The first college football Saturday is here, and we’re absolutely stoked about it.
1) The wild upsets and the almost upsets
On the nine-year anniversary of Appalachian State’s historic upset win over Michigan, the Mountaineers took No. 9 Tennessee to overtime on Thursday night. Because why not? Twists and turns happen every week in the college football season, and this year, the madness got started early.
Last season, Jacksonville State took then-No. 6 Auburn to overtime in Week 2. In Week 1 of the 2015 season, Northwestern shocked No. 21 Stanford in Evanston. That loss may have cost the Cardinal a playoff berth, and the expected outcomes come true just enough in college football to make the upsets extremely special.
2) Every game is a playoff game
For a lot of teams, anyway. Stanford’s Week 1 slip-up proved to be extremely costly last year.
This season, look at a team like Houston. The Cougars play in the AAC, and opportunities to collect wins against quality opponents are few and far between. Houston opens up play against Oklahoma on Saturday, and if it loses, its College Football Playoff hopes would turn bleak. Again, we’re talking about the first week of the season.
There are no ‘off weeks’ in college football; take a rest against an inferior opponent, and your championship hopes could vanish. That dynamic adds so much weight to every single game that is played.
3) The game day shenanigans
Tailgates, marching bands, student sections, introduction music, etc. Where else are you going to experience a rush like this?
Such shenanigans can come from fans, players, coaches, broadcasters, etc. Speaking of broadcasters…
4) You get to wake up to ESPN College GameDay
On a weekday morning, a normal person might wake up, shower, watch the news and brew a cup of coffee before heading to work. On college football Saturdays, you get to wake up to this.
ESPN College GameDay features a mix of fun, predictions gone right or wrong, fan interaction and outstanding stories from around the country. It’s a perfect prelude into the riveting day of action that is in store.
5) The crazy plays you can't script
These all happened last year alone:
Perhaps no other sport can cultivate that level of drama. More this year, please.
6) Rivalries and traditions
Where do you even start when listing college football rivalries? There are too many great ones to name them all, and such games have a tendency to be wildly fun and entertaining. Great rivalries exist in other sports, sure, but in college football it would be legitimately difficult to create a top 10 without leaving an intense rivalry out. You can’t say that about other sports.
The same goes for traditions, where, again, there are too many to name without offending a deserving fan base. The point is, college football is a sport that’s rich in rivalry and tradition, which only enhances the viewing experience.
7) Crazy statistical performances
From Thursday night:
Thanks to college football’s varying styles, there are offensive systems to suit just about every fan’s tastes. The spread offense, in particular, is known for producing some crazy stat lines.
Christian McCaffrey ran for 2,019 yards last season while catching 45 passes. Former Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty threw for 5,055 yards and averaged almost 10 yards per passing attempt. On the defensive side of the ball, Iowa cornerback Desmond King picked off eight passes last season, and he’s back for more this year.
At least once per Saturday, a college football player will have a stat line that makes your jaw drop.
And for all of those reasons, we love watching college football. Happy Saturday.