College Football For Dummies: Everything You Need to Know About 2010
With college football season literally weeks away from kicking off, we at Bleacher Report thought it would be a good idea to put together a preview of the season.
Unlike other previews, however, this one is different. It is everything your girlfriend or boyfriend who is otherwise clueless when it comes to college football needs to know to at least get by during the course of the season.
So while you are sitting on your sofa or in the stands yelling at people who can't hear or don't care what you are saying, your significant other can now follow along instead of playing with their cell phone the entire game.
While this list may not include every team you care about or every issue pertinent to college football, it at least touches on the things that always seem to matter year in and year out.
Caution: If you are not a complete dummy, have no sense of humor, or otherwise find your intelligence easily insulted, you may not want to read beyond this point. Of course you might, I can't stop you either way.
Notre Dame Has Another New Coach... He'll Be Winning 50% Of His Games
Brian Kelly replaces Charlie Wise as Notre Dame Head Coach.
Frank Polich/Getty Images
For those of you who don't know or don't have NBC, Notre Dame was once one of the most dominant teams in college football.
Fans and media experts alike always picked them to be in contention to win or compete for a national title. That really hasn't been the case since the early 1990s.
Instead, after the retirement, or so we thought, of Lou Holtz, the Irish have gone through three different coaches who have not managed to finish much better than .500 over the course of their careers. In layman's terms that means they won as many games as they've lost.
Enter Brian Kelly, who coached Cincinnati to two consecutive Big East Championships. He won't get a chance for a third and there will be no conference title for him at Notre Dame, since they don't play in a conference yet.
The Irish have a tough schedule in 2010 and if you tune in to NBC every week you have a good chance of seeing them win at least half of their games, if they are lucky.
The SEC Will Win the BCS Title
Chances are if you challenged this girl to a football IQ test she would win.
Dave Martin/Getty Images
If you know nothing about college football at all or haven't been paying attention during the last decade, then remember these three letters: SEC.
The Southeastern Conference is full of the most passionate fans, skilled teams, and best tailgate parties in the country.
They also seem to annually generate at least one, if not more, national title contenders. Even if you don't know much about football, if you decided to bet a large sum of money on a team to win the title, make sure those three letters are somehow affiliated with the team you choose.
Best guesses are Alabama, Florida, and LSU, not necessarily in that order.
Ohio State Will Represent the Big Ten... Again
Ohio State Quarterback Tyrell Prior, no relationship to the late Richard, will once again lead the Buckeyes to a Big 10 Championship
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Before you start asking, yes, there are 11 teams in the Big 10 Conference. Never mind that next year there will be 12.
The best of those teams is Ohio State. Under their coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes have been the cream of the crop.
Looks like 2010 will be much of the same, as Ohio State hopes to again represent the conference in the BCS Bowl Championship Subdivision. The Buckeyes' luck finally changed last season when they won the Rose Bowl after a drought in big-time games.
One very important thing to remember if you know nothing of Ohio State: never, ever, wear the colors maize and blue anywhere near a group of Ohio State fans, unless you wish to leave this mortal coil in a hurry.
Nebraska's Big 12 Farewell Tour
Farewell Nebraska, we knew yea well.
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Nebraska is currently in the Big 12 Conference, which will drop to 10 after this season. Nebraska will be joining the Big 10, which will have 12 teams.
This is the kind of fuzzy math George W. Bush must have been referring to.
Regardless, the Huskers take their farewell tour this season and they have a shot at winning the conference. This is probably welcome news for many of the Big 12's current members.
Maybe if officials hadn't put that one second back on the clock during last year's Big 12 Championship game things would have been different.
ACC beats itself up, flops in BCS again
Will Georgia Tech run all over the ACC again this season?
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Every year there is hope in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference). It is the hope that one of the schools brought into the conference to improve its football reputation will live up to the hype.
Instead, Miami has zero championships to its name and Florida State has fallen off the national map. Both are projected to be contenders in 2010, which translates into another season where the ACC Champions are someone not quite expected.
