I know that's been debated.


August 30th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

Call it arrogance, or call it whatever you want, but I honestly believe that if M/Ohio and to a lesser extent Penn State (for the moment) and Nebraska (maybe not yet, but in the future) get into a losing OOC situation, it's much worse for the conference than if MSU/Iowa/Wisconsin do.

If Michigan takes a beating on Saturday, you can que the "Big Ten is weak" talk. I don't think anyone will be saying the same about Sparty losing, unless it's in conjunction with a Michigan loss.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

I talk to my coworker 85% who are Auburn fans are rooting for Michigan to beat Roll Tide. Other rest of them either deny to tell me or they are big SEC freak. Yes I am going be sitting with Alabama fans to watch the game.. going bring ear plugs.... 

Mr. Yost

August 30th, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

It's not a bowl game, and it means WAY more for the B1G than the SEC. If...WHEN Michigan wins, the SEC doesn't lose anything. Hell Auburn almost lost to Utah St. last year, that wasn't a reflection on the SEC. LSU/Bama/Arkansas at the end of the year was what represented the conference.

Didn't Georgia lose to Boise St. in a similar game at the beginning of last year? Not much was said about the SEC slipping. So again, this isn't about the SEC...thus Auburn fans will likely be rooting for Michigan. If this was the National Championship game or the Sugar Bowl it may be different.

50% may want Michigan to win as it was said above...another 25% will want to see Alabama "lose it for the SEC" so that's 75% of Auburn fans going for Michigan. Toss in what I mentioned about the game not meaning much for the SEC and I'd say a good number of Tiger fans will want to see Bama stumble.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

Whatever helps Michigan. If BSU shakes MSU's confidence going forward by beating them, then I'm a Boise fan Friday. You can generally conclude that losses break confidence more than wins make a team "cocky."


August 30th, 2012 at 9:32 AM ^

People saying they'll root for a non-SEC team are probably just trying to be nice.  I have yet to see a fan of an SEC school(ex-military so I know a ton of those guys) root for a non-SEC team playing an SEC team.  Plus it means they can all join in in that beyond stupid ESS-EEE-SEE chant during the game.

My roomate in college(Huge Alabama fan) always roots for the conference above all, something I just don't understand, but it's a common thing. His explanation is that it's an expression of southern pride.

Bill in Birmingham

August 30th, 2012 at 9:36 AM ^

I can speak with some authority on this having lived in Alabama close to thirty years and having married into an Auburn family and having a daughter with a grad degree from Bama (not to mention many friends on both sides). Publicly, it will be ESS EEE CEE. Privately, they will be rooting for Michingan. It's weird, but the ESS EEE CEE thing is very real during bowl season, but the Alabama-Auburn hatred is intense and real and transcends the league loyalty during the regular season. If the average Alabama fan knows that Auburn is playing Iran, in their heart, they will root for Iran. Ditto Auburn fans. Except during bowl season, in which for some reason they consider rooting for ESS EEE CEE on a par with defending their mothers' virtue.

Perkis-Size Me

August 30th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

This is like asking a Michigan fan if they would rather root for Ohio State or Florida in the Gator Bowl last year. I'm sure Auburn fans don't particularly care for Michigan, but they despise Alabama like we despise Ohio State. I feel like a real Auburn fan would never under any circumstance root for Alabama. I would never root for Ohio State. Ever. Even for the sake of the Big Ten.

I'd rather the SEC win the next 10 national titles than root for Ohio State to win one.


August 30th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

I disagree with your opinion now based on how the national championship is set up but have a feeling I will agree more when playoffs are established.

Right now conference reputation is paramount in getting into the national championship. When there are four and potentially eight bids in a playoff setting conference reputation won't be as important.

I believe long term Michigan is better served by being in a strong, well respected conference. Also, I became a fan in 2006 when the SEC started this run so my dislike of that conference is right around my dislike for Ohio and MSU.

What the other poster said above whatever serves Michigan the best is what I will hope for. Last year's regular season Big Ten championship race was the perfect example.


August 30th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

I wish I could agree, but I think that the new 4 team playoff selection process makes this worse for us.

We have two big enemies in the 4 team playoff selection process:  A second SEC team, and Notre Dame.

Because of the perception of conference strength, the SEC will be a constant danger to occupy two of the four playoff slots.  That only leaves 2 slots for the other conferences.  Who will get bumped out?  Any conference with a "weak" reputation.  One needs to look no further than last year.  Wisconsin would have been bumped out in favor of 2 SEC schools, a Big 12 school, and a Pac12 school.

