Column: College football is back — finally!

By W. BRIAN HALE
Eagle Sports Writer
brian.hale@mountaineagle.com
Posted 9/25/20

In a year where it seems like everything in our lives has been turned upside-down, inside out and thrown to the moon, this weekend a source of stability returns as a lighthouse in the storm for us — college football is back.

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Column: College football is back — finally!

Posted
In a year where it seems like everything in our lives has been turned upside-down, inside out and thrown to the moon, this weekend a source of stability returns as a lighthouse in the storm for us — college football is back.
 
Yeah, I know, some people will say “college football has been on for weeks now.” Not for me and many other true college football fans. Without the SEC, college football is like watching arena league football — somethings might be similar, but it’s not the real thing.
 
With the exception of watching our local high school teams compete, I’ve largely stayed away from football until this weekend.
 
The NFL with its elitism and way it treats fans and cities outside of their market sickens me, although they still expect those they scoff at to watch their games and buy their merchandise.
 
Without the SEC logo on the screen, it just doesn’t mean that much.
 
So on Saturday, real normalcy returns to me in the vastly changed world. Time to watch what happens with ‘Bama and Auburn this weekend, pull for whoever is playing Florida (Ole Miss in this case) and make fun of Tennessee fans.
 
Speaking of this first week’s action, the Tigers have quite an intriguing matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats.
 
I do fully expect Auburn to pull out the victory in Jordan-Hare, but it will be awfully close for comfort.
 
To me, Gus Malzahn is living on borrowed time. The up-down instability of Auburn football under Malzahn is wearing on Auburn fans. Since the 2013 season, there’s been one 10-win season and no SEC titles, and supporters are tired of asking “when are we going to compete for SEC and national titles?”
 
Meanwhile up in Missouri, I expect ‘Bama will manhandle the Tigers. 
 
The Tide are out for blood this year after a rare season in 2019 where there was no SEC title or playoff appearance. That didn’t sit well with Nick Saban, his team or the Bama nation — and the hungry beast is eager to feed.
 
It’s starting much later than normal and has been greatly changed to what we’re used to, but real college football is here this weekend.
 
Amid a pandemic, political mayhem and everyday mishaps that all make us shake our collective heads at 2020 and wonder what will happen next, at least on Saturday, there’s a beautiful little slice of normalcy that we can get lost in for a few hours.
 
———
 
W. Brian Hale is the Sports Writer at the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at brian.hale@mountaineagle.com.