Each Sunday, Peyton Alsobrook, a 19-year-old freshman at Auburn University, gets together with his Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers to compare notes on the women they take on dates to Saturday football games.
Those who seem bored are eliminated from further consideration, he says, along with any who might talk too much during a close game "because they're from up North or something." As the all-important Alabama game approaches, Mr. Alsobrook says he's narrowed his list of potential dates to four. The winner, he says, will get a coveted ticket to the big game and, beyond that, special treatment that might include candy or even "actual flowers."
As the Southeastern Conference solidifies its place as the most prestigious in college football—it has produced the last three national champions—the profile of its games and the growing scarcity of tickets have taken a toll on some of the most genteel (some might say antiquated) traditions of college football in the deep South. The University of Mississippi has already banned the waving of confederate flags, replaced a mascot that reminds some of a plantation owner and this week told its marching band to stop playing a song that ends with the words "the South will rise again."
Some might, indeed say that waving of confederate flags, replaced a mascot that reminds some of a plantation owner and this week told its marching band to stop playing a song that ends with the words "the South will rise again" is antiquated; I know I do.