50 reasons why college football rules
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 2, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
You scan the wires.
Dog fighting in Virginia. Doping at the Tour de France. Steroid allegations in baseball. An NBA official being investigated for being on the take.
You scan the calendar.
We are finally in a month that will include some college football.
Six games, including LSU at Mississippi State on Aug. 30. Be there. Aloha.
I'm certainly not implying that the sport is without flaws, but it's coming just in time to help us cleanse our sports palates.
That's how I'll know when I'm done - when August doesn't fire me up anymore.
August is great because it drips with anticipation and optimism. August is where dreams hatch. August is the last time you are allowed to live in the past.
August is when you call up the early TV schedules and start planning out your Saturdays and then you notice a little drool on the corner of your mouth.
August is when you can officially start working on your tailgate menu.
August is the start of NFL camps, which is all well and good, but for those of us who look at the college game as Nirvana, pro football is the Foo Fighters. The NFL may be the king in the big markets, but there are at least 50 reasons why college football is better. (I know this is hardly an original column idea but I'm really fired up about this college football season so give me a break).
2. Fight songs.
3. Beautiful and historic campuses on a fall afternoon.
4. Overtime from the 25, both teams get the ball.
5. Friday games.
6. Noon games.
7. Even better, 10 p.m. games.
8. Pep rallies, especially if Gator Growl becomes relevant again.
9. College players have to worry about exams; pro players have to worry about which car to drive to the strip club.
10. Rivalries that split families and end friendships.
11. Bowl season.
12. Mascots that don't act like they are playing in the game.
13. Live mascots like Ralphie and Uga.
14. Stadiums that feel like stadiums instead of dance clubs.
15. Stadiums that aren't named after corporations.
16. Kissing your date after scores in College Station, Texas.
17. Watching the eagle swoop down to the field in Auburn, Ala.
18. Mr. Two Bits.
19. Signing day.
20. You can go unbeaten.
21. Student sections.
22. Trick plays that not only work but are brought out more than once a decade.
23. Ron Franklin, my favorite play-by-play guy not named Larry Munson.
24. No Michael Irvin.
25. No Michael Vick, although we might be able to say that about the NFL soon.
26. No Dan Dierdorf.
27. College GameDay, still the best thing on a network that is overhyping itself daily.
28. The signs behind the GameDay crew.
29. Running onto the field with genuine excitement instead of looking like you're auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance?"
30. Tailgates. It's not even close and college tailgates last a lot longer.
31. Upsets. No matter what the spread is, it's rare to see an NFL result where your mouth drops open. It happens in college every Saturday.
32. The Heisman Trophy stays with you the rest of your life.
33. The passion. Go to a big college game on a Saturday and then an NFL game on a Sunday. I've done it many times. The difference in the "give-a-darn" is measured in light years.
34. Saturday mornings, waking up knowing there is a big game later in the day and feeling your stomach start to churn like a blender.
35. Sunday mornings, after a big win on Saturday when you have this glow about you and this feeling in your stomach because the night before you overdid it with your blender.
36. The SEC, where everything matters.
37. College towns.
38. Southern Cal's sweater-clad yell girls. You don't have to be falling out of your top to be sexy.
39. Traditions like the Tiger Walk, the Vol Navy, dotting the I in Columbus and touching Frank's Rock in Clemson.
40. Making fun of the way Beano Cook talks.
41. No wild card.
42. Sunday after your team wins a big game and the polls come out.
43. Games that seem so big you don't know if you can breathe.
45. Innovative offenses and formations.
46. No preseason games.
47. No trades, free agents, salary cap, mini-camps or physically unable to perform lists.
48. The possibility of a Florida-Illinois or Oklahoma-South Carolina bowl game.
49. Great team nicknames like the Hilltoppers, Golden Gophers, Tar Heels and Cornhuskers.
50. Tears. Nobody cries in the NFL because the games don't mean that much.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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