Know About the Future: How to Choose a College Football Team (Part Four)

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIJuly 23, 2009

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 27:  A Texas Longhorn fan cheers on his team against the Texas A&M Aggies with a painted-on reminder of Texas score against Oklahoma earlier in the season at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium November 27, 2008 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

The future.

It's wide-open spaces, blue sky thinking, sitting around reading Wired on a park bench sipping cappuccino and thinking about the next 20 years.

It's about dreaming dreams without giving a damn about the consequences.

But if you're choosing a college football, you should give a damn about the consequences. After all, you're marrying your football team for life!

For some teams, problems are more immediate. And you—the fan who's choosing his or her college football team for the rest of their lives—it's more pressing than that.

You see, the present might suck at the moment. Try being a Notre Dame or Michigan fan. Both teams sucked in their own little way last season. Notre Dame, with high hopes, lost to Syracuse...at home. Michigan lost to Toledo, and eight other teams en route to a 3-9 record.

But the future, if you can get over that bank of black clouds, will be pretty rosy for both teams. Both will invariably battle for a title and be highly-ranked for more years than they aren't.

If you're thinking of rooting for Penn State (and quite frankly, the more the merrier!) you'd have to ask: How long is Joe Paterno going to be around? Is there a succession story in place?

If you're a Texas fan you'd ask how long they can keep paying defensive coordinators millions of dollars for MAYBE the chance to lead the team?

If you're thinking about Notre Dame call a priest and ask him how he envisages the school after the Charlie Weis era ends.

And if you're thinking about supporting Ole Miss because you saw that they had a good year and could contend in 2009, think about the school when Ed Orgeron's class has all left. What then? Can Houston Nutt recruit?

You see, you've got to think about it. Because the bottom line: you can't root for a college football team half-assed. You can't walk into the bar and say: "I like Ohio State, but really I'm a fairweather fan who'd like to sit on the fence today because my team's not doing so well this year." In the words of The Lord: "Dude, that sucks."

Like we told you last time—root for history—but also think about the crystal ball.

Here's some music to help you on your way - it's called "Where are you going?" by Dave Matthews. You should appreciate the sentiment.

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