The beginning of a new year means a few things.
For one, you can finally start working out and eating healthy for a few weeks before giving up on this bold call to action altogether. Oh, we understand. Maybe next year.
As we toss our calendars and celebrate the past 365 days by drinking cheap champagne and sometimes falling asleep before midnight, we also plan our New Year’s resolutions. Some of these actually will be met at some point, hopefully, while others will go the way of that whole gym membership debacle.
In our peculiar college football world, the New Year arrives at an interesting time. There are, of course, many meaningful games from this season left to be played in 2013, but it does allow us to contemplate and reevaluate. How should we reset ourselves as writers, fans, coaches, players, conferences?
I’ve gone ahead and created the college football resolutions for 2013. Pay attention...the following applies to all of us.
Fans: Stop Harassing Recruits
We’re going to talk about this until it stops, which unfortunately means we’re going to be talking about this for the foreseeable future.
So, an 18-year-old just decided that he is not going to the school you went to or root for. This, of course, means it’s time to verbally harass this player through social media.
This is the thought process that takes place for thousands of message-board lunatics who are currently counting down the days until national signing day, which is closing in at a terrifying rate. Please, don’t be that lunatic. Cursing at a high schooler in 140 characters or less because they left your hat on the table is not the answer.
Also, it’s creepy, man.
Writers: Stop Claiming that a Team is “Back”
Oh, I am guilty as charged here, so consider this my own personal resolution when it comes to writing about the sport I love.
We used this term plenty in 2012, especially when we wrote about Notre Dame and Florida State—two teams with plenty of history that got off to fast starts. “They are back,” we typed, as Florida State rallied against Clemson only to lose as a double-digit favorite two weeks later. We know better, but we just can’t help ourselves.
In terms of Notre Dame’s resurgence, why even bother anymore, and what exactly qualifies as being back? Back from what? If you’re trying to make the point that they’re relevant—wait, let’s not use this tired term, either—then let’s look at the season for exactly what it is.
Also, as a bonus resolution: Tiger Woods isn’t back, either, so let’s stop saying that, too.
Athletic Directors: Enough With Conference Realignment
Oh, this is one I’d like to post on every AD’s door as they get back from their holiday vacation.
STOP. ENOUGH. PLEASE, NO MORE. STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.
The conference shuffle is out of control, and it will likely remain out of control for the foreseeable future. Now, there are many individuals beyond athletic directors who can put a halt to this, but let’s start with the ADs.
One move from a team in a major conference, and the domino effect will begin again. If you’re an athletic director looking for something to fill up your schedule, take up golf. If you’re trying to figure out a way to make more money, try your luck at Powerball.
Do anything but call the conference next door asking for an invite.
Coaches: Take it Easy on the Coaching Carousel
Again, this is not just the coaches involved here—please take note of the following, athletic directors—but we have to start somewhere.
Over the past few seasons, the coaching hires and fires have spiraled out of control. Much like conference realignment, we’ve grown numb to the fact that many coaches will be changing zip codes during November and December. After all, ‘tis the season for massive buyouts.
It’s also the season for interim coaches, a yearly ritual that I’m not very fond of. If the bowl games are truly about the players and not the sponsors and massive television contracts, then…well, we know that’s not true now, don’t we?
Negotiate the right contract beyond asking for “more,” and try staying in the same spot for more than four full seasons. Who knows? You might like it, coaches.
Teams: Stop Trying so Hard With the Uniforms
This might be the most important resolution of them all, because I’m not sure how much more my eyes can take. You’re not Oregon, [insert ambitious team here currently pegging the proper vomit color for socks], so why try? Listen to your mom: Just be yourself.
The drastic uniform changes were truly awful in 2012, and there were far more hits than misses. You think you’re appealing to recruits by dressing up like plastered highlighters; I think you’re simply testing out the functionality of our HD televisions.
Nebraska and Wisconsin’s letter game, Notre Dame’s helmet and Virginia Tech’s cartoon bird are only a few of the lowlights, but they are not alone. Teams everywhere are now unloading the ignored Crayola colors on their threads, and the results are horrifying.
It must stop now. Our eyes and expensive flat screens may depend on it.