The beauty of college football is that it forces grown men who are otherwise reasonable and productive adults to throw out all reason and common sense.
College football brings out emotion. My wife always tells me that I’m not very emotional. Didn’t she see me screaming at the television on Saturday? Didn’t she see me not talk to anyone for two days following Saturday’s loss? I guess that’s not what she means.
Millions of gentlemen across the Southeast and millions of non-gentlemen outside the Southeast changed this past week. They crossed over from off-season self into in-season self.
Georgia fans crossed over from optimistic — from casually floating to the wife hints regarding booking BCS Championship Game hotel rooms — to questioning many things in life, namely why the dynamic duo of Murray and Richt can’t seem to bring the Dawgs to the Promised Land.
Florida fans can’t quite figure out why a talented guy like Jeff Driskel struggles so much on the field when in-state rival Florida State plugs in a similarly talented athlete in Jameis Winston and he shines. Florida fans need therapy right now as they find themselves not sure what to believe in. No team has experienced a worse 11-1 season as Florida fans did last year. Winning is winning, right? Well, what’s the problem? I don’t know!
Alabama fans are regretting putting that down payment on those gigantic three-peat back tattoos that they secured this summer after a lackluster win against Virginia Tech. Making matters worse, it doesn’t make any sense that AJ McCarron who does everything right — except the aforementioned Alabama tattoo tendency — looks worse in opening week than Johnny Manziel who took a trip around the country reminding everyone that he is better than you. He was supposed to be humiliated on the field come football season, right?
The Crimson Tide faithful have essentially diminished what Saban has accomplished to date by assuming another title in 2013 was automatic. Every championship is hard — except when the media fuels a crappy Notre Dame team into the national spotlight — and to assume any championship is automatic trivializes the insane accomplishments to date. This isn’t the Big Ten, folks. You gotta earn a conference championship down here. Saban has earned them and then some.
Ole Miss fans are starting to believe. They’ve got big time, young talent. They won a crazy one in Nashville. Vanderbilt fans were pissed about the loss, but then they went back to their studies, and frankly, it’s all good. James Franklin is likely an emotional roller coaster right now.
We know LSU returned talent on offense, but let’s face it, we’ve always perceived Zach Mettenberger as a cross between Ben Roethlisberger and Breaking Bad’s Badger character. Of course, Mettenberger would outplay McCarron and against a better defense during week 1. Up is down. Left is right.
The bottom line is that college football fans will react more strongly to the first week of the season than your wife will react to you forgetting her birthday. Grown men throw all reason out the door and immediately extrapolate week 1 successes and failures onto the remainder of the 2013 season. In most cases, these are purely emotional reactions, and what we expect to happen over the coming weeks and months will turn out to be completely false.
But, of course, that’s what makes this the greatest sport in the world. We become kids again. We scream at televisions. We cry on radio shows about Mark Richt. Ok, that last one is completely ridiculous. Get a grip, man!
Many of our expectations were flipped upside down after the teams took the field this past weekend. It’s a reminder that SEC football is just crazy. We spend all offseason crunching numbers and doing analysis in an attempt to accurately forecast what we think will happen when the season rolls around. It’s a futile attempt, something to fill the time as a fan while football ceases to exist on Saturdays.
Despite how firmly planted some trends seem to be, nothing stays the same. Games have to be played, and you can take solace in the fact that many, many fans have been shocked, over and over, each college football season. Many grown men have become train wrecks as a result of their beloved teams winning or losing on any given Saturday. Keep your sanity, give your coach a break, and enjoy the ride. We’re just getting started in 2013!