By Will Stevenson
Finally, College Football has returned to prime-time and given us what we wanted; A thriller from start to finish, an underdog story, and a great game. Usually they give us the Kickoff Classic which results in a prime time game involving Alabama versus some team in which they will destroy by 30 or more points, but this year they decided to fill the whole Labor Day weekend with nothing but football games. It took them long enough to grab the weekend before the NFL season starts, but it finally happened.
College Football doesn’t do much that would give them a halo or praise, but the Notre Dame vs Texas game lived up to the hype. With all the sponsorships, commercials, million dollar coaches, student athlete demands and lack of money to players, one can view college athletics as a one-sided money-making machine. With all that being said, somehow, every weekend, we keep on coming back. We keep on filling these stadiums and placing bets on these ridiculous spreads that may have Hawaii vs Fresno State +81 on a Thursday night. Just as I sit here and complain, I sit here and tune in to every game I can get my eyes on. Am I able to keep up with how many starters are returning for the Miami Hurricanes defense? No. Do I know that Boise State is shuffling out their 4th offensive coordinator in eight years? No. Do I know the starting quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks is a red-shirt senior that was recruited by Will Muschamp and sat behind Jake Driskel as a freshman? No, and I have no idea if these statements are true. That’s the point; we have no idea who these players are, but we tune in every Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Every year it’s supposed to be Notre Dame’s year, and by November we realize it’s not. Every year is supposed to be the year Texas goes after Nick Saban, but they don’t. It was a high scoring game, there were numerous moments which included a double overtime thriller that also had four quarterbacks lining up under center. CFB took a chance with standalone games, but they made sure they were two programs that were notable to the average viewer. Do the Irish or the Longhorns put up gaudy offensive numbers that would rival the Texas Tech Red Raiders? No. The one thing they do have are fanbases that will travel to where ever the game is played, and whoever gets to televise this game will have viewers because what else is there to watch; Power? Ballers? The Waiver Wire? So they lucked out and got a great game. The Wisconsin vs LSU game was a yawner but came down to the final minutes. Alabama dusted USC as expected, and the Clemson vs Auburn game was less than exciting, but it had a little flair with Deshaun Watson and “Mr. Bring Your Own Guts” himself on the sidelines.
CFB did what they usually do, make us forget about how they operate. They are taking a page from the NFL in which they took over a weekend that seemed to be a dead period. Will they be able to fill those NFL gaps during the season in the future? I don’t know, but they are off to a good start, and I don’t even like to give the NCAA any credit.