After many long months of eager anticipation, the wait is almost over.
The middle of August is finally here, which means the sport we all know and love is back. 18-year old freshman arrive on their respective campuses with aspirations to become the hallowed few that are household names, and seasoned veterans return to the gridiron looking to capture a title.
Meaningful yet meaningless preseason polls and predictions are announced, and hardcore fanbases argue in favor of their beloved football squads which they have followed for years. Anxious tailgators ready themselves for another year of the ups and downs of the season, while barbecues across the nation prepare to feed the fans some 33.2 million pounds of hot dogs during their busiest section of the year.
Numerous announcers and analysts convince millions across the country of the action that they promise will take place in the upcoming season, all the while readying and exciting themselves for another year’s edition of the sport that they have loved for so long. To participate in this annual chore, leaves forget their usual shades of green and morph into a fantastic array of fall colors, as if they too are exciting themselves over the upcoming year on the gridiron.
Athletes around the nation rejoice after having made their respective rosters, while other dreams and hopes are shattered after failing to make it through their team’s final cuts. The Saturday and Sunday warriors known as football players dissect the scheme of their opponents’ apparent gameplans.
And finally, just when you think you cannot wait one more day, it happens.
Herbstreit and Musberger welcome you to the first edition of College Gameday, and Thursday Night Football brings you the action of the first pro game of the year. The proven champs of years’ past promise another magical year, while the underdogs and cinderella stories begin to unfold as the weeks whirl by. Because everybody knows, when the first pigskin leaves the tee and the first kickoff is taken back, anything can happen.
So without further ado, and now that it feels socially acceptable to do this, here is the first ever Greenhouse Sports College Football Top 25:
(note: These rankings are for the preseason, and like other polls, have nothing at all to do with how I think the team will finish the 2013 season, or are not affected by the team’s strength of schedule. By definition, these rankings are how I think the team stacks up right now, with putting the team’s overall strength of their roster, coaching staff, injuries, etc. into account.)
(* = denotes conference game)
Rank Team Next Game
1. Alabama Aug. 31, vs Virginia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
2. Ohio State Aug. 31, vs Buffalo
3. Georgia Aug. 31, @ #7 Clemson
4. Oregon Aug. 31 vs Nicholls State
5. Stanford Sept. 7 vs San Jose State
6. South Carolina Aug. 29 vs North Carolina
7. Clemson Aug. 31 vs #3 Georgia
8. Texas A&M Aug. 31 vs Rice
9. Louisville Sept. 1 vs Ohio
10. Florida Aug. 31 vs Toledo
11. Notre Dame Aug. 31 vs Temple
12. LSU Aug. 31 vs #17 TCU (Arlington, TX)
13. Texas Aug. 31 vs New Mexico State
14. Oklahoma St. Aug. 31 vs Mississippi State (Houston, TX)
15. Florida State Sept. 2 @ Pittsburgh*
16. Nebraska Aug. 31 vs Wyoming
17. TCU Aug. 31 vs #12 LSU (Arlington, TX)
18. Michigan Aug. 31 vs Central Michigan
19. Oklahoma Aug. 31 vs UL-Monroe
20. Wisconsin Aug. 31 vs UMass
21. UCLA Aug. 31 vs Nevada
22. Boise State Aug. 31 @ Washington
23. Michigan St. Aug. 31 vs Western Michigan
24. Oregon St. Aug. 31 vs Eastern Washington
25. Northwestern Aug. 31 @ Cal
First Five Out: Miami (FL), USC, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Virginia Tech