After the recruiting process hits full swing, it’s time to start thinking about what your college football team will look like next year. With a new coaching staff in place, a new recruiting class, and a new system to install, there’s no time like the present to focus on the future of the program. Last year, you were on top of the recruiting world. Who will be leading the way in 2018?
The college football season is here. If you’re thinking about starting a new tradition at home this fall, consider buying an NCAA football gift. There are a lot of great gifts to choose from. For fans, there is the perfect shirt for a fan of any school. We’ve got a great selection of coffee mugs. If they are fans of a little league, there is a perfect cup for that fan.
In the 100 days leading up to the 2014 college football season, Onlineinterviews.com will be publishing a daily blog entry profiling a different player on every FBS team. For more information, please check out the Onlineinterviews.com team page.. Read more about college football week 1 2021 and let us know what you think.It’s hard to believe, but we’re only 100 days into week one. So we start the countdown to the first kickoff, because we are very excited about the start of the 2021 football season.
We brought together three of our football writers to analyze the upcoming games. From bands to sausages to new coaches to potential stars, that’s what they care about most.
Harry Lyles Jr: It’s finally here, the nice round number: 100 days before the start of the college football season. We hope it will be much more normal than it was in 2020, as we slowly approach the end of the coronavirus pandemic. But what do you expect from this season that you didn’t have last season?
Ryan McGee: You don’t have to spend the next 100 days wondering if college football really exists. Does it matter?
Lyles: It really makes a difference. I’m usually tired of nothing happening in the offseason in college football, but now I appreciate it after what happened last year.
McGee: For me, it’s the games between the teams. We had so many great plans for last September, and then ….. Rona.
Dave Wilson: The smell of smoked meat in the parking lot. Bands, no doubt. It consists mainly of meat.
Lyles: Dave has a good point. I think aesthetically it’s also a band for me. There are a lot of things that have nothing to do with football that make college football what it is, and if there’s one thing I love about this sport, it’s the way the Bandwagon flies when the team goes down the field after the first down. It’s more appealing than what NFL teams do.
McGee: Noise. Just noise in general. Noise. The bands perform. Flyovers. Drunk guys yelling at us when we come out of the press box in the fourth quarter because we hate their team. I missed everything. Neighbors yelling at me from their yard is not the same thing.
But I take the big non-conference games seriously. I mean, in the Big Ten alone we have Oregon at Ohio State (talk about groups), Wisconsin-Notre Dame at Chicago, Auburn at Penn State, Washington in the Big House in September….. Do it!
Ohio State’s group took us for a ride in Bikini Bottom pic.twitter.com/GcBqjHqEZc
– ESPN (@espn) October 26, 2019
Lyles: I think we deserve these games at this early stage, with all the noise we can make. I think we will achieve in the first two or three weeks what we missed in 2020.
McGee: I’m moving in with Adam Rittenberg for a month so I can commute.
Lyles: I heard it was good. I may have to make my own reservations.
Speaking of which: What experiences are you looking forward to when we return to the track for the first time in 2021?
Wilson: Road trips are to see all of college football, not just football. Much of what makes this sport the best has nothing to do with the field.
McGee: Wilson’s absolutely right. The best time for me is to arrive early and walk across the parking lots. Then I’ll go to the stadium as soon as they let me in. The reunion aspect of everyone, from those who have parked door-to-door for generations, to season ticket holders returning to the stands (in most places) after a year away, in the places where their parents and grandparents sat….. That’s what makes this sport the best.
Wilson: And being able to talk to those people and hear what they want from their team or their season.
Lyles: The fans have a different kind of joy for their team that you won’t find anywhere else. And it looks different everywhere. I know I will try to make as many trips as possible this season.
And there’s nothing better than sitting down and enjoying the best food in the area you’re in. This food works in several ways.
McGee: They think there will always be something, no matter what. Then it’s not. Take it off and you’ll appreciate it more than ever. And yes, this is in response to what Harry just said. I’ve been looking for parking spots at stadiums my whole life.
The Pac-12 parking lot smells very different from a parking lot in Louisiana. And it’s not just because of legal smoking.
Wilson: That’s why I made the distinction between smoked meat and smoke alone. You never know where it will come from on campus.
Lyles: I see no lies.
McGee: I love that I’m not even surprised when I go to LSU and a total stranger hands me a bowl of something that looks like the frogs Jabba the Hutt ate in Return of the Jedi. I just eat it.
This is college football.
Wilson: Okay, Harry, we won’t overreact. Next topic.
All eyes in Texas are on Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns team in his first year as head coach. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images
Lyles: I think we can talk about real football. What storyline will you be following or looking forward to this season?
Wilson: Texas has high hopes for Steve Sarkisian. He has talent and a big piece that Bijan Robinson can already be built around. But first seasons are always interesting, and you never know how long it will take for everything to fall into place.
McGee: For me, this is always the most exciting story of the preseason: new coaches. Remember last fall when we were all talking about Hey, this is not going to be like 2019. No major coach changes this year because of COVID-19, finances, and blah blah blah? Wrong.
Wilson: It only cost $24 million to fire Tom Herman.
