Ten things you think you know about football season
Published: Friday, August 22, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:03 a.m.
There are a lot of things to love about college football. The bands and the fight songs and the fact that none of them will move to another city in the middle of the night.
But most of all, it’s the inability of all of us to predict what is going to happen.
We think we know, but we don’t know.
It’s a beautiful mess every year. I’ll never forget sitting in my recliner watching the end of the Auburn-Alabama game last year and just not being able to move after Chris Davis’ kick-six return.
College football stuns you like a taser, raises your blood pressure like a salt milkshake and makes your ears ring like a heavy metal concert.
So as we prepare for another season, here are 10 things you think you know that will be proven wrong. It happens every year.
1. A player you really think is going to be special, perhaps on your team or another, will be at another school next year.
This usually happens with quarterbacks, the ultimate narcissists, but it can happen at any position. A five-star recruit with entitlement issues either has some problems with behavior or doesn’t want to buy in to what a coach is selling and bolts.
2. A team ranked in the preseason polls will fall apart.
The ultimate to me has always been 2000 Alabama, which was ranked No. 3 in the preseason and finished 3-8, losing its last five games. Last year, of course, that team was Florida, which was ranked No. 10 and went 4-8. TCU was No. 20 and also went 4-8. Southern Cal was ranked and fired its coach a little more than a month into the season.
The year before, a ranked Auburn team went 3-9. Virginia Tech was No. 10 in the preseason and had to win its bowl game to finish above .500.
3. An offense that you think is unstoppable will be stopped cold.
Injuries sometimes play into this, but remember last year? Oregon was scoring points at will before managing only 16 in a loss to Arizona. Texas A&M scored 10 against LSU.
There’s an answer for every offense. Sometimes they are just difficult to find.
4. One of the new SEC quarterbacks will flop.
The league is practically starting over at the position. At most SEC schools, a quarterback who saw some playing time last year is now the starter. But it’s unlikely that all of them are going to be successful.
Expect some benchings this year as the season goes along, especially at places where they had quarterback battles in camp.
5. You won’t miss Johnny Manziel as much as you think.
The guy was amazing, but college football stars come and go. His antics are the NFL’s problem now.
We talked a lot about how the SEC lacked star power at SEC Media Days. But by the end of the season, new stars will emerge.
6. Someone will come out of nowhere to be a Heisman Trophy contender.
Last year, it was the winner Jameis Winston, who was on nobody’s Heisman radar before the season.
The dynamics have changed with the Heisman voters. Freshmen can win. Sophomores can win. OK, linemen can’t win, but you get the picture.
7. A game you can’t wait to see in November will turn out to be inconsequential.
It’s easy to look at games down the road and start salivating. But a couple of losses for both teams and it becomes a battle for the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
8. A game you wouldn’t think of watching right now will become must-see TV.
There are going to be teams that will surprise and all of a sudden they are playing huge games. Maybe its a team threatening to bust into the College Football Playoff. Maybe it’s a team like Arkansas that went winless in the SEC a year ago and is suddenly in contention in the West.
9. You will disagree with Tim Tebow.
Didn’t think it was possible, did you Gator fans? But Tebow has already shown he’s not afraid to offer pointed opinions and is not playing favorites. At some point, you’re going to say, “Tebow, you’re crazy.” Wait for it.
10. A coach not on the hot seat now will be fired after the season.
Who would have thought Lane Kiffin would be gone in the middle of last season? Or Gene Chizik the year before? It’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at email@example.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.