This is an issue that arises every year in one form or another; as we begin 2015, the question is in regard to Florida State and who should want them to win the national championship.
Whether it’s “rooting for your conference” in the NCAA Tournament or “rooting for your conference” in bowl games, there seems to be this notion that fans of a team in a particular conference have to unite behind other teams in said conference.
Specifically, as the Florida State Seminoles take part in the semifinals of the inaugural College Football Playoff tonight, some would suggest that Boston College fans (as well as fans of all other ACC schools) are obligated to hope Florida State wins.
“How could you want your conference to lose?” they ask. “A-C-C, A-C-C,” they chant.
Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further: Here, we are not mere ACC fans. We are Boston College fans, and our allegiance is to the school located at 140 Commonwealth Avenue in zip code 02467. Any college sports loyalty existing beyond that is the personal desire of the individual, independent of Eagles fandom.
Fans of a particular school are not required to support another school because they play in the same league. Therefore, Boston College fans or those of rival ACC universities have no necessary duty to support Florida State in their quest to win consecutive national championships.
In fact, there are probably enough ACC fans who want to be done with Florida State and the whole Jameis Winston headache.
Yankees fans do not root for the Red Sox in the playoffs because of any notion of American League East pride. College sports are different from professional sports in that regard, but why is less clear, at least to me. Yet, I am certain that Boston College fans would not rally behind Boston University in the Frozen Four, and vice versa. “Hockey East loyalty” does not appear to exist, and “ACC loyalty” probably does not exist between schools like Duke and North Carolina.
But those opposed will say that Florida State winning makes us look better because we are associated with them. For the worst among us — say, Wake Forest — it’s like if a group of fourteen people walk into a bar and you happen to be the hideous one. Yet, you’re hanging out with a hottie like the Seminoles and somehow this is supposed to improve your standing.
It’s a reach, just like fans of other ACC schools claiming any credit or slice of success generated by one particular member.
Boston College Eagles
A Florida State championship would be a Florida State championship, not an ACC championship and certainly not a Boston College championship. Whether or not the Seminoles win tonight and/or in the finals will alter nothing when it comes to us in Chestnut Hill, and Florida State fans themselves probably do not care if we join them in solidarity or not.
At the end of the day, none of it matters, as your preferences will have zero impact on the outcome of the game.
Boston College fans are free to support the Seminoles if they so choose, as are fans of other ACC colleges, but that is their own choice. The notion of “conference pride” is a bit overstated, and nobody ever has to hope a team wins because they have the same commissioner.
In that case, sorry Mr. Swofford, but quack quack, go Ducks.