We have finally made it! The return of meaningful football games.
As is usually the case, the NCAA will kick things off with games starting Thursday night, while the NFL will follow one week later. Both schedules start things off with a couple of solid match-ups.
The college season begins with an SEC showdown between two top 25 teams – South Carolina and Texas A&M while the NFL starts things off with the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks taking on the Green Bay Packers.
If you are a football fan, then I can only guess you are excited.
There is certainly plenty to be excited about this fall on the gridironâ€”but nothing, in my opinion is more exciting than the NCAA finally instituting some sort of playoff system to decide its champion.
Iâ€™m pretty sure Iâ€™ve gone on record before with the four-team playoff is not enough (16 teams would make the most sense to me) but it is a start. We can feel a little better about calling the team that wins the national champion.
It certainly still has its shortcomings.
For instance, all four teams are put into the tournament by a selection committee. Again, this is where a real playoff tournament would make more sense as the winners of each conference could get bids to the tournament, but I digress.
There is a playoff and it is a good thing. In fact, as much as I am excited to fill my Saturdays over the next three months with football games, I am even more looking forward to next January when I can see this playoff system in action.
The NFL has no such exciting changes happening this season but Iâ€™m not sure it really needs them. Short of some measure to make its game safer for the players, I think the NFL is good as far as the rules, and playoff formats go.
Still not a fan of the four-game preseason scheduleâ€”I think the season-ending injury, suffered by St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford last week, is a strong indicator of why I think the four games are unnecessary.
Yet again, a key player for a potential playoff team has been lost for the entire season in a pre-season game and it really is a shame. Of course there is no way to stop the chance of this happening.
Even if there were not preseason games at all, a player could easily get injured on the practice field. However, by cutting the number of games down by one (or even two) the NFL could really cut back on the odds of this happening so often.
So there you have it friends – football is back and, as sports fans, weâ€™re all better off because of it.
For the next five months you canâ€™t complain of not having anything to do on the weekends as we watch our favorite teams push forward toward whatever conclusion awaits them.
The fun is in the journey they say – hopefully the journey for your favorite football team ends many months from now!