Tag Archives: College football

Knights Inch Closer to Taste of Sweet Sugar

Tonight the University of Central Florida Knights (9-1, 6-0) will host the University of South Florida Bulls (2-8, 2-3) in their second to last game of the college football regular season.

UCF is guaranteed the school’s first ever spot in one of the Bowl Championship Series games if they hold on to win the American Athletic Conference.

With games left against the Bulls tonight in Orlando and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs next Saturday in Dallas the odds do seem to be in favor of UCF holding on for a conference title and coveted BCS bowl spot.

The UCF Knights will host the USF Bulls tonight and will try to inch one step closer to the school's first ever BCS bowl appearance. Photo R. Anderson

The UCF Knights will host the USF Bulls tonight and will try to inch one step closer to the school’s first ever BCS bowl appearance.
Photo R. Anderson

As it currently stands UCF is projected to go to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans where they will most likely face the Tigers of Auburn University.

Of course this is merely a projection based on the information at the time which makes planning for a January 2, 2014 excursion to Louisiana hard to predict.

While on paper UCF should have little difficulty defeating USF and SMU, in reality no one really knows what will happen until the games are actually played.

The UCF versus USF game is just one of many marquee matchup games this weekend as the college football season ramps down and teams from sea to shining sea battle for those coveted bowl game invites.

As stressful as that can be at times for all involved the fact that the games are played is certainly better than a world where the outcomes are known in advance.

From the start of the season most people were convinced that Alabama and Oregon would square off for the National Title this year.

When UCF and SMU met at Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas in 2007 the Knights went on to win the Conference USA title. This year the Knights will earn a automatic BCS bowl berth with a victory over the Mustangs.  Photo R. Anderson

When UCF and SMU met at Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas in 2007 the Knights went on to win the Conference USA title. This year the Knights will earn a automatic BCS bowl berth with a victory over the Mustangs.
Photo R. Anderson

As the preseason script went Alabama would be looking to win their third straight title and the Ducks of Oregon would be trying to show that they were worthy of all of the hype and could win the big game when it mattered by ending the Crimson Tide’s threepeat bid and bring an end to the Southeastern Conference’s stranglehold on the National title.

Some students at the University of Oregon were so sure of this likelihood that they had “We want Bama” shirts printed and sold on campus at the start of the season.

A funny thing happened after the ink on those shirts dried though.

Oregon lost some games and the Ducks were knocked out of the chance to face Alabama this year. On the bright side the “We want Bama” shirts did not have a date printed on them so they should still be valid next year when Oregon and Alabama are likely once again ranked near the top of the teams to beat list.

And even Alabama is not “guaranteed” a spot in the National title game. The Crimson Tide still have to survive games against fourth ranked Auburn this weekend in the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship game in two weeks in order to make it to the BCS National Championship Game.

Second ranked Florida State University climbed the polls after Oregon fell and while they should certainly manhandle a hapless University of Florida Gators team this weekend even their seat in the title game is not a given. Florida State also has some looming off field pending legal issues that could affect their roster for the rest of the season so their path is far from easy.

So that brings us back to this weekend where today and tomorrow will be filled with wall to wall college football games.

Football and cheese stuffed deli meat is the perfect combination. Photo R. Anderson

Football and cheese stuffed deli meat is the perfect combination.
Photo R. Anderson

And if two full days of college football were not enough there is also a full slate of NFL action on Sunday making this truly a weekend for football fans to be thankful.

Throw into the mix some leftovers from Thanksgiving and a football fan would have very little reason to leave the house from Friday morning to Sunday night. They should still maintain standard hygiene rituals though for the sake of those around them if they do decide to stay glued to the television all weekend.

Considering the fact that many fans would have started their gluttonous football weekend with three games on Thursday, they should at least leave the house on Monday for work before returning home for Monday Night Football.

With that much football to watch it is advisable to stay well hydrated and to get up and stretch at least once an hour to keep the blood flowing and minimize the risk of numbness in the posterior regions. And again be kind to yourself and others by remembering to leave time to shower and freshen up from time to time during the wall to wall pigskin marathon.

