Pigskin Punditry Postmorten: Week One Closing Thought

David SingletonCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2008

Okay, Clemson fan, can you please come back inside off of that ledge?


Hey, Tennessee fan, can you please pull your head out of that gas oven?


Um, Virginia Tech fan, can you please put the toaster down and get out of the bathtub?


I know, I know. Calling the three of y’all out by name may seem a little bit cruel given the events of the past weekend.


And it’s easier for me to say that after I bit my nails to the quick while watching my team almost gag the season opener away (again!) against Illinois.


But I do think it is important to focus on one word: relax.


Relaxing is hard to do in today’s microwave culture – especially when it comes to college football, where you only have twelve weeks to prove yourself worthy of playing for a national championship.


But I do think it is important to keep certain things in perspective.


Doing my preseason research, I came across an interview with Pete Carroll. In it, he was asked a question about handling expectations and national attention as you compete for a national championship.


Carroll’s response was very interesting, and I think it helps to keep focus on what the big goals probably should be. Essentially, he said that the goal for USC is to win the Pac-10 and play in the Rose Bowl. That is what the goal is every season.


Now, granted, usually if USC has won the Pac-10, then they are going to be in the national championship conversation. But I do think that it’s the proper attitude to have.


Keep in mind that because of how the system is set up, all you can do is try to win your conference and get to one of the big bowl games. Whether you play for the national championship or not is really out of your hands. While you can control your destiny to certain degree, you cannot legitimately expect to be playing in mid-January.


That is why I would tell all of these fans to relax. Sure, your faint national title dreams may have died, but you still control your destiny. Go out and make a statement by winning your conference.


As last season taught us, anything can happen.