Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog

Saturday, September 01, 2007
College football season begins.

Actually, it started on Thursday with LSU routing Mississippi State, but it's all football all weekend thereafter.

As a diehard football fan and a college sports fanatic, this time of the year is great.  Millions of football fans fill the stadiums of college teams all over the country in order to cheer on their favorite teams.  There's no question that college football fans are the most intense of any sport, and if you've been to one of the games of the big conferences (I went to a Georgia Tech game on an ESPN Thursday Night broadcast almost 8 years ago), you know it's absolutely true.

Two years ago, the national championship picture revolved around Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns and the combination of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush with their USC Trojans.  Last year, it was all about Ohio State, with Florida sneaking in the backdoor with UCLA's upset over USC late in the season.  This year, USC returns to the top of the food chain, boasting the best defense of coach Pete Carroll's tenure and possibly the nation.  Challenging for that top spot are teams like West Virginia, who probably has the most explosive running game in the nation; Virginia Tech, who will use the campus unity stemming from massacre last April to help rally them to an ACC Championship; Florida, last year's champions who are looking to do the same thing their basketball team has done in the last two years; and Michigan, who's finally looking to get over the Ohio State hump and establish themselves as the best in the Big Ten Conference.

There are also other questions within college football this year:  are Rutgers and Wake Forest, two teams that shocked nation by winning the Big East and ACC Championships, respectively, one-trick ponies, or are they going to move to the top of perennial teams?  Will Colt Brennan, arguably the nation's best quarterback, make Hawaii the most dangerous mid-major team in the nation, and possibly a BCS contender?  Will the SEC kill each other off, leaving all of them out of the national championship game?  Will this be the year that Bill Callahan gets Nebraska to the top of the Big 12?  And a question for me and other NC fans:  will the Triangle's three teams (Duke, UNC, NC State), after only winning a combined 6 games last year and firing two coaches, get a team into a bowl game this year?

Tomorrow will consist of mostly blowout games, but there are some key ones.  This biggest game has to be #15. Tennessee at #12. California-Berkeley.  A loss could put either team out of the national championship picture before they've had a chance to start the season.  There's also a rivalry game between #14. UCLA at Stanford, and a battle of unranks as Notre Dame faces Georgia Tech.  On Monday Night, it's the Bowden Bowl, as #19. Florida State takes on Clemson.

Posted at 01:30 am by Expertise



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