(*Author’s note: in honor of college football starting, today is a rare DOUBLE POST OF DOOM DAY. It’s actually not that big of a deal, but keep your eyes peeled for “‘Twas the Night Before Kickoff: Redux” coming later today.)
The season is coming! The season is coming!
One if by land, two if by sea. . .and three if by HD mass media blitzkrieg that will soon crash against me like a blissful tsunami.
I can almost shut off my internal countdown mechanism for the next 5 months, almost pull the plug on the jackhammering metronome that every maniacal football fan has ticking and tocking in the nether regions of our vapid minds.
All August long, suffering hot flashes and football-withdrawal-induced waking comas, the countdown to kickoff slowly grinds to an action-movie-time-bomb pace. Just as the completely in-depth, completely ludicrous coverage of the Little League World Series and the ghoulish fate of watching mid-season baseball have noosed around your throat in a particularly anacondian way, your gaze drifts to the sky. And what, to your wondering eyes should appear? The ball in About F-ing Time(‘s) Square is dropping.
We’re antsy. Irritable. We’re like a 36-year-old woman wearing her 11th bridesmaid dress, who’s checking her empty match.com inbox, while babysitting her happily married sister’s 3rd kid. You get the point, damn it. The clock is ticking and it’s agonizing.
This offseason was particularly grueling. There was more cheating than the “Too Hot For T.V.” Edition DVD of Temptation Island. Scandal dog piled on scandal and the ivory veneer that had so long shone bright in Happy Valley, PA cracked and fell away, revealing fetid, corroded darkness underneath. We learned this offseason, with further startling revelations, that while we may worship a football program, zealotry has a human price and that faces can be chiseled, or even jackhammered from football’s Mount Rushmore.
Yes, this offseason was more than a little “off”, more than a little long, and as tedious as reading a novel written entirely in binary code. But, the wait’s over. In a few short, glorious hours, a new season will be upon us. Join me, foaming at the mouth football fiends, as we gorge ourselves in the triumphant return of the college football season.
Here are a few things to keep your eye on this year:
Is USC the real deal?
(*Author’s note: if you’ll allow me, I’d like to make a Hollywood analogy for the Trojans. Really original, I know.)
The Trojans look like they might be poised to pull a Mickey Rourke. After a few years on probation, some might call if rehab, this season looks like it could be The Wrestler. Matt Barkley came back for another season, eschewing the cash, glamor, and skeezy blondes of the NFL for the cash, glamor and skeezy blondes of the University of Southern California.
1,200 yard rusher, Silas Redd, opted to pull the rip cord and escape the flaming wreckage known as Penn State for the greener pastures of USC this offseason and his role has yet to be determined. The Trojans have great wide receivers for Barkley and head coach Lane Kiffin has done a miraculous job recruiting kids to his school despite limited scholarships due to NCAA restrictions (*Author’s note: especially considering he’s just one giant bag of douche, with a visor on top.).
There’s talent across the board, Monte Kiffin coaching the defense, and the legitimate Heisman Trophy frontrunner wearing the maroon and gold this year. Mix all those factors together and it looks like the Oregon Ducks might be the only true speed bump in the way of The University of Orenthal James Simpson’s title run. (*Author’s note: you didn’t think I’d leave a post involving USC without name-dropping OJ, did you?)
Will the SEC do the J-O-B yet again?
The SEC has been on top for years. They’re smug, arrogant, and pat themselves on the back more than a guy playing one-man tag. The worst part about all of this? They deserve to be. The added Missouri and Texas A&M during the conference realignment musical chairs, scoring an overabundance of depth if not high-end talent and LSU and Alabama look to be right back in the mix for the national title.
Will this be the year that someone pries the title from the cash-stained hands of the SEC? Could an Oregon, a USC, or some other dark horse team ride in and slap the arrogant taste right out of Mike Slive’s mouth? I’m certainly rooting for it. You’re probably rooting for it. Hell, every team north of the Mason-Dixon line wants the SEC to collapse in on itself like a supernova that has gotten too big (*Author’s note: don’t challenge the science behind this statement, all you wannabe Stephen Hawkings out there.).
Keep your eye on the Michigan V.S. Alabama game this weekend to really set the tone for both the Big Ten and the SEC on the national stage.
TCU joins the
Big East Mountain West CFL Big 12, West Virginia joins the ACC ACLU SEC Whathehell? Big 12 conference and more confusing horror stories from the conference realignment spin cycle
I’m not sure who plays in the Big 12 anymore. A bunch schools from Texas, but not A&M. Two Kansas schools, but not Missouri. Maybe the Dodgers? There’s really no way of knowing, at this point. There’s been so much program promiscuity and ‘70s-swinger-party partner swapping that even total sports dweebs like myself are a little confused at this point.
The rich have gotten richer (SEC), the Big 12 has become even more Texas-centric, and the Big East has gotten knifed in the back more times than Julius Caesar. TCU and West Virginia are the most fascinating moves to me. West Virginia looks like a great fit for the Big 12, with an elite offense that could shred some of the tissue-thin defenses in the league, and TCU also makes sense for a league that probably wanted to call itself Texlahoma and the scrap-heap all along.
Since I’ve already blown through 900 words on just three subjects and an intro, here’s a bunch of rapid fire questions on miscellaneous subjects:
– Will Chuck Weis shatter the “Amount of Fat Jokes Directed at Kansas Head Coach” record held by Mark Mangino?
– If things start going south for Mike Leach at Washington State and he gets canned immediately, will he canned for pulling a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean 6?
– Will the Oregon team change clothes more than a tweenage girl on his first group-date to the movies?
– If Boise State finally comes back to earth this year, will ESPN finally be forced to stop performing public fellatio on the Broncos?
– Will another ACC quarterback come out and verbally commit to come to Wisconsin even though it’s midseason and he can’t really do that? (*Author’s note: seriously. How many more QB’s can they import?)
– Will Un-Rural Meyer continue to campaign hard for the Leno-Favre Indecisiveness Hall of Fame? (*Author’s note: in the time it took me to write that question, he’s just retired from Ohio State and announced a comeback twice. . .)
– How meth-addict wound up will I be when the first College Gameday show happens?
– Will Bo Pelini create a new, entirely grotesque and offensive swear word if Taylor Martinez throws a really bad interception?
– Speaking of swear words, will Lee Corso drop another F-Bomb on us?
– Will Jesse Palmer continues his slow descent into looking and acting, just like “The Miz” from fake wrestling?