And, no, not literally… Football season is upon us. The NFL Pre-season is a month or so away, and the NCAA football season about 6–8 weeks away. I still feel USC’s (lack-of-)strength-of-schedule propelled/elevated them to their proclaimed status last season and is undeserving of their national championship, and that Iowa is going to kick EVERYONEs butts this year.

Now that I’ve managed to piss off most southern-Californiaites, some 100000 fans of USC (and Leinart’s), I’m going to CYA (actually CMA) and say, I’ve moved and there’s no way you can track me down <wink>  In all seriousness though, I respect every student athlete – the amount of effort they put in for their schools, the pride they have, and all for no cash compensation (well, atleast for most of them) And I love this time of the year… I have several friends who are Trojans, and the smack-talk (after a few beers) is just too much. I remember having a heated discussion early in the season with a Trojan about Kyle Orton (henceforth referred to as KO)’s Heisman status vs Leinart’s Heisman status. And then, the discussion turned to Palmer vs Brees. And then it turned to who could win an arm wrestling match. And then it became about who is taller than whom. And then I decided that I should pick a battle I could win, so, at 2.30am, we decided that the person who could write code to parse a text file, containing names of ‘authors’, for a ‘last name’ the quickest would, umm, win (this argument we were having, about something).

For the first time in my life, last year, I cried during a football game. To recap :

  • Game # 1, Purdue 51 Syarcuse 0
  • Game # 2, Purdue 59 Ball State 7
  • Game # 3, Purdue 38 Illinois 30
  • Game # 4, Purdue 41 Notre Dame 16
    • I had the biggest smile on my face for the longest time that I can remember
  • Game # 5, Purdue 20 Penn State 13
    • KO throws his first interception of the season.
    • Purdue elevatest to the highest ranking in a longggggg time, they’re ranked #5 in the country
    • AI dreams of a USC vs Purdue showdown in the nat’l championship
  • Game # 6, Wisconsin 20 Purdue 17
    • Purdue Homecoming – we’d never lost a homecoming game under Tiller
    • Kyle Smith drops a potential CRUCIAL interception – it was a gift from above, any free safety’s dream to have a ball like that tossed to your hands
    • KO fumbles the ball late in the game, and it gets returned for a touchdown, the Badgers take the lead
    • KO rallies, sets Purdue up for a field goal, but Ben Jones misses from 42 yards out - wide right
    • AI cries

And I can’t go on… KO got injured. Purdue kept losing, and ended up losing to Arizona State at the Sun Bowl. Yuck. I suppose for my own sake, I feel like there’s much lesser at stake now. KO was so hyped at the beginning of last season, every touchdown he threw was a touchdown that he threw, more than Purdue scoring one. And every interception hurt more than trying to accept Michael Jackson’s innocence. Brandon Kirsch is projected to be our new starter. And, just having not liked him because he was such a contender for the prime QB spot against KO last year and the year before, I feel there is so much lesser at stake. I suppose I wont be emotionally tied, I’ll still be wearing a #18 jersey, although I know it means nothing, and I’ll still be rooting for us big time. Besides, have you seen our schedule? No Michigan, no Ohio State, no Penn State, and our toughest road-game is at Wisconsin (or Minnesota).

So, here we are… A year or so later. Who will explode this season?

  • According to Fox Sports, the first name being mentioned is that of Dorien Bryant’s. The kid’s quick! Made a HUGE mistake against Mee-chew-gum last year, but has hopefully learned enough under Tiller’s campaign to know when to tuck the ball in. But then again, having watched KO last year, maybe not <grin>
  • I’d also watch out for Drew Tate, from Iowa. Tate’s a genuine Heisman contender this year, and for some reason is flying low under everyone’s radar. This year marks the beginning of his era.
  • Vince Young – what is this kid made of? He passes about 20 times a game, and runs for about a 125 or so?? Say what?? Lucky longhorn fans…
  • And, this year, we’ll finally see what Leinart’s made of. Now that Norm Chow’s gone, and Leinart made the biggest decision known to man (after the demolition of the Berlin wall of course) to stay back and play some more USC football - whatcha got Leinart?

I love this game. And the Big 10 rules…

‘AI’