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Should You Cheer For The SEC During Bowl Season?

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Kevin C. Cox

New Year's Eve marks the beginning of SEC Bowl Season when Vanderbilt takes on North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl (11:00 am CT kickoff). Nine SEC teams will take the field through the National Championship Game next Monday.

The debate happens each year: should you cheer for the conference brethren in their bowl games? The arguments are the same each year:

"No. You should never cheer for your rivals. These are the teams you recruit against every year and their positive momentum only helps them and hurts us."

"I spend so much time hating other SEC teams throughout the year, why should I cheer for them now?"

That's true, but I've always found the Yes arguments more persuasive.

"It's good for the SEC to be strong because it makes recruits want to play in the SEC, which is beneficial to a school like Arkansas who frequently recruits outside the traditional conference footprint."

"What happened to Auburn in 2004 is a slap to the face against the entire conference because that could have happened to any of us. It said beating 5 top 15 teams wasn't good enough to outrank teams with weaker schedules. Because the perception of the SEC has changed with the national title streak, there is virtually no chance any SEC team could go undefeated and left out of the national title game."

"The stronger the SEC is, the more money it commands from television contracts, which means more money for Arkansas."

"I'm a fan of Arkansas first, but I also love the entire conference. The traditions, the passion, the competition. Just better than everywhere else and bowls are a great way to celebrate that."

So what do you think?