Growing up in Buffalo, NY, college football was not as big of a deal as Pro Hockey and Pro Football. In the 1980s, The Miami Hurricanes were a bitter rival to Notre Dame so they were always on the bottom of my list, since I was more of a Fighting Irish fan back then. Syracuse was my #2 team, since they were the only team closest to Buffalo, NY that made any impact in the NCAA.
During my 4 years in San Diego, Marshall Faulk was the super hero at San Diego State, and I quickly started to like their program. The team hasn’t had much luck afterwards, but I still support them when they play. The Syracuse Orangmen were doing good as well, not only in football, but in basketball.
I’ve lived in Florida for 12 years from 1993 to 2005 and I never had any loyalty towards Florida college teams prior to moving there. I attended South Florida for college, so their new football program in the late 1990s became my obvious choice to be a fan of. The one thing I thought was interesting was how much more popular college football was compared to pro football. There was a lot more excitement throughout the state when the Gators and the Noles played each other. The pro teams in Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville had very little rivalry with their match ups. As a native from Buffalo, we also had a destain for the Dolphins, but nothing in-state for Florida. My pastors in Brooksville, Florida, David and Nellie Garcia, were converts to Florida teams when they moved to there. Pastor David supported the Gators and Pastor Nellie was a ‘Noles fan. It was always fun watching them go against each others team when they would play each other.
As I watch the game between Florida ST and Auburn, I’m not as excited to watch it as I might have been, watching it in Florida or Alabama. Do I have a favorite? No, but since our new QB in Buffalo, EJ Manuel, is from Florida St, I guess I will support the Noles. The media seemed to talk more about “Johnny Football” all season and really didn’t build up this kind of matchup. I think the fact that the SEC conference has been so dominant in the BCS as of late, that this seems to be a good game to watch. Frankly, I was more interested in Clemson winning their bowl game and the San Diego St/Buffalo Bulls game this season.
The bottom line here is that, I wish the Noles the best, but if Auburn wins, then Emmitt Smith would be happy. Either way, none of my teams are in this season.