College Football: How to Be a Fan in Real Life
It is a hard truth that real life interferes with college football. I mean, how many times during the work day have you been forced to minimize bleacherreport.com only to rename it “Smith Equity Portfolio?”
It doesn’t get any easier at home when your significant other makes you pay for the kids’ ice cream after already suffering the indignity of watching (the horror!) futbol.
That’s why I recommend you bargain with your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend for at least one game per month during which you can watch that game unencumbered by Lands’ End catalogs, a stroke-by-stroke recap of his tennis match at the club, and queries concerning dinner that night and with whom.
Whatever you have to do to get that one game, even if it is being the object of his drunken buddies as they fawn over you for being a babe who is a huge fan of the college game, just do it for that one chance of solitude, your well-deserved time with Brent Musburger.
Here are the best games of each month this coming season.
Aug. 30: Utah visits Michigan in Ann Arbor at The Big House
Decline all invitations to Labor Day weekend parties, even from your boss, to watch Utah take off on what could be another run to a BCS bowl. The Utes are reloading on offense, and the Wolverines’ new head man Rich Rodriguez is installing his version of the spread option, making this game very interesting.
Interesting, because by some accounts, the Valiant Victors just don’t get it. Remember also that the last time a Rich Rod offense hit the field, 28-point underdog Pittsburgh stopped it cold.
Combine that with Rich’s protracted losing battle in the courtroom, and you get the beginning of a rough season for a man who’s in dire need of anger management seminars.
Sep. 13: Ohio State vs. USC at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
September is the beginning of an increasingly popular wedding season, rivaling June. With that in mind, if you must attend nuptials and skip the Buckeyes and the Trojans, they’d better be yours, and the vows should have a clause written in so that will never happen again.
Ohio State is absolutely loaded with talent from last year, and they got super QB Terrelle Pryor, Rich Rod’s lock of a pick for the Wolves.
Southern Cal always carries a bench with future NFL stars, so they just need to plug and chug. This game will be a tight one with remarkable individual effort.
Either could win, and they’re both such outstanding teams that the loser could see the winner again in Miami.
Oct. 11: Notre Dame faces North Carolina at Kenan Memorial in Chapel Hill
Even the casual college fan could get excited about October. Missouri at Texas, Oklahoma versus Texas in Dallas, and even a Thursday night battle between Auburn and West Virginia are acceptable substitutes.
However, the Irish return 16 starters who will not be pounded time and time again like last year. Embarrassment is a good teaching tool. The Heels know how that feels, too, with 18 starters back.
North Carolina plays host to the ACC Coastal Division favorite Virginia Tech in September. That could be an upset and help polish the luster going into the game with The Golden Domers.
Notre Dame hosts Michigan and Purdue early. That might be a chance to build up some momentum to take to Chapel Hill as both teams emerge from pathetic 2007 campaigns to recapture past glory.
Nov. 15: Georgia at Auburn in Jordan-Hare
By now, your lover will want to walk through the park with the leaves crunching underfoot. Pencil it in for Sunday.
This game is two short weeks after Georgia faces Florida in Jacksonville and then goes to always dangerous Kentucky. Auburn, on the other hand, sees West Virginia on the road but cools off at Mississippi before feasting on an éclair in Tennessee-Martin.
The Tigers will be well rested, but the Dawgs are the more talented team. Georgia has more starters returning, and they’re really ticked off at whoever set up their 2008 schedule.
Auburn, regardless of what happens in Morgantown or on their own home turf this day in November, will probably see Georgia again in the latest edition of The Great Survival Game, the SEC Championship.
Dec. 6: South Florida at West Virginia in frigid Morgantown
The Christmas parties have begun in full force, but deflect every invitation. You absolutely cannot miss this game.
Chances are this could be the battle of unbeatens, and if so, it will be a BCS National Championship semi-final game, with the other bracket solidified by Southern Cal at the USC-UCLA game that same day, or Ohio State during their annual post-Michigan vacation.
To be undefeated, the Mountaineers will have to go on the road and beat Colorado, Louisville, and arch-enemy Pittsburgh, rudely host Auburn, and survive capable and upset-minded Marshall, as WVU will be every opponent’s circle game for the entire season.
The Bulls have it easier, but they could be ambushed early at North Carolina State. As well, they have to get by Kansas in Tampa.
It’s obvious that Pat White is the key for West Virginia. Similarly, quarterback Matt Grothe means everything to South Florida, so if he’s healthy, West Virginia’s soft pass defense could be in for a long night.
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