So yeah, I know, there’s really been four football games already. None of them were the SEC so it’s not technically the real season yet. Everyone already knows this. HOWEVER, today and tonight we have real games with championship implications (because its never too early to start projecting) and we’re here to let you know exactly what that means.
For the Players
It means its time to grind every day toward an NFL career, a BCS Championship, or making someone else proud of you for submitting to the blood and sweat of this organized chaos that we so treasure. It also means no income, but that’s a discussion for a later day. For the guys at Army, Navy, and Air Force, it’s probably now the easiest exercise of their day. Keep a keen eye out for their defenses though. We can’t have other countries seeing deep bombs thrown over the heads of our armed forces every weekend.
PAC 12 / Big 12
Speaking of defenses, the Pacific Twelve conference still exists. They’ll be represented on this opening day by Utah, hosting Weber State. PAC-12 football season means it’s anyone’s conference for the next year. The conference winner will gain respect for all their other sports’ teams until about mid summer (when everyone is stuck watching 8-2 MLB games). Then we all forget the conference has substance until this time next year. Little known fact: the amount of points scored in a PAC-12 game is directly related to the age of the oldest person in attendance. Someone give me an over/under on how many 400+ yard games get thrown on a PAC-12 defense this year?
With Baker Mayfield in the NFL, the Big 12 could offer some twists and turns. Football season down there means forgetting that, sometimes, people play this sport in the snow. It’s also time to learn your way around Texas. Chances are high that you’re playing multiple games there. You probably also have one poorly named rivalry somewhere in that small country. Oh, and don’t forget, more 400+ yard passing games. I’m actually quite surprised that Louis and Clark never documented that the D gets weaker as you move west, Sacajawea could have easily confirmed.
Big 10 / SEC / ACC
The Big Ten actually starts today with a conference game. Purdue and Northwestern will compete to see who gets a head start on being the worst team in their division and inevitably play spoiler to a top ranked conference opponent. With the season start upon us, the Big Ten will also look to keep adding teams, because having a conference name that doesn’t make sense is the most Midwestern idea of funny you’ve ever heard, eh?
The SEC and ACC football seasons directly correlate with Hurricane season which would explain the rise of the U in past years. El Nino has been nothing less than influential here. Good news for temperature sensitive guys who are turned off by the whole uneducated Texan scene: they can play in the ACC. Unlike the Texas area, though, the tornadoes can get rather wet on the coast. The scheduling committee has a huge job on their hands to keep the Hurricanes safe from any hurricanes. The SEC has the fewest weather issues. On the other hand, though, 90% of their teams play strictly as a formality. No ‘ship in sight. You’re either pretending you have a chance, or hoping your team doesn’t blow it via kick-six.
For the Coaches
Pretty much inverse for the coaches here as they get paid the big bucks without any of the playing time. Mike Gundy once offered to be pass rushed at the podium. However, since then, no coach has had the guts to hit the field. Season’s beginning means showtime for the coaches. They work year round, but people dont realize that because their work results don’t show until now. This is the time of year that they boycott the seat warmers because any hint of a coach being on a hot seat can affect a team in a big way. Find me a team practice where not one coach says “its a great day for football”, and I’ll show you a team that won’t be bowl eligible.
The new season also means new frustration, though. With college athletic staffs under the microscope right now, it is very important for coaches to make sure they are taking their frustrations out in the correct way. I’m not going to name any names, but we’ve seen coaches miss crucial (or not-so-crucial) time during the season due to questionable actions. It’s just a game fellas. We, as fans, will crucify you if you screw it up… but it’s just a game.
I don’t think you need me to tell you this part. It means tailgates and season tickets. It means telling your girlfriend that you’ve been throwing up all Friday night and you just need early Saturday afternoon to yourself in order to recover. Football brings structure back to the weekend. There has never been an easier answer to,”What do you want to do this weekend?” than during football season. The new season brings in new fans, new freshmen, new records, and it’s all beautiful. Your couch will be your best friend. It’s time to hunker down with your snacks. Dress the dog in official team apparel, ignore the yard that needs to be raked, and get lost in Kirk Herbstreit’s unsupported logic for three hours.
The part you may need me to tell you, is that this now means some of your friendships have to be put on temporary hold. This is not a choice. A die-hard fan will always choose their team over pleasantries with Timmy. If Timmy’s team wins, he reminds you every hour at work and every week when the rankings come out. You must be prepared to do the same. We can’t be ripping into our rivals on Saturday and golfing with them on Sunday, makes us look weak. Take the advice, put your friends on hold for a few weeks, you’ll be a much healthier fan. That’s a guarantee.
Let the games begin!