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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Anatomy of a Backup Team

This time of year, as bowl hopes and dreams are made or destroyed, let's turn to a topic I think most college football fans can identify with. This is the concept of having a 'backup team' to root for when all hope is lost for your main, or primary, rooting interest.

I think most true college football fans-those of us who appreciate and love the sport as a whole-also have a backup or secondary team that they pull for. This is a team that you want to see win whenever possible. There's a ton of teams in college football, and its fun to have a rooting interest in more than one team on a particular college football Saturday.

Therefore, in honor of Iowa's victory of Penn State this past weekend, here are Patrick Williams' proposed rules for true backup teams:

1. It cannot be a team in the same conference as your primary team. You can't put yourself in the position to be compromised once a year when your primary and secondary teams play. Just don't do it.

2. You must have some connection with the backup team. Acceptable connections are:

(a) The pseudo-Alma Mater Rule. You personally attended that institution for some length of time (need not be a graduate). See e.g., JimmyG and Oklahoma.

(b) the Family Alma Mater Rule. An immediate family member (mother, father, sibling, child) is a graduate. Nothing more extended is allowed. See, e.g., Tom Logan and Florida, but also see violation of same conference as primary team rule.

(c) The Alma Mater state. Your backup school is the main (or one of the main) D-IA schools in the state in which you were born/currently reside. See, e.g., Patrick Williams and Iowa.

(d) The Game Attendance Rule (questionable). You attended, in person, a non-bowl game upon the campus of the backup institution and had a fan-frickin'-tastic time. This must be proven by written testimony and cool pictures, preferably supported by blood alcohol level reports taken at or immediately after gametime.

(e) The Hate Rule (also questionable). Your backup school may be the main rival of a school you hate.

3. Other connections will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but the following are NEVER acceptable under any circumstances:

(a) backup team based upon coolness of uniform;

(b) backup team based upon how good/awesome/buttkicking they have been historically or recently;

(c) backup team based upon coaching personality. Coaches change, now more than ever. Where will you be when your coach leaves for a better job or is canned?

If you have listened to Razorpod, you'll know some of our backup teams. These are pretty clear:

Patrick Williams=Iowa
Tom Logan=Florida, but also see violation of the "team in same conference" rule
Johnny Fayetteville=???? Potentially T-Tech under 2.b. above
Buford Tannen=Notre Dame, but not sure if it qualifies under any of the rules above.

Guest Analysts:
Uncle Rico=????
Born Red=Arkansas, under the current resident rule (primary team=Nebraska)

Stat Boy=Tennessee, clear violation of same conference rule.

Give us your thoughts...something to pass the time during the off week!

Oh, and before I forget, suck it, PSU!


jimmyg said...

Stat Boy's secondary team is Arkansas not Tennessee, which still violates the same conference rule. What are the rules for someone like Stat Boy who got an undergraduate degree at Tennessee along with post-graduate degrees at Arkansas and Florida?

Born Red said...

I think you're allowed to have your backup team be any school if you actually have a degree from said institution, even if it violates the other rules. So Stat Boy can have Arkansas as his backup team. To his credit, he would cheer for Tennessee over Arkansas every time.

Patrick Williams said...

So, you are saying the self Alma Mater rule trumps everything? This could get messy. Does Stat Boy pull for Tennessee in the annual Gator matchup? I always get confused.

jimmyg said...

Undergrad school normally trumps post-grad school(s). However, the individual has the right to choose which school is his primary and which is his secondary. After making the choice, there can be no switch.