With Florida or Miami in the Championship game, then there is hope for the ACC that attendance will be better than a University of Memphis home game.
Beyond that, the winner is destined to fail again in the Orange Bowl. Only once has an ACC team won a BCS bowl game and it wasn't Miami or Florida State.
Lane Kiffin, Lane Kiffin, Lane Kiffin
Lane Kiffin is likely to anger some people while at USC.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Forget about his boyishly good looks, Lane Kiffin is possibly one of the most hated figures in college football.
He is most definitely the most hated man in the state of Tennessee.
Kiffin, who is in his first year as the USC coach, has not had a winning season as a head coach. In fact he quit his last job and was fired from the one before that.
Kiffin obviously didn't major in public speaking or diplomacy in college and his lack of skill in both arenas is clearly evident. He is either committing professional suicide or opening his mouth and inserting his foot.
It is only a matter of time before he starts rubbing the USC boosters and alumni the wrong way. After that perhaps he will get offered the job at Notre Dame, once Brian Kelly fails to win a championship after his third season.
More Erin Andrews on ESPN
Erin Andrews will be patroling the sidelines and tweeting all about it.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
For the ladies reading, if your boyfriend is more concerned with when they are going to go to the sideline reporter than the actual game, then you may have a problem.
Erin Andrews is ESPN's eye candy for their football broadcasts. And while she does know a little about the game, there is no secret why she is there.
If she hasn't tweeted her way into the hearts of countless thousands, her in-depth conversations with what the players' eye black statements mean will make you tune in every Thursday night.
Jeremiah Masoli Now Plays For Ole Miss
This Duck has been permanently grounded.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and then gets kicked off the team, then it must be a Rebel.
Jeremiah Masoli's antics were all Oregon could take, so they kicked him off the team. Now all of a sudden the university doesn't have a graduate program he needs, so he is allowed to go to Ole Miss who does.
You don't have to know anything about football to know what is really going on here. Is a kid who has gotten into so much trouble that he was kicked off the team really going to care about grad school? Not likely.
But that is what Ole Miss and Masoli will have you believe. Enough with the ruse, no one is buying it so lets just call it what it is—rent-a-player for a year.
Agents Are Now Included in BCS Formulas
It appears the number of agents a college program attracts is directly proportional to a teams chances of winning one of these.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
If you are new to the world of college football, and even if you aren't, there is the confusing world of the BCS to try to unravel.
The poll which ultimately determines who plays for the national title is based on everything from wins and losses to strength of schedule. Now, thanks to an active off season, the NCAA should consider adding agents into the mix.
If you figure schools like Florida, Alabama, USC and the like, who have more agents per capita than any other college program, you also figure they have the most talent. Why not just incorporate that into the selection process for the BCS. If you have an ample amount of agents looking into, or otherwise meddling in your program, you earn some points.
You figure those are the programs who are probably going to be competing the most anyway. But to be safe you can give it less of a weighted value. For example the number of agents surrounding your program wouldn't outweigh strength of schedule because that would just be ridiculous.
Joe Paterno Is Older Than the Cummulative Age Of His Team
Joe Paterno is to college football as Dick Clark is to Rockn' New Years Eve.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
There are two things that many people have never seen: A New Year's Eve show without Dick Clark or a college football season without Joe Paterno.
The legendary coach has been roaming the sideline at Penn State since 1950 and has been head coach for 44 of the 60 years he has been there.
Chances are that he will be there until he keels over on the sidelines. While everyone hopes that doesn't happen, the man doesn't show any signs of quitting, although he physically is slowing down. He quipped at a press conference on Wednesday that he didn't want reporters asking him when he was going to die.
In every joke there is some seriousness. Let's just hope we can continue seeing Old Jo Pa roaming the sideline for a good while longer.
A Non-BCS Team Will Try To Crash the Party and Fail
If a non-BCS school goes undefeated will anyone notice?
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The BCS in its current incarnation doesn't offer many opportunities for programs who aren't in BCS conferences to compete at the highest level.
