Photo courtesy of Auburn athletics
There are a lot of things to like about bowl season. One of those things is laughing at the “Negative Nancy’s”.
This is even more the case with more players opting out, but fans often make the old, tired excuse when their team loses a bowl game that “they didn’t want to be there”. The earliest case that comes to mind was in 2008.
After Alabama lost to Florida in the SEC Championship in what served as a de facto national semifinal, the Crimson Tide were then defeated by undefeated Mountain West champion Utah in the Sugar Bowl.
All we heard after that game was that Alabama did not want to be there. Well, it’s bowl season again.
Here are the three fan bases most likely to use that excuse if their teams lose:
Bowl Game: Gasparilla vs. UCF
Florida fans are the defending champions in this category. After a 55-20 drubbing to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl last season, the excuses started pouring in.
“The majority of our great players sat out for the NFL Draft” or “the team just did not care after going the distance with No. 1 Alabama.” If the Gators lose to UCF, you can believe the excuses will come like crazy.
If UCF wins, it is going to run with the huge momentum of being the best team in the state. In Gainesville, they’ll hear how the players didn’t want to be there or blame it on an interim coach.
2. Oregon and Oklahoma
This one is pretty self-explanatory with both teams entering the bowl game with interim coaches. Their new hires won’t “start” on-the-field coaching until next season.
This can be explained in one meme. Maybe it won’t be an excuse session but a good cry instead.
Bowl Game: Birmingham Bowl vs. No. 21 Houston
Auburn fans should care about this bowl and if the Tigers win, they might. Major departures in the transfer portal, coaching staff changes, a heartbreaking loss to rival Alabama and a mediocre 6-6 season is the perfect recipe for fans to say the players didn’t want to be there.
It seems like most Auburn fans are moving on to 2022 instead of focusing on the Birmingham Bowl at the new and beautiful Protective Stadium in Uptown Birmingham. Remember last season when Northwestern piled on against Auburn in the Citrus Bowl?
Houston has the potential to do something similar. Hopefully, the players care to be there, but if Auburn loses, the fan will certainly say they didn’t.
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