Power Ranking the Most Exciting Days of the College Football Offseason
The days stretch on, seemingly without end, until college football season gets back underway.
As Mugatu said in Zoolander: "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills."
While you are struggling through your football withdrawals, there are still some days and events during the offseason that can bring some modicum of relief.
This list compiles them and presents them for your reading pleasure.
17. NFL Draft: Day Two
If you, as a college football fan watch day two of the NFL draft, I have one question for you.
It might be a mildly entertaining way to pass the time, but so is tiddlywinks.
Besides more annoying face time for the commish, one must also handle the late-round leavings and hear about how they all have incredible potential.
16. MLB Opening Day
The smell of fresh grass, the crack of the bat against the ball and the hope that springs eternal even among Cubs fans.
One-hundred-and-four years and counting, guys.
There is also the off chance of a Chipper Jones sighting.
Besides all that, after about two innings, the game gets boring for everyone but the most diehard fans, and the season drags on longer than eternity.
However, for this one day, it's exciting and a fitting herald to spring.
15. July 4th
At this point, fans can look at the calendar, heave a collective sigh and realize that the first weekend of college football is two months away.
It's also an opportunity to spend time with your friends and family before the season starts, and you forget who they are for five months.
14. March Madness
Who doesn't like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?
Even if you are not a big basketball fan, it's a great time of year.
Chances are, your annoying boss may be a fan and will forget your existence for Thursday and Friday two weeks in a row.
If you are a fan of college basketball, it's the penultimate offseason entertainment.
It's the system you wish college football would adopt, and stars such as VCU coach Shaka Smart and UConn guard Kemba Walker forge their legacy in the midst of incredible upsets and impossibly great performances.
On a side note: If you don't participate in some sort of bracket contest, you are missing a great opportunity to make someone who thinks they know what they are doing feel dumb.
13. Day After BCS Title Game
The season is over, and you wake up and realize that you don't remember who these people are sitting at the table drinking coffee with you.
The day after to many is a sad, depressing experience, but with a little spin put on it, it has the potential to be one of the best days of the offseason.
You see, it's the prime opportunity to get reacquainted with your loved ones, find a fresh change of clothes since you haven't changed them since Thanksgiving weekend and get your list of things to accomplish in the offseason started.
12. NBA Playoffs
Whether you love basketball or just use it as a vehicle to pass time until football season begins again in earnest, the playoffs are the time to watch.
While they may not be tackling people so hard it jars teeth, the guys that play in the NBA are incredibly talented. (Here's looking at you, Brian Scalabrine.)
The regular season can sometimes get tedious, and teams admittedly turn on the afterburners for this tournament.
If watching roundball appeals to you, this is one of the most exciting times of the offseason.
11. NFL Combine
It's a week-long event, but we will include as one day due to the NFL junkies that will not sleep for the entire 168-hour period.
For college football fans, this event is an opportunity to see how your team's NFL prospects perform.
It's a prime opportunity to judge how well they will perform on Sundays, as well as to see who was underrated, overrated or is just plain out of shape.
Of course, if you must skip this event in order to be scarred by the images of guys like Terrence Cody running the forty, no one will think less of you.
10. National Signing Day
For those fans of teams that have solid recruiting classes, the suspense about that top-flight recruit's decision finally ends.
For those of you that follow a team that seems to be challenged in the recruiting department, it's a solid chance to lay bets on which top-flight recruits will wind up on the bench.
Either way, it's better than watching sitcom re-runs.
9. Film Day
At some point during the long offseason, you will realize you must watch football or run the risk of spiraling into depressive symptoms.
The day you re-watch your team's biggest triumphs, the incredible highlights of the past season and the ridiculous interviews has the potential to make the offseason bearable.
Just be sure you give yourself plenty of time, pizza and space.
The danger for diehard fans is falling into the delusion that this is not a replay and texting a friend about a great play that actually took place eight months ago.
Plenty of pre-video rest will help avoid this conundrum.
8. Spring Practice Begins
The hiatus is over, players are taking the field and coaches are leaving the golf course.
It's time to get back to it.
All across the country, new schemes begin to be implemented, incoming stars are developed and fans start throwing ridiculous predictions around.
This is the prime opportunity to begin seriously thinking about the upcoming season and to begin planning your opening weekend viewing schedule.
7. Start of Family Vacation
Many families take a vacation at some point during the course of the college football offseason.
Notice it's not the last day or the third of the vacation, but the first.
You see, on the first day, the conversation might go something like this:
"Dad, there is so much to do here. Let's go swimming."
On the third day, when "It's a Small World (After All)" plays for the 300th time, you might be weighing the benefits of retaining your hearing.
Day one, usually pretty great—at least until you all get into the car.
6. Polls Released
By now, we should all realize that preseason polls mean next to nothing.
But we haven't.
The days late in the summer when the first AP poll and Coaches' poll are released still incite tons of speculation, analysis and conversation.
After months of suffering in the football-less wilderness that is summer, the release of these polls is a tangible way to measure the nearness of the season's beginning.
5. Season Preview Magazines Released
Usually, sometime in May after spring practice is concluded, season preview magazines begin hitting the rack.
If you still read those things, it heralds the approach of the upcoming season.
If you prefer to get your reading material online, you can now find a plethora of articles explaining which teams will beat the SEC to the BCS title this season and which guy is a "dark horse" for the Heisman Trophy.
Even for those of you who don't like to read, these magazines have pictures.
4. Spring Games
Spring games are littered across the spring landscape and are one of the most exciting college football days of the offseason.
For teams with new coaches, it's a chance to get a snapshot of their new system.
For those who lost key players, it's the perfect opportunity to view the incoming class and get a feel for what the depth chart will look like come fall.
For one Saturday, it's a small sampling of the incredible season ahead for your favorite program.
3. Fall Practice Begins
It's so close, you can almost taste it.
Fall practice has started.
Depth charts are starting to take shape, the offseason controversy is fading into the background and you have begun stockpiling nachos for your weekend football sustenance.
In one month, all the waiting will be over, the predictions will be over, weekends of baseball only will be over and you can return to using the television for that which it was invented for, watching football.
This is also a reminder to take out your significant other on a date and build up some goodwill that you will be able to redeem during the actual season.
2. Super Bowl Sunday
Even for college football fans, this is one of the biggest days of the year.
It's the last televised football game for a long, weary seven months.
When the game itself is as entertaining as this season's edition, this is a great way to bid farewell to the best sport in the universe.
Although the commercials have taken a turn for the worse in recent seasons, the chance to watch the greatest football players on the planet play the biggest game of their careers should not be missed.
1. NFL Draft: Day 1
Day one of the NFL draft is actually pretty interesting, even for those of you who are not fans of the NFL.
Besides the interesting draft-day suits and heart-warming interviews (gag), it's a day filled with close-ups of the ever photogenic Robert Goodell.
In all seriousness, it's just another football related event that might help pass the time until the games start again.
Of course, if one is an NFL fan, it's the perfect time to wonder why in the world your team still pays their general manager.
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