Yet Another Love Letter to College Football

Dear College Football, why are you so great?

vanderbilt celebrates
This past Saturday, I must admit, I was concerned. The slate of noon games were largely unappealing, a recent trend that has unfortunately continued. Sure, Memphis/UCLA was a ridiculous display of football with huge plays occurring at every turn. But college football – you’ve set the bar so high, one good game still feels like a letdown.

Around 6 p.m. on Saturday, I was depressed. The Memphis/UCLA game remained the only good one of the day. Notre Dame and Iowa were pulling away from inferior foes. SMU and East Carolina had spit the bit on upset tries. Missouri and BYU were getting blown out at home.

Heck, there was just one close game – a Tennessee/Florida clash that could only politely be described as “watchable” over the first three quarters. I had cleared out another Saturday for college football yet, somehow, I wasn’t being entertained. What was going on?

The only thing going on was my lack of faith.

Almost as soon as that thought popped into my head, Florida returned an interception for a touchdown. It was then, game on. Tennessee came roaring back to tie, only to have Florida win on the most ridiculously, hideously-defended last play touchdown I have ever seen in my life.

The most insane thing about Florida winning on a 60-yard touchdown play in the fourth quarter is that I liked the 2015 version better. Yes, Florida playing Tennessee in the Swamp means insanity.

In fact, the Florida game started to run long, which meant I missed the beginning of the evening games I was looking forward. Saturday night would prove to be an orgy of upsets, touchdowns and things that seemingly only happen in college football.

Does the NFL ever end a first half like Texas/USC, with two touchdowns in the last 30 seconds?

Does the NFL ever end a game like Texas/USC, with a touchdown, followed up by a field goal, followed by an intense overtime?

We know the NFL can never deliver overtime like college football just by the rules.

While Texas/USC were playing the oddest, most compelling game, the rest of the sport was on fire. Vanderbilt was upsetting a ranked team at home. Mississippi State was destroying a ranked team at home. Clemson was ripping out Louisville’s soul.

The day of games eventually ended past 2 a.m. on the East Coast, with San Diego State knocking off Stanford. A game that was delayed in the wee hours of my morning because the lights went off. Seriously! The city of San Diego don’t care about that stadium with the Chargers gone.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, the NFL did not interest me beyond my fantasy football team. How could it? On Saturday, I was treated to dozens of games at the same time on a nonstop basis for 12-plus hours. The excitement, quite literally, never stops.

Did you watch the Lions play the Giants on Monday night? In the NFL, it feels like the excitement, quite literally, never starts.

In my opinion, college football is not only the most entertaining product in sports – it’s the most entertaining thing on television. I know that every Saturday, if I set aside time to watch college football, I will be rewarded thusly.

Looking back at this Saturday, only Clemson/Louisville stood out as a marquee game. The week before there were four different games between ranked teams on at the same time. It’s human nature to assume there would be a drop-off in quality after a week like that.

Instead, college football delivered an even crazier Saturday with even crazier results and even crazier plays. Why do I even think it’s crazy? It happens every Saturday!

Looking ahead, this week’s schedule was deemed so inconsequential that ESPN isn’t even taking its flagship show, College Gameday, to a campus. Instead, they’re camping out in New York City. I’m not a fan of the move. It doesn’t matter.

On Saturday, I will be watching college football and I will be entertained.

On Sunday, I will be waiting for college football to return so I can be entertained.

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