Where Does SEC Pride End and Heated Rivalry Begin?

On Monday evening, South Carolina came up just short in the Gamecocks’ bid to claim a third straight national championship in baseball. This is, of course, nothing of which to be ashamed; by advancing to three consecutive College World Series finals, and winning two of them, the Garnet and Black confirmed their status as an elite baseball program and justified the substantial investment the school has made in the sport.

Frankly, I didn’t watch any of this year’s College World Series. If you will excuse the expression, I didn’t have a dog in that fight. Two years ago, I rooted against South Carolina in the College World Series finals because I didn’t want a third team joining Georgia and LSU in the exclusive club of SEC programs that had claimed NCAA titles on the diamond. Last year, I rooted for South Carolina in the final series in Omaha because I darned sure didn’t want Florida to become the fourth such school.

This year, I had no rooting interest. Had Arkansas, rather than South Carolina, advanced to the finals (as the Razorbacks almost did), I’d have rooted against the Hogs for the same reason I cheered for the teams opposing the Gamecocks two years ago and the Gators last year. When a two-time defending national champion from our conference made the finals against a team from outside the SEC, however, I had no incentive to pull for either team. I am not sad that South Carolina lost, but I would not have been sad had the Garnet and Black won. The outcome of this year’s College World Series simply didn’t matter to me after (a) Georgia didn’t make the 64-team NCAA tournament field and (b) the last SEC team never to have won a national title in the sport was eliminated.

Clearly, though, Team Speed Kills author C&F feels differently, as evidenced by the tweet embedded above, and I am curious whether his view or mine is the prevailing perspective in Bulldog Nation.

Obviously, we root against our most despised rivals, which is why I celebrated the hated Gators’ elimination. When it comes to SEC teams toward whom we bear no ill will as long as they are playing someone other than the Diamond Dogs, though, where do you stand? At what point does league pride trump conference animosity, and vice versa? Let us know in the comments below, and vote in the attached poll.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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