When it comes to Saturdays in the fall, no fans wear emotions on their sleeves quite like those in the SEC.
Whether it’s a cupcake non-conference contest or a deep-rooted rivalry game, they love to embrace their SEC loyalty. And if there’s anything every other major conference has in common, it’s a distaste for the SEC. But some folks take their feelings to another level and become identified as ringleaders of SEC hatred.
Here’s a look at the top five villains when it comes to the SEC.
5. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher
Naturally, Fisher will have some ill will toward the SEC with the Seminoles always drawing comparisons to the conference, but Florida’s revival to relevance in Gators coach Jim McElwain’s first year will only get that rivalry more heated.
Florida State is among the favorites to win the national title in 2016, but the Gators aren’t the only SEC team the Seminoles have to get through to achieve their dreams. Florida State battles Ole Miss in Orlando, Fla., in its season opener on Sept. 5, so if there’s ever a year for Fisher and the Seminoles to have the SEC in their crosshairs, it’s this one.
4. FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd
Cowherd has never been one to shy away from hot takes in the radio booth or on social media, and it’s no surprise that the SEC has been on the bad end of multiple shots from the FOX Sports radio host.
There’s no better way to illustrate Cowherd’s hate for the SEC than when he left Alabama out of his projected four-team College Football Playoff last November.
“The SEC is living totally off reputation,” Cowherd said during a lengthy rant against the conference.
When your reputation consists of winning eight of the last 10 national championships, that ought to be good for something.
3. Oklahoma president David Boren
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if Boren has a bigger dislike for the SEC or his own conference, but there’s certainly some bad feelings when it comes to Boren and the SEC.
Maybe it all stems from the missed opportunity the Sooners had to join the SEC when conference realignment was at the forefront of offseason conversation, or maybe it’s Oklahoma and coach Bob Stoops’ war of words against the conference over the past couple of seasons.
Regardless, it’s easy to see Boren wants out of the Big 12, and with the SEC dream maybe gone forever, there might be a jealousy factor at play.
2. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer
It’s hard to believe that Meyer isn’t at the top of this list, but the Buckeyes missing out on the College Football Playoff last season factors in here.
Still though, Meyer is at the top of the list when it comes to SEC haters, and his mistakes on the recruiting trail have certainly not allowed for any leniency from fans around the Southeast. Whether it was knocking Kentucky’s football program to a recruit’s face or not recognizing a committed player who was on campus for a visit, it hasn’t been the best offseason for Meyer’s reputation.
Through the fact that the Buckeyes and SEC will likely once again be a major topic of discussion when the Playoff talk heats up mid season, and it’s easy to see why Meyer remains near the top of this list.
1. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh
Although the on-field results haven’t warranted any displeasure as of yet (at least not to anyone outside of Gainesville, Fla.), no one has taken to irking the SEC quite like Harbaugh.
Whether it’s irritating coaches by taking a satellite camp tour through the SEC’s backyard or getting in feuds with fellow head coaches on Twitter, Harbaugh has won the college football offseason, and he’s become public enemy No. 1 for the SEC.
It will be interesting to see what else Harbaugh has up his sleeve when the satellite camp story fades from the spotlight, but what will really spice this on-going battle is a big game between the Wolverines and the SEC’s elite.