Cornhuskers, Crimson Tide, Hurricanes, Badgers: It’s college footbal
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The season begins with games wrangled together for ESPN or a major network. A potential national championship contender can be de-horned by the second Saturday in September.
Some teams won’t face any real competition outside their own conference. Those teams win three times and only need three more victories to qualify for a bowl extravaganza in December.
New coaches are introduced. Hot seats come in all sizes for coaches not in favor, after mediocre or poor seasons just last year. In some places, losing twice in 12 games is reason enough for grief and sack cloth.
It’s college football season. Almost. And almost is enough in the Southland, Texas, Power 5 conferences, and anywhere hope springs eternal.
Finishing a season ranked second in the country is not good enough for the Roll Tide folks at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
‘Bama is the gold standard. Five national championships in the last nine years will bring even the good people at Toomer’s Corners in Auburn, Alabama to attention. The War Eagles on the Loveliest Village on the Plain aren’t enamored with Crimson Tide football. No matter Alabama’s national prominence.
College football in the smaller towns where professional sports are miles and miles away and seen mostly on television, becomes a way of life.
Clemson, South Carolina. Athens, Georgia. Lincoln, Nebraska, College Station, Texas. State College, Pennsylvania. Starkville, Mississippi. Blacksburg, Virginia — get out of the way if you are not on this earth to help Clemson, Georgia, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Penn State, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech win football games.
Everybody sees Alabama and its place in the sun. No reason why our Spartans or Bengal Tigers can’t be blotting out all opponents.
Why, Alabama didn’t even win its conference championship last year on its way to another national championship.
Who can oust Alabama from its comfortable seat on the throne?
The polls say it could be Clemson or Georgia or Ohio State or Wisconsin.
The people paying attention in Seattle, East Lansing, South Bend and State College say its going to be the home side with their best-in-the-nation coaches and even better athletes.
Many of the cavernous stadiums will fill to capacity.
Television ratings will be the envy of game shows, police/detective shows and talent shows.
Don’t lose four games or they will want to nail your hide to the nearest barn at LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, North Carolina, Arizona State and Oregon.
College football comes front and center.
It’s visible to one and all.
Forget the public relations pap about “color and pageantry,” tailgating fun and seeing old friends again. The people dressed in school colors and manning the outdoor grills may be the symbols of college football . . . but winning games is the currency of the much-debated sport.