Texas A&M beat UCLA on the gridiron Saturday, but one writer for the Daily Bruin, UCLA's student paper, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Sports editor TuAnh Dam wrote about her trip to College Station, and had only praise for the gameday experience at Texas A&M's Kyle Field. UCLA's, she says, does not stack up.
From firing their cannon, known as The Spirit of ’02, after each football score to swaying in unison to the Aggie War Hymn, Saturday’s home-opener put Texas A&M’s traditions on display.
The Midnight Yell brings together students to rehearse cheers and chants the night before a home game. Last year’s home-opener Yell brought in 5,000 more people than Texas Christian University and Baylor University did for their home games.
Unlike Westwood, the pride and spirit from the Aggie faithful seeps into College Station and the local businesses.
It is this difference, Dam argues, that portends the gap that still exists between the SEC and the Pac-12 where on-field success is concerned.
Both the Pac-12 and the SEC declare themselves the toughest conference in America.
But the fierceness and passion of the conference spearheaded by defending national champion Alabama, who manhandled USC 52-6 Saturday night, are beyond what the top tier Pac-12 schools can offer.
The Pac-12 lost both games to the SEC this weekend – one a thumping, the other a nail-biter.
But the difference was clear.
The SEC teams and fans are not an easy thing to deal with.
It wasn't a banner weekend for the SEC as a whole. The conference went 7-7 in Week 1 (which included a division win for South Carolina over Vanderbilt), and had a number of close calls in other games against Group of Five opponents, like Tennessee vs. Appalachian State and Arkansas vs. Louisiana Tech. However, until further notice, it is hard to argue against the SEC as college football's top conference. The traditions and fan support may be just as responsible for that reputation as the teams' recent dominance on the gridiron.