The 2010 college football season is rapidly approaching. And though the void between now and early September grows shallower by the day, there's still time for plenty of zany prognostication.
By now, there's been any number of preseason Top 25 polls splashed across the Internet. All-too-early Heisman ballots have been turned in. Hell, some moron even tried to compare the best coaches in college football to different kinds of beer .
But here's a new one (maybe). Let's take a stab at identifying a theme song for each of the preseason Top 10 teams for 2010.
If it flies, great. If not, perhaps next week I'll go a little more R-rated and come up with porn names for the 20 best offensive coordinators in the game.
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It’s been 45 years since Joe Paterno became the head coach at Penn State, and the bond between employer and employee is stronger than ever.
It’s a beautiful thing to see, the loyalty and commitment, especially in this day and age of occupational fickleness and coaches picking up camp in constant pursuit of the bigger paycheck.
For nearly half a century, Paterno has manned the Nittany Lion sideline, and over that time, his leadership, no-nonsense approach to the game, and iconic wardrobe have all become synonymous with not only football in Happy Valley but the game in general.
And though the walking legend is slowly creeping upon the waning moments of his historic career, there is no one more qualified to lead Penn State to its third national title and fourth Big Ten crown in 2010, as well as whatever may lie ahead in the program’s immediate future.
What exactly is chaffing Urban Meyer these days?
Maybe he’s still preoccupied with his recent health scare. Perhaps he still hasn’t been able to accept life without a certain quarterback.
Or maybe he’s just fed up with being such a kick-ass head coach, which would render the first two scenarios completely null and void.
Whatever’s irking Urban, it made its way to the forefront when the Gators’ head honcho melted the face of Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler during a practice on Mar. 24. To his credit, Meyer has since privately patched things up with Fowler, but it wouldn’t hurt to pull back on the machismo throttle now and again.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo composed this song in response to his daughter’s recovery from a life-threatening illness.
I, on the other hand, will somehow utilize its title to bluntly translate Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech’s message to the rest of the ACC since joining the conference in 2004.
In the six seasons since making the switch from the Big East, the Hokies have finished no worse than second in the Coastal Division and have won the ACC on three occasions, cementing their reputation as the ruthless patriarch who isn’t above taking each and every conference opponent behind the woodshed for the age-old lesson in respect.
I admittedly know next to nothing about this particular band, other than it’s a quartet that originated in Boston and specializes in every kind of pop imaginable — from indie to folk.
But, God, what a great name for a song, particularly if you dig the band, have an affinity for the occasional ménage a trois, and follow Tech and its devastating triple-option offense.
Granted, any college football offense can find its own way of torching a defense. But, how many can keep an opponent so completely off-balance simply by faking a handoff to a (gasp) fullback and using a maneuver called the backward lateral?
First off, no, I’m not all about political correctness, and I don’t expect others to be.
That’s why I’m anticipating an avalanche of comments laced with cutting remarks regarding my sexuality as a result of breaking out an NKOTB reference.
If, like me, you’re a product of the 80s, you’ll back me. Now, on to football.
Simply put, TCU is a program tailor-made to wreak havoc on the BCS, much like it did a season ago. The difference in 2010, however, is that the Horned Frogs could very well take it a step further by riding a balanced offense, well-schooled defense, and X-factor special teams into the national championship game.
The University of Texas is not just an institution of higher learning; it is a national brand. In modern-day collegiate athletics, the almighty dollar rules, and no one school has taken advantage of this capitalistic culture quite like Texas.
Armed with an ever-burgeoning enrollment and top-notch academic programs, UT is not without its fair share of revenue streams. But, like any major university, the profits begin and end with athletics, particularly football, where the Longhorns no doubt benefit from the Big 12’s non-sharing revenue model.
According to a study conducted by Forbes, in 2009, the Texas football team boasted a capital value of $119 million, highest in the country, and cleared nearly $60 million to be used for academics and other athletic programs.
