College Football? Jigga What?

6:00 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

I'm not the biggest NCAA football aficionado. But last night I sat down to write a totally unrelated post, and caught myself intently watching the first quarter of the Oregon/Boise State tilt. It was a poorly executed first few series of the season, with Boise State fumbling three times on their opening drive. But you know what? It feels good to have football back, especially considering how poorly the Cubs are playing. I'll be damned if I'm not incredibly excited for the NCAA and NFL seasons.

I've been to exactly one Division I game in my life, at Kinnick Stadium, probably when I was about 14 years old. I have no idea who they played that day, I have no idea if Iowa won, I'm not even sure if I had pubes at the time. My alma mater (along with a few of the other writers at TMS) is the University of Northern Iowa, perpetual contenders for the I-AA championship. It seems that the further I distance myself in miles and years from that school, the more ardently I support them, even though I'm lucky if one game per season is nationally televised.

Tomorrow afternoon, Iowa and Northern Iowa are squaring off against each other to start the season. The Hawkeyes are the heavy favorite, currently ranked number 22 in the nation. However, with this being the first game for each team, the possibilities are as exciting as Spring Training. A win for Northern Iowa, though very unlikely, would propel them to the top of I-AA football, and be a devastating blow to Iowa's already slim chances at a Big Ten title. So much hinges on each college football game, which is one reason why it is consistently the most endearing and lucrative amateur sport out there.

Now living in Southern California, I'm constantly inundated with the glories of USC football under Pete Carroll. I'm told ad nauseam how USC should always be number one in the country, how they should always play in the BCS championship game, etc. Most of the adulation is warranted, but this season the proverbial shit could hit the fan for the Trojans. Carroll has decided to hand the reigns over to true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley. This kid already has his own website. Ridiculous. Though the USC offense and defense are legitimately stacked with NFL prospects year in and year out, it is thrilling to think that they might actually have a chance to lose three games this season (at Ohio State, at Cal, at Oregon). It will be interesting to see how things shake out. With a little luck, Barkley's successes and failures may at the very least draw ESPN's attention away from Tim "Jesus" Tebow on occassion.

Whatever your team is, here's to the dreams of a successful season. Unless you root for Iowa State. In that case, may God have mercy on your soul.

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