I loved college football in years past but that love has gone away. A combination of reasons can explain this. Conference realignment affected me more than I thought it would. I admit to being hokey, so seeing teams completely destroy their local rivalries to join a bigger conference was like a kick to the gut for me. I'm sorry but I enjoy Kansas vs Missouri. That's gone now and I'm sorry but Missouri vs Tennessee or Kentucky isn't the same.
The Giants actually being competitive has changed my outlook at college football as well. When the Giants sucked I counted down the days until football started. Watching losing baseball all summer will drive anyone to football. And in my case the 49ers also sucked so at least I had college football.
When you lose interest in the sport you also stop keeping track of player and coach movements. For example I had no idea Terry Bowden is now the Akron coach. I would have known this a few years ago. When your time is occupied though by another sport you lose track.
So I've devoured over previews for college football previews recently trying to catch up on everything that has happened in college football since January besides the Honey Badger getting kicked off of LSU's team. I had to catch up to 8 months of happenings.
And so today I give you my Must List of college football previews. Now as a reminder the Must List posts every Thursday with descriptions of every game I'll keep an eye on and the games you should also keep an eye on. Along with some recipe and drink choices to enjoy on your Saturday. So think of this preview as a must list for the storylines you must follow this season.
Lane Kiffin Will Lose A Game For USC That Costs Them A Title: Even with the new playoff format in college football a team still can't lose regular season games because there's only 4 playoff spots. And you just know Kiffin will lose a game for USC he can't lose. He'll call for a two-point conversion and have the kicked blocked. Or he'll call a reverse near his own end zone. Something that he shouldn't have done but does it anyway because he's Lane Kiffin. Yes I recognize USC is loaded this year, but Kiffykins is still their coach. He'll screw up in one game that screws USC.
The Big 12 Looks Loaded This Year: On paper the Big 12 looks stronger than ever. Especially with the additions of TCU and West Virginia. Oklahoma should be a title favorite. Mike Stoops has come back to save the defense and Landry Jones is a senior now. West Virginia also looks a lot stronger this year than last year. TCU is more experienced. Texas can't be bad forever. Then you round out the league with teams like Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State and you have one of the deeper leagues in college football.
Bama Won't Repeat: Bama's offense should be as good as last year, but they lost a lot on defense. #WatchBamaRepeatAnyway
A Non-SEC School Will Win The National Championship: My crazy prediction for the year, but with a playoff deciding the champion now I believe this will be the year a non-SEC school wins the national championship. I'm not sure who that school will be but they will come out of a conference that isn't the SEC.
The B1G Will Once Again Be Horrendous: It looks like the best teams in the Big 10 this year are once again Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State. Pass. Wake me up when Urbz is in his second year at Columbus and Ohio State is off of probation. I couldn't care less about either Michigan school or Wisconsin.
UCLA Won't Be One Of The Teams In The Pac-
The Pac-12 Will At Least Be Interesting Again: USC is finally off probation. Rich Rod and Mike Leach along with their crazy offenses have joined the league. Oregon should be good again. That means the Pac-12 might not be the deepest conference in college football, but the Pac-12 is at least interesting again.
Someone Besides Matt Barkley Will Win The Heisman: Remember when everyone thought Andrew Luck won the Heisman before the start of last season? Good times. Barkley seems like he's the frontrunner this year which means he won't win the award in December.
The Hot Seat Is Rather Weak This Year, But Someone Will Get Fired During The Season: Reading about who's on the hot seat before the beginning of the season and I saw some weak candidates. I guess because everything in college football right now is in transition between the conference realignment and new playoff the people who predict what's going to happen can't predict who'll get fired. Either way someone will get fired at a school in a major conference before the season is over.
No One Will Pay Attention To The Big East Or ACC: Sorry East Coast football fans, but your conferences stink and I have no use for them.
MACtion Will Be Fun: Duh
But Won't Be The Same Without Joe Tessitore: Duh
Boise State Will Lose Another Game On A Field Goal: Sorry Bronco fans.
This Will Be An Intriguing Year of College Football: We're finally seeing the affects of conference realignment this year in the SEC and Big 12. There's a playoff now so there will be more than three teams fighting for a spot in the national championship game. Combine these two factors and you're going to have an intriguing year in college football. At least it can't be no worse than the dullness of last season.
Drink Of The Year, Crown Royal: It's still too hot outside to start drinking whiskey but my drink of the year is Crown Royal. It's well established how much I think of Crown Royal but I remind me you that in my opinion it's not only the best whiskey, it's the best alcoholic beverage around.
Recipe Of The Year, Jalapeno Poppers: My uncle gave me a recipe of there. He said you have to pull the seeds out of the jalapenos, stuff them with cream cheese, wrap them in bacon, and put a tooth pick through the middle. Then he bakes them on a pan in tinfoil. They are great appetizer and they are my recipe of the year.
Should be a fun year in college football. I hope you can join me all season in the weekly open threads for the games. Next week I'll preview what should be the best games of the year.