A lot of SBNation sites enjoy their hate week articles. I've always found them to be a little silly. I love our rivals because without them, every day would be A-Day. This probably doesn't get said enough but LSU, Georgia, even Bama, I ain't Mad at Cha. Y'all have been responsible for some of the best moments of my life, how could I hate y'all?
So today, as we prepare for the game against our instate brethren, Jacksonville State, I declare a love fest. Here's five reasons I love Jacksonville State and you should too.
1) Despite Their Name, They Had the Good Sense to Not Be Located in Florida.
Jacksonville State is an instate team. Auburn plays I-AA teams (I refuse to call it FCS) regularly, but it's nice to write the large, tuneup game check to someone from Alabama.
On a serious note, the Tigers better not sleep on the Gamecocks. This is a squad that returns a lot of talent from a team that won the Ohio Valley. They opened the season ranked #7 and started the year by beating Chattanooga, a team ranked #8 in I-AA. They run the ball really well and could hang with the Tigers for a while before Auburn's depth and talent overwhelms them.
2) Jacksonville State Knows Music
Jack State has produced some remarkable musical talent. Randy Owen of the group Alabama is an alum and that makes them Close Enough to Perfect for Me:
If your taste runs to outlaw country, Jamey Johnson is also a Gamecock:
Their marching band, the Marching Southerners, is also really talented. Their signature song is Stars Fell on Alabama:
3) Jacksonville State Beat Ole Miss in 2010 and That's Still Hilarious!
The best part of the highlight reel is Lou Holtz saying "it wasn't a fluke." It wasn't. Go Gamecocks!
4) Jack State Gave Us The Best Miss America of All Time, Heather Whitestone.
For those of you who may not recall, Heather Whitestone lost her hearing at 18 months but grew up to be an exceptional ballerina and pageant contestant. She represented the state well during her reign as Miss America. One of the best stories of 1995.
5) Jack State Gave Us Rick and Bubba.
OK, I could only come up with four reasons to love Jacksonville State. I never said they were perfect.
Welcome to the Plains y'all and thanks for another opportunity to see the Tigers play!