It's Almost Here: Why College Football Matters
Summer heat is turning into autumn leaves. Autumn is quickly approaching. Besides the beginning of school, the season is synonymous with football.
But while we sort through our fantasy football teams and watch our favorite pro team's fourth string offense stall against the opposition, the College Football season is about to begin.
Collegiate football is one of the few sports that is completely driven by tradition and camaraderie, with a bit of amusement in between.
Parity has taken over the elite sports, and it tends to be a revolving door every few seasons to see who's on top. In a few years, the big rivalry of Colts-Patriots will be a historical highlight in the game.
But we can always count on Michigan-Notre Dame, Army-Navy, USC-UCLA, Oklahoma-Texas, and so on. Regardless of team record or current prestige, they will always register hype.
There is also always the threat of a new team trying to mount a legacy. Rutgers, Wake Forest, Kansas, South Florida, and mid-major Boise State have recently emerged as threats in the game.
While it's difficult to envision these teams still contending 30-plus years down the line (just because it's 30-plus years down the line and these teams are carving their history books, and teams like Kansas have thus far just shown one year), the fact is that the game is getting tighter and more diverse, yet continuing to showcase excellent rivalries.
In the NFL, it's impossible to think of a coach lasting 10-plus seasons now. Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid, and Mike Shanahan have reached that plateau, but hardly an offseason goes by where five-plus coaches aren't let go at year's end.
But in college football, you have the legendary coaches and recruiters. Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden are continuing to add to their extensive resumes while coaching the same program for 40-plus seasons.
However, it's unlikely you'll see powerhouse teams such as Ohio State, LSU, and USC coaches Jim Tressel, Les Miles, and Pete Carroll lose their jobs unless they go elsewhere.
The coaching schemes continue to evolve, yet stay similar. Sure, the pro-style offense dominates at programs like USC and Notre Dame, but gimmicky offenses continue to add excitement.
While some of the mobile or Run 'n Shoot QBs of the game may either switch positions or not work out in the NFL, you can't deny that college football just wouldn't be as great if Colt Brennan didn't get the second chance presented by June Jones. Pass-heavy teams are fun to watch, even if they usually have difficulty with the big-time programs.
Even the broadcasting game shows familiarity. Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, and Brent Musburger, among others, are always there for us, whether or not that we actually like them. Former coaches such as Lee Corso and Lou Holtz are becoming part of the media they used to dislike.
I'm still certain that Les Miles would be an awesome media figure, but he's doing a decent job at what he's doing...I guess.
Regardless of what they do in the NFL, I will always remember Brian Leonard and Ray Rice for their Rutgers days. The same goes for Mike Teel, who blossomed from a platoon with Ryan Hart to become one of the more solid and reliable QBs in the game.
Sure, Teel may be forgotten by the masses as soon as 2010, but Rutgers fans will hold a small place in their hearts for him. Plus, Tom Savage and D.C. Jefferson will soon hopefully keep the Scarlet Knights in contention and more in the future.
Other fans will soon remember their iconic players of the recent days. Jared Zabransky, Jeff Samardzija (well, due to MLB) and maybe even Troy Smith may not have much of an NFL career (though something tells me don't forget the latter), but they will always be part of College Football fame.
It's almost here, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. The season starts soon.
What new legacies will evolve? Who will take the next step from being remembered by just the fans to being an iconic figure in the sport (Mr. Tebow)?
Let's enjoy the season and find out.
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