The other big enemy in this process is Notre Dame.   Because of the media's infatuation with Notre Dame, any undefeated or one-loss Notre Dame team will automatically occupy one of the slots.  "Return to Glory" and all that.  Guess who they are most likely to knock out if it's a toss-up with other candidates?  A Big Ten team.  Notre Dame is seen as a de-facto Big Ten team, and will be considered to represent the midwest well enough.  If the Big ten is percieved as weak, this makes it even worse.

For these reasons, we need to be constantly concerned with the perception of the strength of the Big Ten, as well as our own won-loss record.



August 30th, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

If in your scenario ND had 1 loss and it was to Michigan, and Michigan had 1 loss but it was to a B1G power, not a fluff loss, but still got the Conference Championship, do you still think 11-1 ND would get in over 12-1 UM?

If it was a 4-team playoff and ND did get in over UM in that scenario, you can bet that Delany & Co would be pushing to expand to 8 teams as soon as possible.

I'd like to think that an unbiased selection committee would see the head to head loss to Michigan and put us in the playoff over ND, but maybe I'm being naive.


August 30th, 2012 at 3:45 PM ^

I . . . I . . . I wish I had more confidence in rationale and logic when it comes to CFB.  

If ND had only 1 loss and it was to us, then that means that they beat USC.  If our 1 loss was to a mid-pack B1G team, I could easily see them trying to justify seven ways to Sunday putting ND in there over us.  They'll do everything they can to pick ND.  Notre Dame is our biggest enemy in this whole process.


August 30th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

I was thinking that the 1 loss that would still get us in would be in a year where we played OSU or Wisconsin twice, lost the during the season one but won the title game rematch, not a loss to an Iowa-level team.  But yeah, I think in a year where ND beats USC, unless it's a sanctions year for USC and they go 6-6, I do fear that you'd be right.  Hopefully if this awful scenario ever comes to pass, the resulting outrage would get the playoff expanded to 6 or 8 teams instead of 4.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:46 AM ^

It's . . . complicated. I can see many Auburn fans rooting for Michigan. The problem is the insufferable jerkitude of Alabama fans, especially since their recent success.

If almost any other team in the SEC was playing, it probably would be easier for SEC partisans to root for them. Tennessee has been down a bit, and Fulmer is long gone. Miles is half crazy, but he isn't Saban, and it would be easier to root for LSU than Bama. The rest of the teams are down enough that you could root for them.

Rooting for Ohio and MSU? Very hard to do. But if Ohio was playing Bama, I'd root for Ohio. And I think it will be better for Michigan to beat MSU if MSU is undefeated, so I would be fine with them beating Boise.


August 30th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

My wife, who is Auburn, has been putting up my Michigan shit since we got home with the baby.  So there's one for Michigan.  Of course, I'm contractually obligated to root for Auburn as well.



August 30th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

I don't necessarily root for B1G Ten schools, at least not blindly for Ohio State.  That's ridiculous.  I don't care about the B1G reputation, I care about Michigan and its reputation.  When Penn State played 'Bama, sure... no question.  Not Ohio State though.

At any rate, i have one Auburn friend who I know will be rooting for Michigan. 


August 30th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

If I were an Auburn fan.  With OSU, I always smile when they lose.  If they win, I shrug it off and say it just makes it look better when we beat them, but my preference is that they don't win.  The one exception to this is bowl games, because I'm so so so sick of announcers talking about the B1G bowl record, while never ever ever mentioning that Big 10 schools travel at least a thousand miles while their opponents often never leave their home state.  So in that case, Ohio can please win their bowl game.


August 30th, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

 What you're seeing in the SeC is , for example if Michigan and Ohio won 3-4 NCG and most of the Indiana, Minnesotta , Purdue and Penn state fans started claiming it's because the B1G is so good that's why they are terrible to mediocre.


August 30th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

Been living down here in Auburn for 5 years now and have been exposed to some of the most die hard Auburn/SEC fans known to man.  Whenever I wear Michigan gear, I always encounter someone who has generaly good/competitive things to say about Michigan and the B1G.  All that being said, EVERYONE I know down here has said that they are all Michigan fans this weekend.  I even had my boss tell me today that he would be more than happy to sport a Michigan t-shirt this weekend in support of Michigan "laying the smack down on Alabama."


I also bike to work every day while wearing a Michigan t-shirt.  The route I take has me cutting directly through the heart of Auburn's campus at some of the busiest times of the day.  All this week I have been hearing a lot of students yelling GO BLUE as I bike by.  I think it is safe to say that Auburn is fully supporting Michigan this weekend!


August 30th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Of course you root for Ohio in non-confsrence games...you're a smart guy with a good education and you know what's best for Michigan. I doubt Auburn can check their emotions at the gate though.


August 30th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

A large majority of Auburn fans will be rooting for Michigan...at least privately.  I work with a guy who went to Auburn and he's been saying stuff like "Can't wait for you to beat Alabama" for about a year.