Friday, August 28, 2009

Back in Business

This morning I was thumbing through the alumni notes section of the latest Notre Dame Magazine. An alum remembered back to those first days on campus in August and hearing the marching band practicing off in the distance. It is a moment Father Ted has described as knowing "we're back in business."

With the cool weather lately--chill and clouds that have you reaching into the bottom drawer for a sweatshirt or hoodie before you realize the calendar still says summer--it's easy to not notice the season approaching. But it's getting closer. First we had reports of freshmen reporting to campus. Then the coaches poll, which everyone knows is a joke but was our first taste of actual information.

Now we have the real poll (AP poll) to chew over. We have point spread lines from Vegas we can actually believe. The managers of pick 'em games are sending emails that instead of saying "I can't wait for the season" say "this week's picks are out." On Monday or Tuesday we'll have depth charts that aren't for spring football, or camp, or fan-generated, but for actual Week 1 competition.

Ohhhhhhh I'm ready.

It technically starts Thursday night, with an ESPN game actually worth watching (Oregon at Boise State ... seems like in years past it's Mississippi State vs. Directional Louisana type games). It really starts a week from tomorrow morning, at 11am, when Iowa kicks off against Nothern Iowa. In between there will a drive to Ohio, a new College GameDay song, and hopefully, we're told, the return of football's Dickie V.

It's a long week, from now til Saturday. But it's only one week, and the light at the end of our weeklong tunnel ... is a glowing TV set, beaming college football into your eyeballs.

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