Joe Medley commentary: State pride makes return to Pasadena...or it should

December 31, 2013 

PASADENA, Calif. -- Greetings from where the state of Alabama's run of Bowl Championship Series titles began and where the BCS will end.

The sun is bright, temperatures reach into the 70s and these palm trees look out into the Pacific Ocean, a continent away from where Alabama kept the state's BCS streak going a year ago.

Auburn landed here Tuesday, carrying the proverbial yellowhammer torch and the state's chance for a fifth consecutive BCS title before major college football switches to a four-team playoff next season.

Events began with Tuesday's welcome press conference at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disneyland. They end in No. 2 Auburn's clash with top-ranked Florida State on Monday, so, what about it, state of Alabama?

Who's stoked about the chance to say our state won the final five BCS titles?

We hear the roar from the Auburn crowd. Still waiting on the Alabama crowd.

What, no state pride?

OK, how about SEC pride? The league can make it eight BCS titles in a row, so SEC! SEC! SEC!?

No?

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron says he's pulling for Auburn. He's led Alabama to two of these BCS titles, and Tide fans blew a gale-force wind behind his Heisman Trophy candidacy, but no go on this?

We know. Lots of Auburn fans became Notre Dame fans a year ago, LSU fans two years ago and Texas fans four years ago.

In 2010, Alabama fans suddenly took a liking to Oregon green and neon yellow -- or whatever colors Oregon might wear in a given game.

We saw the temporary Facebook profile pics and T-shirts. There were times since 2010 when it was funny to think about Auburn fans asking to borrow Oregon shirts from Alabama-fan friends.

There are those whose state and SEC pride end at rivalry pride. They tend to be loudest about being proudest, and they've helped to define SEC Country character.

Like it or not, we're known for loving a good hatred. There's all sort of media around to keep one fanned.

But the more reasonable folks among us, those most likely to be graduates of either school, can most appreciate the state of Alabama's special run in the sport that matters most to Alabamians.

There's the chance to add 2013 Auburn to 2012 Alabama, 2011 Alabama, 2010 Auburn and 2009 Alabama.

There's the chance for the state of Alabama to plant its championship flags from Pasadena, to Phoenix, to New Orleans, to Miami and back to Pasadena, a place that rarely sees SEC teams.

In the span of five football seasons, our state can go from no BCS titles to winning the last five.

The state of Alabama can pass talent-rich Florida, where Florida State, Miami and Florida have won a combined four BCS titles.

Our state can go unbeaten in BCS finals. Florida teams lost three.

These are special times in our state's colorful and glorious college football history. There might never be another span like it.

Why wouldn't all Alabamians want this run to be as great as it could be?

Why wouldn't all Alabamians have wanted that all along, and what will it take to bring some to perspective … Nick Saban getting his nails painted orange and blue?

-- Sports columnist Joe Medley: jmedley@annistonstar.com. On Twitter@jmedley_star.

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