Welcome, new initiates, one and all. This is the Southeastern Conference, and we’re stoked to have you.

At least, we’re stoked to consider you. We can’t let in everybody, obviously. With the fall season about to kick off, schools are rushing to find the houses that will give them the best chance to form lifelong friendships, make priceless memories, and absolutely tear up the party scene.

For college football, there’s no more elite fraternity than the SEC. Other conferences want to be us. Schools want to be in us. But before we can get to the fun stuff, there are a few things you should know about what it takes to be a part of this venerated brotherhood.

Take notes and try to keep up, frosh — SEC speed means this orientation isn’t slowing down for anybody.

Earning a lot of money by paying a lot of money because you already had a lot of money

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Joining a frat is super expensive. After all, saying “peace out” to your current conference could mean buying out a TV contract worth millions of dollars. However, I promise you won’t remember that when you’re raking in even more cash here in the SEC.

Your network is your net worth, and the SEC gets broadcast by all the big ones. That’s branding. That’s synergy. Think of what that sort of exposure can do for the little guys in need of a big break. You know, folks like Oklahoma and Texas.

It’s a simple fact — frats get you paid down the line. Now, one might argue that’s because people who can afford to join frats in the first place are clearly already in a financially advantageous position, thus influencing their future monetary success far more than membership in a Greek house. I don’t know. Kinda tastes like an ice-cold bottle of Haterade to me.

Your letters simply make you better than everyone else

You’ve probably noticed there are a lot of letters on your uniforms. Right off the bat, you can definitely forget the ones on the back of the jersey. Those don’t mean anything to the NCAA.

The ones on your helmet are pretty important, but even they don’t matter as much as the three on the patch stitched to your chest. The SEC is a brand. It’s an honor that distinguishes us from second-rate conferences like the Sun Belt or the ACC.

So long as you wear that patch, it doesn’t matter if you’re actually any good. Have you seen a MAC team play a C-tier SEC squad in a bowl game? You’d think they were in the Super Bowl.

SEC schools strive for greatness in everything they do, and that means dominance on and off the field.

Just to clarify, “off the field” refers to the sidelines, the locker room, or maybe one of the practice fields. I don’t want you to go around thinking I meant the classroom or anything.

Every weekend is a huge party

No other conference’s tailgating atmosphere compares to what the SEC offers. Weekdays in Baton Rouge might as well be called Pregame Days One through Five.

Imagine Project X meets Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. It’s all the rowdiness of Zac Efron’s Neighbors crossed with the cuisine and drawl of a former butter-loving Food Network personality we don’t talk about anymore.

The on-field product is even more electric. Every week, teams duke it out like a pair of sweaty undergrads in the front lawn at 2 a.m.

The only downside is waking up the next morning. You really don’t want to be Florida cornerback Marco Wilson after chucking his cleat 25 yards or Ole Miss wideout Elijah Moore after his impeccable impersonation of a well-hydrated Labrador.

SEC games are the nights you only remember because there were a ton of cameras present. Whether it’s consecutive rounds of flip cup or getting creamed helmet-to-helmet by a blitzing safety, everyone at the stadium has their own special way of blacking out.

Listen to our SEC West Preview

A bunch of out-of-touch old guys trying to live vicariously through you

When it comes to courtship, don’t waste your charm on sorority sisters — you’ve got some crusty old men to woo. These are typically boosters or former players desperate to relive their youth in the hallowed brotherhood of the SEC.

“You kids should have been there,” they whistle through molar fillings that cost more than tuition at Vanderbilt. “Joe Namath? Now that’s a quarterback,”

I’ll admit, it’s uncomfortable listening to someone drone on about how name, image, and likeness legislation will ruin college football. Those are the kind of expired takes you get from people who grew up when half the country still believed Ole Miss’ mascots were the good guys.

These are painful conversations, but saying the right things could mean millions of dollars for you and your boys. Just be choosey when you accept a cushy post-graduate job at one of the boosters’ Wall Street offices. Mass insurance fraud and catastrophic bank failure will throw your vibes way off.

Representing your house at major end-of-year events

In college football, bowl season is basically a month-long Greek Week. Fraternities from all over campus gather for friendly competitions that pale in comparison to the previous months’ weekly all-out ragers.

You might think these contests are largely inconsequential and grotesquely over-sponsored, and you’d be absolutely correct. Still, this is the SEC we’re talking about. I don’t care if you’re in the Birmingham Bowl or a tug-of-war tournament; you’d better bring your “A” game.

Did you see Twitter when Oklahoma beat Florida by five touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl last year? That’s some seriously Pac-12 crap. Don’t embarrass us, man.

Other conferences love talking about the SEC failing nearly as much as the SEC loves talking about the SEC in general. Yeah, I don’t get it either. I mean, am I supposed to apologize for being dope as hell?

You want to know how many SEC teams went to the last 15 national championships? 16. In the last 15. I’m pretty sure we literally broke math, bro.

Getting hazed an unfortunate amount by Alabama

Woah, first of all, let’s cool it with the H-word. We prefer the term “team building via recreational dehumanization.” Aside from its extremely well-documented history of happening at fraternities, hazing barely happens at fraternities.

Furthermore, nothing unites us quite like shared trauma. Look at Tennessee and Kentucky in 2020. Despite their bitter rivalry, they’ll always be linked by collectively losing to Alabama by 91 points.

If you want to make it to the top of the SEC, you have to take a few paddlings from the Crimson Tide beforehand. OK, maybe a lot of paddlings. I’m sorry, but that’s the price you pay for a national championship victory immediately followed by a decade of mediocrity. Come on, suck it up and take it like a Tiger.

Besides, it’s not like Nick Saban can keep coaching forever. Don’t tell him I said that though. Like, seriously dude. I’m not playing around. Please.

Who did you just text right now?

 

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