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College Football in America – The Great Divider

Christopher Harris

We are less than one week away from the kick-off of the 2014-15 College Football Season on Thursday, August 28th, and the race to decide who will hoist the Amway American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Championship Trophy.  I love football, and I think it is a foregone conclusion that College Football is America’s favorite sport, based on overall attendance. It’s fascinating to me, because Americans are both united by our love of football, and divided by our loyalty to our chosen “home team”.

As much as I like watching NFL games (diehard Detroit Lions fan), I have to admit, I prefer the pageantry and tradition of College Football. I love the passion that Americans have for our favorite College Football teams. But before we are divided by our love for our particular team, we are first divided by our allegiance to our particular College Football conference. As for me, its BIG-10 all the way, and GO MICHIGAN WOLVERINES!!

The earliest game kicks off at 6pm EST with pre-season No. 9 South Carolina, playing host to No. 21 Texas A&M in Columbia, SC. This is a game featuring two serious SEC contenders, because South Carolina finished the 2013 season 2nd in the SEC East at 6-2 (11-2 Overall), and Texas A&M finished 4th in the SEC West at 4-4 (9-4 Overall).

However, according to a recent article by Pat Forde with Yahoo Sports, “Move over, SEC: Why the Pac-12 will be the nation’s best football conference”, and he goes on to say that the Pac-12 has three important things going for it:

• The deepest pool of proven coaches it has ever had.

• The finest collection of quarterbacks in the nation. By a wide margin.

• The toughest schedules anywhere, in a year when strength of schedule (allegedly) will matter more than ever.

Outside of talking politics and/or religion…the best way to start an argument in America, is to proclaim that your College Football conference is the best, and/or that that your College Football team is the best. Now as a loyal Big-10 and Michigan Wolverine fan, I have to say that Pat Forde can kick rocks…and that the Big-10 will be represented in the National Championship game by my Michigan Wolverines. So of course, I am somewhat annoyed to see former Michigan head coach, and current Arizona head coach, Rich Rodriguez making statements like this.
“I know the SEC and rightfully so, they should claim themselves as the best league in the country because they’ve earned it and they’ve done it. But to go through the Pac-12 and win a national championship may be the most difficult thing to do. … So a lot of teams have a championship game, but they don’t have non-conference games. We have both. So I think it makes us unique. That on top of the fact that every program in our league, I think, has gotten better, or getting better than they’ve ever been before, makes our league a pretty good spot.”

He will have plenty of opportunity to back up his words once the season starts, because everyone has a plan…until they get hit, and everyone is going to win the national championship…until the ball is kicked off.

As a side-note, I am a born and raised Air Force Brat, so of course, I also support the Fighting Falcons of the U.S. Air Force Academy. And you really haven’t experienced the true pageantry of college football…until you have experienced an Air Force Academy home football game. GO AIR FORCE!!

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