Bleacher Report's College Football Offseason Survival Guide
We are officially entering college football’s Bermuda Triangle: The dreadful offseason dead zone between spring games, summer practices and the far away beaches of the 2013 opening weekend, starting on August 29.
Many long, balmy months still separate us from Week 1 in college football, and with no earth-shattering scandals or major conference realignment news to keep our interest piqued, the start of the season only feels further away.
But rather than resorting to making friends with a volleyball named “Wilson,” modern college football fans have options.
Here is what you can do to keep your sanity over the long summer ahead.
Watch Other Sports
Aside from the absence of college football, this is actually one of the best times of the year for sports.
We’re still just in Month 2 of the NBA playoffs—meaning we have an entire month of the NBA postseason marathon remaining. Pro basketball is always an option this time of the year, but SPOILER ALERT: the Heat are going to win.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour is starting to heat up, as Tiger just notched his fourth win of the season at The Players. Three majors still remain on the docket and all will be played before the start of the college football season—US Open in June, British Open in July and PGA Championship in August.
The MLB is also in full swing and the College World Series is also coming in June.
However, for you football fans craving the physical contact of the gridiron, check out some lacrosse. The college lacrosse championships are running from now until the end of May.
No, Matt Elam won’t be flying across your screen and decapitating anyone, but they do beat the crap out of each other with sticks and rip shots at 100-plus mph.
Fight Back: Watch Old College Football
When the lax championships are over, though, the summer is pretty devoid of sport violence. Yes, there’s NASCAR, but that just isn’t the same.
So, to make it through the torrid summer months, you may have to scour YouTube for every big-hit video from the last 10 seasons.
Or just watch this Jadeveon Clowney hit over and over again, as if it already isn’t permanently seared into your brain.
The well-prepared fan will already have his DVR filled with recorded games. However, unless you have the DirecTV Genie or a significant other that doesn’t watch TV, that may not be an option.
If that’s the case or if you still don’t have DVR, keep it tuned in to ESPNU. The fine folks over there air college football replays daily.
College football coaches are often known for speaking in general statements and not really revealing much at all in their press conferences—a phenomenon known as “coachspeak.”
However, with some experience, you can actually learn how to translate their language into meaningful bits of information. Not only that, but some of these guys are just funny.
One of the best on and off the field is LSU head man Les Miles. One of my all-time favorite coach pressers can be seen here, where Miles swoons at some good-looking girls, talks about eating grass and publicly mocks a reporter.
Another good one from Miles came last year after his Tigers came from behind to beat Ole Miss. This embedded video was more classic Mad Hatter: hysterical and emotional.
Twitter: A College Football Withdrawal Support Group
Just like fans, college football writers are apt to contracting the offseason blues as well.
Luckily, there’s an enormous online support group called Twitter where we can all share in our anguish.
Plenty of us here at Bleacher Report are nuts for college football and aren't afraid to tweet it. Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) is our resident coachspeak expert, and if he isn't tweeting about the CFB scene, he's probably tweeting about some delicious food.
The next must-follow from B/R is our Southeastern Conference authority, Barrett Sallee. As you can see, he has the offseason covered:
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) May 15, 2013
Next, click the little blue bird and follow the guys over at SB Nation's Every Day Should Be Saturday blog. I don't know what to say about these three other than...just follow them. You'll understand: @EDSBS, @JasonKirkSBN, @CelebrityHotTub.
For those of you who are real football nerds and can't get enough of the technical aspects of the game, follow @SmartFootball. Chris Brown is a contributor for Grantland and has his own website, SmartFootball.com.
Finally, we'll end how we began, with one of B/R's own, Adam Kramer, a.k.a. @KegsnEggs. His Twitter handle pretty much speaks for itself.
Plan for the Season
At some point, all of this motivational material will finally take hold and the real work of the offseason will begin.
When the last weekend in August arrives, you’ll want to be ready—and there are plenty of preparations to make.
Step one is always to buy tickets. If you haven’t done so, do that now.
Also, book your hotels or repaint your obnoxious team-themed RV.
For away games, go ahead and buy that new 65-inch LED TV. Next, spring for the $500 gyroscopic, swiveling wall mount. You just dropped $2,500 on a television—no sense in getting cheap now.
The next step is to step up your food game.
Now is the time to perfect your homemade buffalo sauce, buy some new Pyrex dishes to take to the game (no one wants salmonella) and hose out the melted snow and charcoal ash that have been festering inside of your grill for the last five months.
Finally, buy your team’s new jersey. So what if it's just a part of a carefully devised marketing ploy by Nike and your school. Just think of it as a donation to the program.
Late in the summer, the new crop of incoming freshmen will finally report to campus for two-a-days. And at some point, you’ll need to make sure you’re in shape for the season as well.
I’m not talking about hitting the gym. None of your preparation can be done on a treadmill or in the weight room.
Physically, the best thing you can do now is just toss around the football. You don’t want to tear your rotator cuff tailgating in Week 1—fans can’t redshirt and you’ll never get that time back.
While you’re tossing the pigskin, grab some brews and grill a few brats. The key here is to condition your stomach for the unhealthy amount of alcohol and greasy food you’ll be ingesting this season.
The best place to do this is just your backyard.
But if you insist on going to the beach, just make sure you wear that new jersey or something—you’ve been sitting inside watching YouTube videos for the last three months, remember?