In just a few days the NCAA kicks off another season of college football, and as always there some great storylines
Phew. Now that I’m all settled in here at The Florida State University, I can finally sit down and vent about the coming football season. You know, the one that you’ve been dying for ever since the Celtics blew out the Lakers, ending an old school NBA championship. Sure, baseball’s fun, but let’s be honest, shall we: no matter how important a baseball game is, sometimes the season is just so long that it doesn’t matter that much some days. Never the case in football, especially in college, where one loss makes or breaks a championship dream (okay two), and three or four get a good coach canned.
Of course like the national landscape, the college football landscape is littered with different variations of expectations. At Miami they expect a bowl game (at the very least) and a national championship contender ever few years. Just down the street at FIU, they’d like two wins. And hey, we can’t all have our school be USC, which has owned this decade, going to a prominent bowl game year after year.
The best thing the Seminoles have going for them? They’re on the verge of finally ushering in a new era. Of course, seemingly a third of their team is suspended for their opener against Western Carolina, and every day it becomes more clear that Bobby Bowden isn’t a person, merely a robot. So, FSU has gone from title dreams, to dreams of winning eight, maybe nine. It’s quite a fall from their 22 year grace period where they were ranked in the top 25 preseason every year since 1986. That folks is a long time!
Anyhow, in Tempe the Sun Devils are poised to overcome the afforementioned USC Trojans for Pac 10 supremacy, but face a daunting task of beating them first. And it will be a test just to outnumber Georgia fans when they make the trip to Sun Devil Stadium for an early season showcase of East versus West. Having been to Athens, I can tell you they’re crazy about their football, and they show up on bunches, no matter where the game is played. Being ranked number one in the country in the pre-season for the first time is a big deal there, but fans of the Dawgs want Moreno and some other key guys to come through so that the number one ranking next to that UGA moniker isn’t short stayed.
In West Virginia fans still want to tear off Rich Rodriguez’s head off, and are still curious if their new head boss Bill Stewart can keep them a top notch program. The ACC has been hearing how bad it will be this year, and when Clemson, the notoriously underachiving Tigers, headline as the top team, you know that’s not good. But Virginia Tech seems to be good every year, and Miami is looking to bounce back, as well as Wake Forest, which brings back a pretty good team in 2008.
In the Big 12 the question is if Missouri and Kansas were one year wonders or the new power kids on the block. Chase Daniel and that little quarterback that could from the Jayhawks, Todd Reesing will attempt to deliver on the hype machine that has circled the respective schools. But Oklahoma is always good, and this year they may be good enough to win it all. I thought they were a top two program last year until West Virginia beat the snot out of them in a stunning Fiesta Bowl rout.
The Buckeyes go for a three-peat this year. No, Ohio State hasn’t won a title in it’s two consecutive BCS Championship game appearances, but expectations are high in Cement City that the O can make it back. If they make it again and get pounded again… well, I don’t want to pop a blood vessel, moving on.
Florida should be good in the SEC, but the question will be Tim Tebow. I may be one of the few doubters who think his style of play is going to ruin their season when he goes down with a season ending injury. The guy is amazing, but he plays football like Dwyane Wade plays basketball: reckless, and that is going to get him hurt eventually.
As for the Big East? The Bulls of USF are ranked for the first time, and are astonishingly the second best team in Florida. O how the mighty have fallen. At 19th, they actually have a chance, to get in the top 10 with four or five wins to start the year, and after last season, who’s to doubt them? West Virginia, well as long as Pat White is there (doesn’t it feel like he’s been there for like 10 years?) they have a chance.
As for the little guy: the mid majors, well, this much we know. Hawaii got taken to the promised land by June Jones, and then got blasted out of Louisiana by a superior Bulldogs team, and then Jones bolted the school for SMU. Hawaii, it’s safe to say, probably wished they didn’t have Florida first up on their schedule if they could do things again. BYU is getting a lot of hype, and they’ve been christened this year’s BCS burster. I’m getting kind of annoyed by that. Don’t people realize that mid majors are getting a team into the BCS every year for the last two years. Boise State, Hawaii, so someone is going to get in this year.
This much also seems true: it’s highly unlikely a team will walk into the championship game with two losses and win it all. That said, I’d be shocked, make it amazed if their isn’t a BCS controversy. It raises our blood pressure, it pisses us off, but heck, it gives us great stuff to talk about.
So that’s it. That’s what you need to know. Moreno is going to win the Heisman, Georgia is going to lose at least one game, and Florida State will eventually pick a starting quarterback. You know what they say about quarterbacks though: when you have three guys vying for the starting job, you really have none.
Maybe that’s why I’m not all that excited for the Seminoles as I was in year’s past. O well, they have seven home games this year, and one in Jacksonville so I’ll be seeing a lot of them. That is, if they don’t get suspended!
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