The time has come to stop talking and start playing. Let the sweet sound of a referee's whistle mercifully replace the pound of a judge's gavel.
It's time for wish lists and check lists:
Out-of-the-box Thursday features a not-too-shabby lineup of Boise State versus
We all need this. It's been a long, lonely winter and summer dominated by a basketball player named O'Bannon, Power 5-conference autonomy and the demand for more care-package food for underfed linebackers. The worst-looking off-season defense was played by
It's a new dawn, dusk and
The 13-person panel will convene weekly starting in October and drop a weekly top 25 in our laps four times before announcing the Final Four on Dec. 7.
Team No. 5 may then file a lawsuit.
The decision-makers said they gave the fans what they wanted, a playoff bracket, but also gave us five new bowls we didn't ask for: Bahamas, Boca Raton, Camellia, Detroit and Miami Beach.
The Cotton and Peach (Chick-fil-A) bowls were promoted to major status and join the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange in the six-bowl playoff rotation.
The Rose and Sugar are host to the semifinal games on Jan. 1. My set-in-silly-putty preseason rankings project No. 1
The winners will meet Jan. 12 at Jerry Jones' party house in Arlington, Texas.
The College Football Playoff is a far better way to settle a season even as it strips the sport from some of its quirky, incorrigible charm. Letting polls and computers pick the top two teams, you must admit, was funnier than
With the committee now making all important decisions, the old bowl system is mothballed, meaning no more men in wild-colored jackets handing out bowl invites before any games are played. "Congratulations, Team X, on the fine 7-5 season we know you're going to have!"
The major polls, which crowned football champions for decades, are meaningless. The committee is the only poll that matters.
The new system, coming in the same year the five rich conferences gained autonomy from the five poorer leagues, means fewer
It seems impossible a team such as Boise could ever challenge again for a national title. Chris Petersen must have thought so because he picked this year to leave for Washington.
The Las Vegas bookmaker Bovada's thinks so in making Boise 300-to-1 to win the national title.
Every team in the USA Today coaches and Associated Press media preseason top-25s is from a Power 5 league or
Marshall could go undefeated with fabulous quarterback Rakeem Cato and still stand no chance of making the top four based on its weak league (
Everywhere you look there is change. Charlie Strong replaced Mack Brown as the coach at Texas and
A welcome back to talented players who got knocked out last season: quarterback Everett Golson (Notre Dame, for academics), and quarterbacks Chuckie Keeton (
On the flip side, there is more hot-seat, bad-injury news for
Florida State snapped the SEC's streak of seven national titles with its win over
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, a baseball buff, told Mark Blaudschun of Bleacher Report the seven in a row was comparable to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. "It's just one of those records that will never be broken," Slive said.
Seven is a key number in the SEC. Slive recently mandated his teams schedule at least one nonconference game against another Power 5 conference school each year.
A Kansas football beat reporter tweeted Tuesday he was told right after Slive made the announcement, "Kansas received 'about seven calls.'"
College football is special because the regular season matters from Day One. Opening weekend pits
A week later,
Given the news around
A few predictions:
• Major conference winners: Oregon (
• Best potential matchup involving former head coaches at
• Most improved team (or else): Florida. If the Gators finish 4-8 again, Will Muschamp will be an ESPN analyst this time next year.
• Overrated in preseason polls: Clemson (almost always), North Carolina (every year except 1997), Notre Dame (academic probe),
• Battling for a starting guard spot at Oregon is Jake Pisarcik, son of former
• A backup linebacker for the Ducks is Danny Mattingly, nephew of Dodgers Manager Don.