College football is known for producing wildly passionate, invested fans and, as a result, the sport also creates a lot of turmoil and negativity when things don’t go well on the field. With that in mind, Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports unveiled a list of the five most tortured fan bases in the country and it is sure to make waves. Before the names are revealed, criteria was important for such a specific list and he provided the following:
The biggest thing for me was that you’re a fan of a team that has some success, but only so much to make you crave more, and it never quite comes. Like, if you’re a fan of a team that’s awful year in and year out, you become a bit numb to it over time. But if you’re a fan of a team that just can’t get over the hump, the wound stays real.
Beyond that, the list contains the notion that the fan base is focused on football beyond all else (i.e. not at a basketball school) and, of course, that it has to be a “fan base that cares” about results at a high level. With that out of the way, two SEC programs were given the “honor” of being No. 1 and No. 2 on the list, with Texas A&M playing runner-up to the Georgia Bulldogs.
Here is what Fornelli said about Georgia in the top spot:
Being a Georgia fan encompasses everything I was looking for in a tortured fan base. There was a national title, but it came 37 years ago in 1980. There’s been success on the football field since then, but not too much. There were two SEC titles in 2002 and 2005, and seven SEC East crowns, but that’s as far as it goes. Georgia is the perfect example of a team that’s never bad, but just never as good as it probably should be, and too good for fans to turn their backs. The only choice is torture, and this fanbase keeps coming back for more.
Fans of the Bulldogs are undoubtedly nodding along with Fornelli’s assessment, even if it stings to know that their program is this embattled. That places a great deal of pressure on Kirby Smart moving forward because everyone knows that Georgia has the resources and recruiting base to turn the corner as a potential top-five program in the nation.
As for A&M, who hasn’t won a national championship in more than 75 years, and the other schools on the list, everyone is competing for second place. At least for now.