The return of emotional Saturdays
Well…the wait is finally over. What typically seems like an eternity of waiting time, the college football offseason really wasn’t that bad, and we can credit the thanks to the NBA and its Cinderella type playoffs and blockbuster news.
Now that I am a Georgia resident, I can honestly say that the leftover taste of salt and defeat amongst many Bulldog fans and supporters is still evident…but for the rest of us, the college football slate has been wiped clean. As we turn over a new page in a new season of emotional Saturdays, let’s take a brief look at some of what we all as fans should be on the lookout for this season.
For starters, I think the most obvious statement and at this point, cliché, is that Nick Saban and big and bad Alabama comfortably remain the untouchable juggernaut across college football, but again, that goes without saying…or at least that’s what we’ve been accustomed to thinking. I mean, looking at the Rolling Tide’s schedule, it’s friendly enough that Disney could broadcast it, playing opponents such as Arkansas State, Louisiana, and three straight home games to close the season out, with one of those three games being against The Citadel. I think scheduling the University of North Alabama culinary could only make the Tide’s schedule that much more, interesting as it’s a sure given they’ll be atop the playoff mix yet again.
Next, the runner-ups in last season’s drama, the UGA Bulldogs. Although losing marquee names across its defense and college football’s best running back tandem in Sony Michel and Nick Chubb, the Dawgs still a lot to be excited about considering their highly talented quarterback situation with returning sophomore Jake Fromm and highly talked about Justin Fields.
One of tomorrow’s headlined games will be Michigan traveling to South Bend to take on the 12th ranked Fighting Irish in a renewed rivalry. The last time these two teams met was back in 2014, when the Irish shutout the Wolverines 31-0, which in my opinion, helped assist head coach Brady Hoke out the door. But this long anticipated rivalry renewal is deeper than which school will take the win, but which head coach can cool their hot seat.
For Brian Kelly who has survived an Alabama lashing in 2012 in the title game, a 4-8 finish in 2016, and a pair of forfeited seasons in 2011 and ’12 in response to academic violations and what the NCAA called “The Lizzy Seeberg” scandal.” On top of all that, Kelly and the Irish will have to meet up with the Wolverines, Florida State and Stanford.
For Harbaugh, this is his year to shine as a coach, showcasing all that he can do to get their football program on track following multiple losses to Michigan State and the Big Ten bully, Urban Meyer and Ohio State. A loss in South Bend could be the beginning to an end, and a long roller coaster season.
As always, this season of college football should be filled with excitement, surprises and heartbreak, but nonetheless, the full package of emotion that we all look forward to year in and year out.