More money means nicer facilities, which mean better recruits, which mean more wins, which mean more ticket sales, which equal more money. And the cycle repeats itself.
If history is any indication, 2010 may be the Hawkeyes’ best shot at winning a Big Ten title for quite some time. Iowa has not been the undisputed conference champ since 1985, and each of the two titles claimed by current head coach Kirk Ferentz, in 2002 and ’04, has been shared.
In fact, in 11 seasons under Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have finished fourth or worse in the Big Ten seven times.
Iowa appeared to be steamrolling toward an outright title last season before an inexplicable loss to Northwestern started a mini-tailspin that ended with a gut-wrenching overtime defeat at Ohio State the following week.
But the upcoming season holds promise. Plenty of starters from last year’s Orange Bowl team return, and Iowa’s toughest opponents (Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin) all have to come to Kinnick Stadium.
Can the Hawkeyes answer the bell and stand alone atop the Big Ten? If not, it may be a while before it tolls again.
Rest assured this will be the first and last time I establish an analogy involving Boise State football and Tipper Gore, wife of former vice president Al Gore.
In 1984, Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which was established to lobby music companies to place “explicit lyrics and content” labels on records.
One of the Gore’s main targets was lead singer Dee Snider and Twisted Sister, whose smash hit that year was placed on the committee’s “Filthy Fifteen” list because of its alleged depiction of violence and perceived role in the decay of the American nuclear family.
Fast-forward to the modern day, where the BCS, playing the role of Tipper Gore, has done all it can to put the royal screwjob on Boise State, which has run the table twice en route to a 49-4 mark over the past four seasons.
The Broncos’ reward? A leash cinctured by the BCS that is long enough to extend to the Fiesta Bowl but designed to protect Boise from crossing over in the national title game.
Chris Petersen and the Broncos are presumably sick of being left on the outside to look in. In 2010, another spotless run is a definite possibility, but will perfection be enough to force the BCS to lift its restrictions on the elephant in the room?
Or will the BCS continue to pursue its politics by flexing its censorship muscles and once again rob Boise of its just due?
The Buckeyes enter the 2010 season with expectations similar to those that have accompanied previous seasons: win the Big Ten and contend for a national championship.
But, along with those familiar lofty aspirations, comes a set of question marks that have haunted Ohio State in the past.
Will Terrelle Pryor evolve into the high-caliber quarterback he was recruited to be? No one dare doubts Pryor’s legs (he ran for a team-high 779 yards in ’09), but Jim Tressel needs his junior signal-caller to balance the offense by elevating the Buckeyes’ aerial attack.
And that means improving on the 2,094 throwing yards and 1.6:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio from a season ago.
And then there’s the issue of exorcising the ghosts of the SEC. Currently, many pundits have OSU tabbed as the No. 2 team in the country for 2010, and if all holds true, an undefeated run will all but ensure the Buckeyes a spot in the national title game for the third time since 2005.
But who will be waiting on the other end? Alabama? Florida? Texas? A Cinderella from a non-AQ? And to what degree will that team reveal to us whether the Buckeyes have found a remedy for their well-documented ills of the past?
No, this is not a reference to the Tide’s title victory over Texas at the Rose Bowl in January; rather it is a tongue-in-cheek pass at capturing the “Holier Than Thou” attitude that tends to engulf the fan base of a BCS national champion.
Sure, there are those level-headed ‘Bama fans who choose not to side with complacency. But, for every cautious fan, there’s one who thinks Greg McElroy defecates potpourri-scented diamonds, Mark Ingram cures lepers, and Julio Jones fertilizes lawns with his seminal fluids.
Normally, I would have no problem with such arrogance; heck, if the Missouri Tigers ever manage to win a BCS title, I may petition the Vatican to canonize Gary Pinkel.
But the problem is that Alabama, which should have no shortage of talent for the foreseeable future, may have just begun constructing the framework for a mini-dynasty under Nick Saban.