While this weekend marks the arrival of copious amounts of football, the arrival of the countdown to the bowl game season also means that by January there will be no more college football and by February the NFL season will be over.

So enjoy the games while you can football fans and prepare for the months ahead when the gridiron goes dark.

Of course that is the time when the Ballparks of Spring Training come alive so one is never really left without sports to enjoy.  And football will be back by next summer to help those suffering from withdrawal.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a game to watch. Go Knights!

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson

Ready or Not, Football is Here

Last night was the official kickoff of the College Football season, and the final night of the NFL preseason.

No longer content to have all of their games air on Saturdays, the expanding television landscape for college football now gives fans games Thursday through Saturday.

The NFL gives viewers live game action on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.

So for roughly the next five months there are only two days out of the week where live football games are not being broadcast somewhere.

And I am sure on those dark Tuesdays and Wednesdays there will be a replay of a game somewhere on the dial meaning that a fan could watch a football game every night of the week.

Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks kicked off the College football season last night with a game against North Carolina proving that Thursday night college football is here to stay. Photo R. Anderson

Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks kicked off the College football season last night with a game against North Carolina proving that Thursday night College Football is here to stay.
Photo R. Anderson

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy football but do I think that there needs to be five days a week of live games? Not really.

I think keeping the games Saturday through Monday would be a good mix but I know that I am most likely in the minority with that opinion.

While I know that there have been many weeks where I have watched a baseball game or two every night of the week that is different from wall to wall football.

For starters, while starting pitchers take four days off between starts the rest of the players on a baseball team can usually play night after night without the grind getting to them.

While football players would not play in a game on consecutive nights the staggering of game nights leads to scenarios where the time between games is not equal.

Whereas in the past players would have a full week to rest and take care of injuries between games, the new scheduling in college and professional football creates scenarios where a team could play games with 2-3 less days to recover.

While it is too soon to tell if this will lead to more injuries with players, it certainly stands to reason that players need as much time as possible between games to stay healthy due to the increased risk of injury in football compared to baseball.

And with college games now being played on “school nights” the NCAA is encouraging their athletes to stay out late which could impact their studies.

I almost typed that with a straight face. The NCAA has shown in recent years that the almighty dollar seems to take a front seat while student interests and ensuring academic accountability for football players seems to be lacking at times.

And one need only look at the situation with that sophomore quarterback in College Station, TX ole Johnny what’s his name to know that the NCAA is limited in its enforcement of rule violations.

Of course this conflict between class and football can be easily solved as one player for LSU accomplished by enrolling in a single online class for the fall semester thus ensuring that school work will in no way impede his football work.

In addition to competing with baseball on the airwaves for the next eight weeks or so, this is also the time of year when baseball will take a back seat on many of the sports pages and talk shows as the almighty pigskin season has arrived.

Right when baseball teams are ramping up their efforts for a run to the playoffs the gladiators of the gridiron have arrived to help ease the suffering fans have felt for the seven months without football.

I guess baseball fans are lucky in that we have seven months of season and only five months of off season to get through. I just wish that baseball coverage did not take a backseat each year as the season ramps up to the World Series.

Each year there will be those who say the baseball season is too long and they should hold the World Series in August to finish before football season starts. I have never agreed with that assessment.

Given the choice I would have baseball go year round since I enjoy watching the games and would certainly love a few extra months to head out to the Ballpark.

The potential for snow covered Ballparks is one of many things preventing year-round baseball. Thankfully football fills the five baseball free months of the year. Photo R. Anderson

The potential for snow covered Ballparks is one of many things preventing year-round baseball. Thankfully football fills the five baseball free months of the year.
Photo R. Anderson

Of course it is not realistic to have baseball go year round since even games in April and May have the chance to get snowed out.  I can only imagine the risk of snowed out games in open air stadiums in the north during December and January.

Plus, all of those Ballparks with pools and other water features in them would turn to ice.

Although having the umpire call time so a snow plow can clear the field might be fun to watch.

So, since the logistics just do not support year round baseball, I guess it is good that we have football to keep us occupied during those dark months between the end of the World Series and the time that players report to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to see how far back the box scores from last night got buried on the sports page to make room for the wall to wall football coverage.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson