I have them, you have them, we all have them. People we know who don't know anything about college football. You know who they are, when you are talking about a game, they stand back and don't speak up.
When talking about why the BCS sucks, they say "what is it and why does it suck?" They are embarrassing to us all and this is to give them some pointers on how to sound somewhat intelligent in a college football conversation.
There are several things you can do if a group is talking about quarterbacks and you want to join in the conversation.
Your first option is to look up a quarterback on a bad team, or a mediocre mid-major, which is a conference other than the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-10, Big 10, and Big East.
For our setting let's choose the Troy Trojans. You can say that Troy has a top-10 quarterback but he has the misfortune of playing on a lousy team. Be sure to mention the quarterback's name. (Note: This tip can be used for talking about a player at most any position; we will go over these later in the slideshow.)
The benefit of using a smalltime player at a smalltime school is that most fans will be too lazy to bother looking up any stats you reel off.
The second technique you can use is take a quarterback of a Heisman watch list (these can be found simply by typing "Heisman Watch" into your search engine) and telling why he is the best quarterback in the nation, use general phrases such as "That Colt McCoy is scary-accurate," "He is very clutch," "He makes his team look good," or the always popular "He is simply unstoppable."
If the player you pick is not first on the watch list, you can use these points to say he is underrated and should be first.
The third and most fun technique is taking a quarterback and tearing him down saying he is overrated. Saying he is not clutch, his team makes him look better than he is, or he has just been lucky so far.
These techniques are almost guaranteed to make you look like the average intelligent college football fan when quarterbacks are in the conversation.
Running backs are another popular topic of conversation among football fans. Running backs are a staple of the team and are a “need-to-know” for anyone trying to act like they know their football. You can approach this topic in several ways.
First thing you do is find the teams that always have a strong running game. This would be teams like Alabama, Southern Cal, and Wisconsin. These teams always either have good running backs or good offensive lines.
If you want to impress someone, always use these teams as a base for which to talk about the running games.
There are several ways you can go about talking about running backs. You can say the offensive line is what makes the back and that is the only thing worth reviewing.
Another way is to take a running back on a decent team, like Boise State had with Ian Johnson, and say if they were on a big time program, they would be on the Heisman list.
Another way to go about this is to find a top running back and make general observations, such as “he’s a power runner” or “he can find the hole and just plow through it,” or “he’s fast as lightning." These are observations that nearly every good running back has, and you can get by in conversation with it.
Defense is a relatively easy topic to fake knowledge about. You just need to know that there are 15 teams every year that always field a tough defense, and six of them reside in the SEC.
Just talk about Alabama, USC, Florida, Virginia Tech, and Texas and people will know right away that you are talking about tough defense.
Use general observations, such as, no one can run on them, or the defense can score as much as the offense or they hit so hard it knocks the opposing team silly. This will solidify your so-called fan status.
These are just a few of the important things you need to know about how to muddle your way through a conversation about college football. You might get a few new friends, impress the ones you already have, and actually learn a few things on the way.
I’m asking you, on behalf of all of us with football-ignorant friends, please learn these tips so we can actually invite you to parties.