Below the Mason-Dixon line, three things are certainties in life. Faith, love for country, and our deep and unwavering love for our college football programs. Sometimes that order changes, yet, for generations, it has stayed the same. Folks from other parts of the country tend to look down on the South because of our lifestyle and the core values that bring us together. Down here, it’s not uncommon for people to plan their whole life around their football programs and the church schedule on Sunday. It’s a life that isn’t for everyone, but for the millions below the Mason-Dixon, it works. For us, it’s a way of life.
Each week we see the evidence of these loves as millions of southerners gather together in stadiums across the Southeast to cheer on schools that represent us. Saturday night was no different. Many southern schools had special military appreciation ceremonies that honored Veterans Day. After witnessing many of those came the light in my head to talk about the core values that separate southern college football from college football in other parts of the country.
Let me preference this by saying college football is a unique game that brings people from all across the country as one. Each region is different, and each has its version of college football that they swear is the best.
Yet, there’s something different about football below the Mason-Dixon line. Down here, our love for this game dates back two hundred years. We’re a proud region of America that has faced adversity for generations. Our saving grace comes in the three F’s; Faith, Family, and Football. Without those, the South would not be the South. Our way of life isn’t for everyone, and we understand. Yet, contrary to outside chatter, we will welcome outsiders with open arms who decide to give our values a try. Again, our core values here aren’t the most popular, but it’s the reason football below the Mason-Dixon line means more.
We have names like Dooley, Bryant, Neyland, Shug, Munson, and Ward that still echo through households across the region. We have the championships that many long to have. It doesn’t matter where you’re from because our values make us one family. We might hate each other when we play each other, but when it comes to postseason play, all that matters is representing the Southeast in the best manner possible. A tradition dating back to the 1926 Rose Bowl game when the Alabama Crimson Tide traveled to Pasadena, California, where they defeated Washington in a game that many deemed ” Changed The South.”
Stealing the slogan from the Southeastern Conference, ” It Just Means More,” describes to perfection what college football means to the Southeast. As we inch closer to the College Football Playoffs, keep in mind that the Southeastern Conference will likely find a way to bring home another National Championship to the Southeast.