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College football approaches; and we wait

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College football season opens with TV games on Thursday, Aug. 28. (Source: MGN) College football season opens with TV games on Thursday, Aug. 28. (Source: MGN)

(RNN) - This time of year recalls Thanksgiving morning when the feast is still under construction, we can’t have any, and we are starving.

We see and smell the plump, glistening brown turkey; cornbread dressing fragrant with sage and rosemary awaits the application of creamy, hot giblet gravy and that cranberry stuff Aunt Mildred makes with the cherries and walnuts; sweet potato casserole crusted with crunchy pecans and brown sugar, swimming in melted butter, steaming with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg; flaky, hot biscuits; the pumpkin pie, the coconut cake, and Mama in her apron wielding her spoon, wagging her finger, saying again, “Not yet.”

Likewise, all across this great land, quarterbacks spin passes to streaking wide receivers as freshmen cover corners in full stride time their leaps and tips; young offensive linemen guess which guy to block; harried reporters decipher the junk that sweaty coaches mutter after practice.

Until grace is said and the anthem plays, we wait. And all we can do is talk about it.

So, let's talk. And talk.

OK, this playoff thing. It’ll be great because we’ll have four things to complain about every year instead of only two.

It’s early and so we wonder which four teams? Of course, the lame-stream media is all like, Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma. But why not Michigan State, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina or even somebody from the Pac 12? Oregon, Stanford and… well, that’s about it, Oregon and Stanford.

And really, why NOT Michigan State? All they did was beat Ohio State like a yard dog then they got Stanford in the Rose Bowl and said, wham, wham, wham.

Those Spartans get no respect because they play defense, and defense is not stylish these days. Defense is for fogeys like me and all the smart people. Running up and down the field like crazy boys, that’s what’s hip, like those plastic glasses. You know what I think? I think go-fast offenses look like Rick Perry in plastic glasses. Not hip.

Southeastern Conference. Because.

Alabama’s not hip and those Tides sure play defense. However, they neglected to tackle and cover receivers in the last two games last year against go-fast people, which made Auburn a sex symbol and Bob Stoops thinks he’s Vince Lombardi now. Oklahoma is good, but only in the context of their crummy conference. If that makes any Big 12 sympathizers indignant, Auburn plays Kansas State on Sept. 18. Just you watch what happens. Because even though Auburn is a go-fast, those War Eagles knock people down and run over them. They may be the best team in the West.

Who’s the best team in the west depends mostly on Alabama’s new guy, Jacob Coker, the ex-Florida State quarterback who doesn’t steal crab legs, but who wasn’t as fast and good as the one who did. You’d think with all those No.1 recruiting classes, Nick Saban wouldn’t wind up going “D’oh! No quarterback!” But he did. If Coker doesn’t work out and it’s Blake Sims, win about eight and enjoy your trip to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Bama.

South Carolina, there’s an interesting crew. They start the season with the best Thursday game in history when they play Texas A&M, which will feature some guy at quarterback, on Aug. 28. The Gamecocks play Georgia two weeks later; they play Auburn on Oct. 25. Those are the ones that’ll tell the story. The Young Ball Coach Steve Spurrier (he doesn’t like to be called “old” now that he is) is talking smack like back in the Happy Gator days. Hello, trouble.

Speaking of Florida, which was worse than Ebola last year, poor Will Muschamp had better win or that Michigan State coach will be getting calls from wealthy Gator boosters. The Unhappy Gators play three YMCA teams then go to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 20 with not much offense and a really shaky defense. Watch that one. Wealthy Florida boosters will be sitting with fingers poised over the Mark Dantonio entry on their iPhones.

Mississippi State, which has former Florida assistant Dan Mullen head coaching, is going to be the best it’s been since … well, Mississippi State has never been much good. But this year, 19 of 22 defensive depth-chart people are back. That Dak Prescott kid is the quarterback, and he looks like he could be pretty good. He’s got as many as two or three guys who can block this year and one or two who can run and catch. The Bulldogs have LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn all in a row in late September, early October. Get through that, and could be, maybe.

Ole Miss has Alabama and Auburn at home this year, which is a good place to play the other two contenders in the West. Bo Wallace is back at QB with the prettiest hair ever. Oh, I kid Bo Wallace, who is a pretty decent quarterback, which might be enough. If there’s going to be a surprise team, here it is.

LSU has a really good new running back, a good new quarterback, and the defense gets a boost from defensive back Jalen Mills pleading that alleged assault on a woman down to simple battery, and after that, it’s mostly misdemeanors this preseason. Les Miles said he thinks the team is pretty good this year, so is it Smart Les or Goofy Les saying that? We’ll see. But LSU’s defense wasn’t all that last year, and those guys are all gone. Is that good or bad?

Georgia has a new defensive coordinator, so things are bound to be better than last year, when Bulldog defenders stood there singing “The Farmer in the Dell” while opponents ran by. Nobody really expects them to contend in the East, which usually means they will. Once again, the Bulldogs play Clemson and South Carolina the first two weeks of September, so they’ll either be irrelevant or famous before the lightning bugs die.

Missouri won the East last year. Encore? Doubt it, even though that Maty Mauk kid is a good gun. First three games: at South Carolina, home vs. Georgia, at the totally desperate Florida. Get back to me when that’s over.

More later…

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