It is yet another winter of our discontent.
For football fanatics there is only one game left—the Super Bowl—before we are forced to settle in for nearly seven months of trying to pretend we like other sports as much as we do football.
There will be hours spent filling out NCAA tournament brackets, reading stories from spring training, watching LeBron choke in the playoffs again and wishing ill on Gary Bettman for nearly killing a sport as entertaining as hockey because of the league's continued push to expand to a handful of markets that only see ice when it is what is left over in the bottom of a drinking glass.
Serious football junkies will dive into spring games and recruiting in hopes of sucking every last drop of football out for sustenance. Some people might even watch arena football—but don't worry, those will only be the degenerate gamblers.
How do I choose to wallow in the offseason that feels like it grows longer and longer each year? A little bit of everything (minus arena football. A man has to have a code).
Most of all, I will think endlessly about how the 2012 season will play out. Who will win the Big Ten conference? Does anyone have a legitimate shot at the MNC* game? Will Urban Meyer have an immediate impact on the on-field product?
Will year two of the Brady Hoke era be better or worse than year one? Can Michigan State's defense sustain itself without the big man in the middle (Jerel Worthy)? Can Wisconsin's offense sustain itself without a proven quarterback?
Will Iowa keep a running back on the roster for more than three months? Will I even want to watch Minnesota/Indiana play?
In the spirit of obsessively thinking about next season, let's walk through the first of a two part series discussing what to expect in 2012. Today we will focus on the West, er, Legends division.
*(Mythical National Championship)
(Note: All returning starter numbers come from Phil Steele's numbers. If you have a problem or think your team was unfairly represented in the numbers, take it up with the guy who spends more time thinking about college football in one off day than you do in a good week.)