What an amazing start to the 2008 college football season!
Okay, so last night didn't include any marquee match ups, but it was a nice way to ease into a weekend that should have a few solid games. The most impressive performance of the night probably goes to Steve Spurrier's boys at South Carolina, who seem to play on the opening night of college ball every year. The Cocks beat down NC State 34-0 in a game that saw virtually no offense until the fourth quarter, when SC put up three scores. An interesting moment came toward the end of the game when the home fans (the game was in Columbia) began to chant "S-E-C! S-E-C!" That's the first time I've ever heard any university's fans chant for the conference, but I like it. If the SEC dominates nonconference games the was I suspect it will, it would be interesting to see fans across the deep south following suit. Sort of a unifying effect before the bad blood of UGA-Florida and LSU-Arkansas and, of course, the Iron Bowl. Pity that the big nonconference games this Saturday are all either on the road (Tennessee at UCLA, Kentucky at Louisville) or at a neutral site (Bama and Clemson in Atlanta). Although my guess is that about 25,000+ Tide fans will make the trip, so that could work.
Speaking of Alabama football, I was thinking last night about the best entrance in college football, and here's what I came up with:
#5: Notre Dame players touching the "Play like a champion today" sign exiting the locker room.
#4: Michigan hitting the "Go Blue" banner.
#3: Va Tech (the pick of one of the ESPN analysts, can't remember who) with their "Enter Sandman" gig, which would be cooler if it weren't also what Mariano Rivera enters to. Minus points for lack of originality.
#2: South Carolina's "2001 A Space Odyssey". Minus points because 68,000 of the 80,000 fans in attendance don't know what 2001 A Space Odyssey is.
#1: Clemson running down the hill and touching Howard's Rock. I know, it's stupid to have two South Carolina teams here, but I don't know enough other team's traditions. Also, apologies for the "east coast bias".
Here's what would excite me: Alabama's home opener is in one week against Tulane under the lights. I'm not sure if they've ever run onto the field to Hans Zimmer's "Roll Tide", but wouldn't that be appropriate? It could be gawdy and overdone, with John Parker Wilson weilding an American flag and Nick Saban running into a sharp, metal object... Okay, so I don't like Saban. But wouldn't that be pretty tight? The song is the one used in this tribute to Texas's 2005 title run (best 0:45-3:30).
Anyway, Connecticut and Wake Forest (#23) were the two relevant schools besides South Carolina that had wins last night. All three of those teams will be ranked in the next week or two. Here's looking forward to the Tennessee-UCLA, Alabama-Clemson, Illinois-Missouri, and Albany-UMass games.