Well, y’all…it’s here. The final few days of the 2014 College Football season. The beginning is full of so much excitement and hope. All of us, even those of us whose favorite teams aren’t the biggest and best, have hope that this, THIS, will be our season. This will be the year when we’ll get to cheer our team on to victory and all its eternal glory. For most of us, that never happens, but it’s the hope that keeps us going…keeps us coming back every year. Week by week, we all watch as our teams fall out of the race one by one, and then it comes down to just one thing. LOVE. We cheer for our team because we love our school. We love the players. We love the traditions. We love the game. Let me tell you…as a fan who has had a LOT of experience cheering for a team that is rarely in the conversation for the top 25, much less national title contention, it is love for my team, my school, and the game that keep me coming back every year. If you’re one of those “fans” who only enjoys college football if your team is winning, let me be the first to tell you: YOU ARE NOT A FAN. This season was especially great for me, because for the first time in a LONG TIME, Mississippi State was in the National Title conversation…at least for a while. Ultimately the end of the season wasn’t the way I would have written it, but we are ranked #7 in the nation, second in the nation’s toughest division, with a 10-2 record, and an invitation to The Orange Bowl in just a couple of days.
I’m sure all my friends, family, and coworkers are going to be glad not to have to listen to me ramble on and on about football every day, and even I have to admit it will be nice to wear some of the non-maroon pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. But I’m a little sad. Not because my team didn’t make it to the first ever College Football Playoff (okay, I am a little sad about that) or because my team lost to their in-state rival (okay, I’m REALLY sad about that), but because College Football is almost over. I love everything about college football: reading the predictions every week, listening to the analysts discuss it, watching College GameDay and, my new favorite show, SEC Nation, watching the upsets and the underdogs, following the reactions (both serious and funny) on twitter, watching Sports Center when I’m working at home and yelling at my TV whenever I disagree, learning about the back stories of players and remembering that they are, after all, just college kids who play for nothing more than their own great love for the game…seriously, y’all, I LOVE college football. A LOT.
But you didn’t come read this for my love letter to college football…so, college football fans, here’s the top 10 reasons I’m already depressed about the end of the college football season.
10. The ending of the regular season for Mississippi State – this had to make the list, but ultimately it’s at the bottom of the list of reasons I’m sad about the end of the season because our season was so great…just a little anticlimactic at the end. Based on how I acted after the Egg Bowl, I’m sure my parents will find this ranking a little shocking. (Sorry, Mom & Dad) Now I think I understand why my sister will never watch this game with me. (Sorry, Kellie)
9. Not enough Kliff Kingsbury – maybe it was because I was so preoccupied with my own team this year, or maybe it’s because Texas Tech didn’t have a stellar year, but not a lot of their games were on TV up here in Tennessee, so the only time I got to watch the most stylish and attractive coach in college football (and the Red Raiders) was while I was in Texas at my Tech Alumn BFF’s house. Y’all know her…she’s the other Petey! (Side note: we went to the TTU tailgate at the TCU game, hoping for a Kliff sighting. Spoiler alert: we failed.) (Other side note: despite not being able to watch Kilff, I did drink out of my Kingsbury #ourcoachishotterthanyourcoach mug a lot. Thanks to Audrey for one of my favorite birthday presents ever. And thanks for rubbing it in how much hotter your team’s coach is than ours.)
8. Jesse Palmer’s suits – speaking of attractive men in College Football, if you don’t follow Palmer on Instagram, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. It’s like an inside look at the best places to visit if you’re a college football fan…or a fan of good food and coffee and travel in general. His Instagram, incidentally, is good to follow year round, but, the man has good suit game. Sure, I know, I know…they’re a bit on the, ahem, fitted side, but seriously, get over it y’all…he doesn’t come to where you work and knock the corndog out of your hand. They’re nice suits, and I love a man with style. And personally I like a well fitted suit over one that fits like you’re wearing one that belongs to your dad and is a size too big. Well done, Brooklyn Tailors. You too, Palmer.
7. My Saturdays are wide open – I guess I should start training for another half marathon with all my free time. Seriously, what am I going to do every Saturday? No, really, I’m free for a while if y’all want to hang out. Oh wait…have I mentioned http://www.watchlikeagirl.com yet? That’s what I’ll be doing in my free time. Stay tuned.
6. TWITTER – I have a terrible feeling that Twitter is about to become a lot less entertaining. People who have never met each other get in heated arguments about their respective teams, FSU fans blame the SEC for all their troubles, people hate on Jesse Palmer’s suits, the rest of the world complains about ESECPN’s bias…so much to enjoy this time of the year.
5. Sad Fans Are Sad – Thanks, Saturday Down South…that’s all I can say. Just, thanks.
4. Scout Ponder’s Instagram – If I had a 6 month old, I’m pretty sure she would be as cool and as funny as Samantha Ponder’s 6 month old. I’m pretty sure Scout and I have a lot in common and should be friends. No, that’s her mom, Samantha…Sam is one of my favorite ESPN sideline reporters. And she posts cute things about her kid in a not annoying way (I didn’t even know that was possible). I hope I can still follow Scout’s many adventures in the upcoming offseason!
3. Talking football – Mostly just because it surprises a lot of people when I talk and actual football knowledge comes out. To quote my cousin: “Are you smarter at football than me?” Yes. Yes I am. (Side note: I’m probably not, but I’ve always been really good at sounding like I know what I’m talking about, and I have enough football knowledge and watch enough Sports Center to pull it off.)
2. SEC Nation – I can’t even come to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to get my weekly dose of Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears, and even Paul Finebaum talking SEC Football. The SEC Network did a great job with this show. I love seeing guys who played at these stadiums in recent years, guys who I watched play, highlight the traditions of each school, and I also love that this show brings an opportunity for all of the SEC schools to get a chance for some exposure and spotlight. Also, how can you not love Tim Tebow…I have watched all season and I have not once heard him say one negative thing about any school or program. Even when he says something negative, he says it in a way that it sounds positive, and I think it is important for us all to remember that these are just kids playing and we should be more uplifting rather than so critical week in and week out when they aren’t perfect. Also, he wore a maroon tie for SEC Nation in The Grove for the Eggbowl. Well done, Timmy. (I would like to note that I will also miss College GameDay, but I was really pleasantly surprised at SEC Nation this year and can’t wait for more of this for years to come!)
1. FOOTBALL – I’m sure my liver will be grateful to have a break from the amount of alcohol necessary to survive some of these games and my neighbors will be glad to not hear me screaming and/or ringing my cowbell every Saturday, but honestly…most of all, I’m going to miss watching football. Whether it’s my team or any team, there is just something so great about a Saturday spent watching a good game.
Whoever your team is…here’s to this season, next season, and all the traditions, fans, food, tailgating, hope, and love of the game that come with it. Enjoy these last few games! And watch for our new site, http://www.watchlikeagirl.com, coming soon. If you think this is funny…just wait!
Hail State, y’all!