After going to my first Alabama football game 2 weeks ago, I have noticed that everything that I 'thought' was college football was completely different than SEC college football. You see, I went to a Big 10 school where we still have a football team but it's extremely difficult to fill up the stadium. I mean we have no problem with it in the beginning of the game, but after half time and after the famous Illinois 3 in 1, everyone leaves. Mostly because their buzz has worn off from tailgating beforehand or we just suck so much that game has gotten boring.
While I was at the game, I couldn't help but flashback to my four years of Illini football games and compare to how that one Alabama game is, and just how Big 10 and SEC are completely different from one another. Basically the only comparison is football and I wouldn't even classify how the Illini play as football. We're more of a basketball school and better at sports that aren't really publicized.
So now, I give you all of their differences and maybe we'll come up with a similarity or two.
1. Gameday Attire
Obviously the clothing that all of the fan wears is different in the Big 10 and SEC. That's basically common knowledge. Except to probably my mom when I told her I needed a dress for the Alabama game and all she said "why can't you just wear a regular t-shirt?" Because I can't mom! Jeez!
In the Big 10, everyone wheres T-shirts or tanktops, basically whatever has the team name on it. If your in a sorority or fraternity, you tend to where the clothes you designed up for your football block (which what we call is tailgating with each other at a bar before the games). Even people sometimes where those pinstriped overalls that in the school colors. Nobody ever wheres dresses, polos, button downs, bow-ties, nothing of the dressy kind.
In the SEC, everyone is wearing dressier clothes. Some do where t-shirts or girls wear jerseys as dresses (which is hideous in very 1980). But you will see a great majority of people wearing classy looking clothes that you would wear on a date or something, and I love it! It seriously made my heart so happy to see it.
2. The Team
Safe to say the teams are better than in the SEC than they are in the BIG 10. Granted, if the Big 10 teams are going against each other you can pick apart the better teams from the ones who don't even stand a chance, like Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. They are the better teams of the Big 10. But if you were to have them go up against a great majority of the teams in the SEC, you might think twice about they kind of team they actually are. Not that I'm bashing on those teams or anything, but you can't deny the type of competition and the playing that goes on in the SEC teams rather than the Big 10.
Better teams means better energy right? That's how I see it. If the team isn't that great, then the game turns boring which in then turns for extreme low energy in the stadium. The fans get bored, they know it's going to be a blowout, and then they take their attention else where like to where the nearest bar is. Basically I'm talking about every Illini game I've been to. I know that I always left at half time for majority of the games because they were losing so badly and I got bored. At the Alabama game, the energy was high because the game was better. It goes hand in hand as far as I'm concerned.
I only have this based on what I see on TV and such, but I'm sure SEC tailgating is wild. The food, the atmosphere, etc. Big 10 tailgating is great and everything, but from what I've hear it's not quite up to the same caliber. We'll put that to the test on September 20th in Tuscaloosa!
Only reason I'm comparing the two of these is this: the public presence of them during tailgating, drinking, and the games. At Illinois, we wouldn't publicly announce what sorority we were in if we were tailgating or at football block in a bar. We were only allowed to display the fraternity's letters that we were paired with. In the SEC however, you see everyone wearing buttons that says "Sorority loves Team." Which is cool if that's normal in SEC schools to do that, but maybe because I was taught that we weren't allowed to at my school that you should be presenting yourself and your sorority in a positive light. Some of the girls I saw were extremely classy, how they dressed and how they acted, at the game. And then others were just a complete mess and made me shake my head. Like, come on girls, I know you know better than that. Maybe others have a different opinion that I do about it, but that's just how I think. But I digress.
6. Fan base
It's no secret that SEC fan base is die hard. No matter what the team. Big 10 has their die hard fans as well, but just not the same as die hard SEC fans are. There's really no explanation for this one because it's kinda obvious.
Well there you have it. BIG 10 vs. SEC. When you think about their really is no similarities between the two of them. College football is the only one. But, College football is such a magical time of the fall. I gotta say, I'm glad that I can still go to college games even after graduating! Next experience for me: Alabama vs. Florida.