McGee: The SEC alone has four first-year head coaches from the Power 5. Four!
Wilson: Oh, and one of the returnees, Jimbo Fisher, recently announced that he would kick Nick Saban’s ass.
Lyles: Pushing a bear is never a good idea. Not that he ever slept.
McGee: As for the guys beating Saban, the UCF situation intrigues me. Gus Malzahn is back as a true underdog. I know him well enough to understand the expression on his face. He relishes the chance to be at the wheel of a potential wrecking ball.
Lyles: I also wonder what Billy Napier and Louisiana will do this season. You said there are four new coaches in the SEC alone. If you’d told me he’d be gone in the early 2020s, I’d have looked at you funny.
Wilson: And it starts with Sarkisian and Texas. It really is a fascinating game. They’re better than Louisiana-Monroe against Alabama in Saban’s first year, but it happened.
Lyles: And of course we can’t talk about the Sun Belt without the singing – their encore will be interesting to watch.
McGee: I only watched one regular football game last year, and that was the Coastal Carolina vs. BYU. If you had told me that night that Jamie Chadwell would not be on an SEC campus this fall, I would have had the same questioning look Harry had for Napier. But sometimes a place is only suitable for a certain time.
Oh, and speaking of the SEC, Gus, Saban and everyone else, give credit to Butch Jones at Arkansas State. I’m not a fan of trainers, but I’d love to see Butch get up after holding a rock with his fingers spread like Indiana Jones.
Me and references to George Lucas movies today. I’ll see if I can use a quote from Willow or Red Tails.
Lyles: I still agree that the Fun Belt should be more fun.
But enough coaching. I know that for me personally, there are always a few players that I have on my calendar to watch. Last season it was Kyle Pitts, because… What else could it be?
Who are you looking forward to seeing this season?
Wilson: I look forward to the next in D’Eric King’s many football lives. He’s an interesting player to watch because he went from receiver to quarterback in Houston and then to Miami. After a serious knee injury, I’m glad he’s getting another chance.
McGee: Speaking of the BYU-Coastal game, which took place that same week: Can we use the expedited planning method to get an Ohio State-LSU match? I want to see the outs of the Bucs against the DJs of the Tigers. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson against Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks.
Lyles: McGee, you take the words right out of my mouth, especially when it comes to Olav. I don’t think he will be the most interesting player like DeVonta Smith in 2020, but he has led the team in receiving yards the last two years and would likely be a first round pick in this year’s April NFL draft. I’ve said it before on numerous ESPN platforms and will do so again here: I love great receivers and I hope one of them wins the Heisman Trophy.
McGee: Amen. Pass the potato salad. And if you really want to award the Heisman to the best player in the country, Stingley should at least be at the top.
Wilson: Remember the running backs? Breeze Hall gets back in the mood at Iowa State. Will he be able to start the conversation about the Heisman?
McGee: I remember her! Bigsby’s tank, from Auburn, sticks like a tank. And people forgot about Kennedy Brooks in Oklahoma because he resigned over COVID[-19]. But the man with two familiar names returns to help the QB with two cool familiar names, Spencer Rattler.
Lyles: We are fortunate that Bigsby and Rattler have not only impeccable names, but also incredible skills.
Don’t expect too much from Kennedy Brooks after his departure last season. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
How will you spend the next 100 days preparing for the season?
Wilson: To type faster and turn the pages of Phil Steele’s magazine with confidence, I’ve come up with a workout for my fingers.
McGee: My routine is as follows:
I’m off to cover the Indy 500, and on the way home I stop at the newsstand to buy all the football magazines that just came out, especially Steele. Then I meet my family at the beach, where Captain Morgan and I get a light pen and head to town.
When I’m sober, I go to a press conference and count how many times we hear the word great. And I will.
Lyles: It’s hard not to get excited. I will read anything our good friend Bill Connelly has published. You can even ask him to make some phone calls (Hey Bill!).
Wilson: I just covered the FCS championship game on Sunday (after several phone conversations with Bill), and the game was great, with a close and incredible ending. I’m going to wait in suspense for the next 100 days for the next one.
McGee: I mean: Hey Bill, how come you know so much about South Dakota State’s special teams?
Wilson: But imagine, after last season when no one knew when things would start, continue or end, just knowing that we have a 100-day countdown is pretty exciting. The FCS match was more of a beginning than an end. The South Dakota crowd was loud, the bars and restaurants were full, the fans were in the stands, and a great game crowned a champion. Football is back!
McGee: According to Wilson, that’s what I’m going to be doing for the next 100 days. Force yourself to stop and appreciate all that many, from FBS to FCS to Division II to Division III, have done to make college football possible, no matter when, where or how it happened. Coaches, players, administration, stadium staff, support staff, doctors, everyone. They did what they did to make sure we had a game last year that we loved and could feel somewhat normal. Now we can all feel perfectly normal.
Lyles: I’m looking forward to it. We should do this again.Another year is almost upon us, and there are a lot of big questions that need answering! How do you cover the season when your team isn’t playing? How do you come up with content for the first few weeks that will stand the test of time? How do you do it all with limited resources and time?. Read more about college football countdown 2021 and let us know what you think.
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