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SEC Football Traditions

In the world of college football, there is nothing quite like SEC football traditions.

College football would not be what it is today if not for years of traditions. Without traditions, football would just be a game, and college football would just be another distraction from class.

But instead, generations of people that harbor great love for their school, and the game of football, have established rich traditions so deep that it is difficult to look around a college football stadium and not see numerous legends, myths and traditions.

In its early history, sports writers began to refer to the University of Alabama's football team as "The Thin Red Line". Before that, the team was simply listed as "varsity" when mentioned in newspapers, or occasionally "Crimson White" which referred to their team colors. "The Thin Red Line" stuck around for a number of years until a momentous game in 1906.

In 1907, the last Alabama-Auburn matchup until 1948, took place in Birmingham. Auburn was heavily favored to win against Alabama, and "The Thin Red Line" didn't seem to have a chance. Somehow they managed to fend off Auburn into a 6-6 tie, despite the sea of thick, red mud that surrounded them on the field that day. From that day forward, the Alabama football team was known as the Crimson Tide.

Read what one reader has to say (see Tim's comments close to the bottom of that page) about the Clay Travis book, Dixieland Delight (amazon link above) at Who's the Best -- It Does Matter.

In another particularly interesting matchup of teams, another tradition was born. Longtime rivals since 1901, the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University (LSU), upped the ante when the two became conference rivals in 1992 (the year Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The Golden Boot is a 24-carat gold statue in the shape of the two states. It stands at four feet tall, 200 pounds, and had been valued at over $10,000. Each year the schools play each other as the last game of the regular season. The winner takes home the boot and keeps it until the next year's game.

Not all traditions are rooted in rivalry. The University of Georgia found its mascot, the Bulldog, through close ties with another popular school with the same mascot. The first University President was a Yale graduate (Abraham Baldwin).

Many of the first buildings built on the Georgia campus were modeled after Yale buildings. Georgia and Yale often played against each other's football teams. Of course Yale was much better back then - check out Best All-Time NCAA College Football Program.

Atlanta Journal writer Moran Blake wrote in 1920 that "the Georgia Bulldogs would sound good because there is a certain dignity and ferocity associated with both."

Georgia's Bulldog mascot has come to be known as Uga, (i.e. University of GA) a white bulldog. Today's mascot, Uga is a direct descendant of the original Uga who joined the team at the Rose Bowl in 1943. Uga V was in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and has appeared on a famous Sports Illustrated Magazine cover.

Silver Britches are another Georgia tradition that date back to 1939. Then coach Wally Butts designed the striking uniform, pairing silver pants with red jerseys that made the team really stand out. [Read more about this era of Georgia football at Top All-Time SEC Offensive Football Player.] The Bulldogs wore the uniform until Coach Vince Dooley made the switch to white pants in 1964.

Fans watch 1930 Florida Gators Homecoming Game
Gator fans watch the 1930 homecoming game against Alabama. Thanks to Historic Photos of University of Florida Football for this picture.

You can buy the book and read about and see many similar photo's by clicking on this amazon.com ad:

Then, in 1980, Dooley changed the uniforms back to their original silver pants. Now, it could be a coincidence, or truth behind superstition, but the Bulldogs had their best season ever that year. The 1980 Georgia Bulldogs, sporting silver pants, went an undefeated 12-0 and were SEC Champions and National Champions. See Best All-Time SEC Football Team.

Some of the greatest traditions are those that take place before the game. America's favorite pregame pastime is tailgating, and no one does it quite like the University of South Carolina (USC) Gamecocks.

About fifteen years ago, a local couple decided they were tired of looking at the railroad tracks that sit just south of the USC football stadium. So, in 1990, they opened the Cockaboose Railroad that caters to the thousands of tailgaters that gather before each USC home game. Amenities such as running water, cable and air conditioning make tailgating better than ever. For the diehard fans unable to travel with the team, each Cockaboose is equipped with a closed circuit video feed of USC's away games.

Whether it is a pregame or postgame tradition; a fan custom; one done by players, students, fans or all of the above; traditions are the foundation of a great football program. Traditions pull people of all walks of life together and give them a common ground and bonds the hearts of players and fans. Without traditions, we'd just be watching a group of men chase a funny shaped ball. We probably wouldn't be watching at all. Because of traditions, when you watch a college football game, you're watching history.

Speaking of SEC football traditions, here's an entertaining Tennessee Tailgate Story. To read more about Southeastern Conference (SEC) Football rivalries, check out Best All-Time SEC Football Rivalry Games.

Learn more about Origins of SEC School Colors.

What do you think?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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south carolina football gameday traditions Not rated yet
as far as traditions go. ide like to point out that south carolina treats its sec games like a ball-room affair. i believe espn pointed out that the gamecocks …

No Ole Miss? Not rated yet
Is South Carolina on here instead of Ole Miss? Nothing, and I mean no tradition in college football can compare to tailgating in the grove! Leave it …

LSU IS THE BOMB Not rated yet

The Grove at Ole Miss is the Best! Not rated yet
What about the Grove at Ole Miss? Widely regarded by most as the best on-campus tailgating in the country.

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