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Enjoy the Season

By Patrick Snow

Another college football season--another initial release of the BCS standings. This annual ritual seems to send everyone running to call a local talk show to scream about a Playoff system and how the middle letter should be removed from ‘BCS’. Enough already. If all that you’re worried about is how January turns out, you’re missing an incredible season of dramatic Saturdays.

I think it’s time for fans thought our Swampland footprint to embrace the current parity. Part of the beauty of college football is that every game matters. Consequently, the fans win each week as they are intrigued by the constant upsets and meaningful games. I really wouldn’t mind a small Playoff system, but it would not be any less controversial than the current state of affairs. I do know that anyone’s proposal for a Playoff that begins with the phrase “All you have to do is…” has not thought through the entire process. Instead, I would rather concentrate on the incredible drama that seems to unfold each week on the college gridiron.

The landscape of our favorite game has changed. With scholarship limits, every team getting TV time, and better coaching all over the nation, college football is seeing an unprecedented balance among schools. In a power conference like the SEC, no one is going to line up and win the conference 5 years in a row or 6 out of 8 like in seasons past. The fact the Nation’s top conference has four coaches who have won a National Title and a fifth who’s had an undefeated season should be an indication of how hard it is to go through an entire year unscathed. All of those fan bases can have expectations of ‘winning it all’ each season, but the reality is that some big-time school has to lose when another one wins. The fact that six SEC schools still control their own destiny is going to make for an incredible second half of the season. The competition to win the league has never been stronger, and that is great for the health of the game.

Will we see college football move to a ‘Plus 1’ or Final Four system some time in the near future? Perhaps, but I really cannot see that ending the usual bickering when it comes to the Postseason. The fan base of every team who believes they deserve that last spot, in whichever format is used, will always complain that the system is corrupt. True fans of the game should just enjoy each Saturday instead of sweating out a potential January matchup all season. Besides, if you spent all week arguing that a 1-loss LSU should be ranked ahead of South Florida, your issue was cleared up by Thursday night. Save that energy for cheering on your team next time.


* What an atmosphere it’s going to be Monday Night in Jacksonville. The Jags have won four straight, and they will entertain the World Champion Colts in front of the entire country. Jacksonville ran all over Indy the last time these two met, and it’s always must-see TV when the gritty Jaguar defense matches up against Peyton Manning.

* Think Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe is enjoying watching the Rockies trek to the World Series? He coached both first baseman Todd Helton (QB) at Tennessee in the mid ‘90s and reserve outfielder Seth Smith (QB) a few years ago at Ole Miss. Additionally, when Cutcliffe began his college coaching career in Knoxville in 1982, Colorado hitting coach Alan Cockrell was the signal caller for the Vols.

* Have you ever heard less ‘buzz’ for a Florida State-Miami game? Both schools have got to get the big-time playmakers back on their campuses in order to return this rivalry to the level it should be.

* Historically, Jeff Gordon has been hard to beat at Martinsville. If he takes a third straight checkered flag, the ‘Chase’ will be all but over with four races to go.

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