In recent years, Boise State has emerged as the champion of the little guys, but still hasn't garnered much of a look, due to their conference affiliation.
What makes matters worse, no one will schedule them because they don't want to have to travel to Boise and play them, although they would gladly host them.
With the current model there is little chance of the Boise States of the world getting a realistic shot at a national title, unless they install a playoff.
Just by suggesting that I'm sure black helicopters funded by the BCS are on my way to my house to take me away.
Defenses Around the Country Still Can't Stop the Triple Option
Once, twice, three times an option.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Teams like Georgia Tech and Navy will remind you of a day long since past in football. A day when three yards and a cloud of dust ruled the field and the forward pass was as foreign as mayonnaise on french fries.
Paul Johnson has revived the triple option ground attack at Navy and Georgia Tech and made it a seemingly viable option again—no pun intended.
Teams prepare, and know it is coming, and still can't stop it. The key is to get the right kind of athletes to run it. You need smart players to know the schemes and be able to execute. That is what Johnson has been able to find and do wherever he has gone.
Not every team will struggle, but enough will continue to be left in the cloud of dust and confusion misdirection the football provides.
Life Will Be a Little Less Exciting in Lubbock
Oh Captain, My Captain.
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Mike Leach is no longer the head coach at Texas Tech, so are the Red Raiders worth watching this year?
Sure Tommy Tuberville has proven his worth as a coach in the SEC, but he is not even close to being as entertaining as Leach.
Leach, known for his sharp wit as well as his offensive acumen, was fired after his very public controversy involving ESPN analyst Craig James's son. James won and Leach is gone, but not forgotten. They may still win games, but they won't be as fun to watch.
Les Miles To Star On Nat Geo's Swamp Men?
Swamp men isn't just a show its a way of life.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
In the advertisement for the National Geographic Channel's new show Swamp Men, a guy says if you don't focus out here you are in trouble.
Les Miles, he is talking to you. Miles is on the hot seat after a few sub-par years following the Tigers' national title. If he can't get it together, then this Michigan man may be looking for a new job at year's end.
It starts with a season opening show down with North Carolina. The Tar Heels are seen as an up-and-coming team with a brutal defense. If LSU can't knock off an ACC team not based in the state of Florida, then it could be a long season for Miles in the Bayou.
Rich Rodriguez Can't Tell Time
Time has definitely not been on Rich Rods side.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Perhaps Rich Rodriguez should ditch the red wrist band and get a watch.
That fact is clearly apparent after it was discovered during the off season that, not only did he oversee Michigan's NCAA violations of time restraints on player practices, but he did the exact same thing at his previous school West Virginia.
Fool us once shame on you, fool us twice shame on us.
The man obviously can't tell a second hand from an hour and and he is running the show at one of the most high profile, pressure-packed jobs in the country.
Who Is Going To Get Suspended From Oregon Next?
Chip Kelly must have a sore right foot.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
If this were the 2004 or 2005 version of NCAA Football from EA Sports, Oregon Coach Chip Kelly would have exhausted the number of points allotted for disciplining players.
The only questions remains, is who is going to be the next start to screw up and get the boot? Last season LeGarrette Blount started it off by sucker punching an opposing player. During the offseason Jeremiah Masoli got in trouble again and as you saw earlier is no longer a Duck.
To make matters worse, star running back LaMichael James also got in trouble. So, who's next? Well if Kelly can get his players in line, it should be whoever designed their uniforms.
Another Year and Still No Playoff
No dough, no show.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
As long as the BCS and its financial supporters are in charge, there will not be a playoff in Division I college football.
Most players and coaches would like to see it, but what do they matter? When it comes to sponsors, athletic directors, and bowl representatives, the money is still in the old bowl system.
They will tell you it is all about giving more than just the best eight teams a chance to play in the postseason. It is about giving other schools and kids the chance to extend their seasons and careers by one meaningless game and get a bag of goodies that you might think would be a violation of NCAA rules.
The talk and discussion will continue, but there is no sign of a playoff happening.