The Southeastern Conference's football culture, created by its regional history, Southern pride and die-hard fans, has become legendary.
Here's what some experts have said about the SEC culture and what makes it different than anything else in college football:
CBS college football analyst Tim Brando, who was born in Louisiana and has covered the SEC for decades:
“I think people in the heartland — and I think this is also true in the Big 12; I'm not gonna leave out Texas and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and a lot of the schools in the heartland — I think a lot of the schools in the flyover states, in general terms, are less inclined to be about pro sports and more inclined to be identified by either where they went to school, or where they hoped to have gone to school when they were kids.
“I think they identify themselves as human beings by where they're from, or what the state school represents.”
Phillip Fulmer, who played at Tennessee from 1968-71 and won two SEC titles and a national title as its head coach between 1992 and 2008:
“The stadiums have gotten bigger, and you've got more really, really qualities coaches in this league right now. Maybe more than ever. The television and the dollars are bigger than they've ever been. The SEC television contracts put three or four big games a week out there. It is probably bigger than it's ever been, but it's also more exposed than it's ever been.”
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who spent the 2012 season as Texas A&M's offensive coordinator:
“I think at a place like Alabama — where there's not a professional team — that's religion to them. You watch the fans come out, and they're there all day long, rowdy and rocking. That's their passion. They're raised on it.
“It's fun to watch and it's great for the game.”
Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, quoted in the 2012 book, “How the SEC Became Goliath,” by Ray Glier: