For folks who love college football like I do, we're simply biding our time with this Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather nonsense, examining the ramifications of the Cavaliers trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, wondering if the Yankees can make a surge towards a dream World Series matchup with the phenomenal Dodgers and all of the fluff passing as news coming out of NFL training camps, along with wondering what NFL team is going to finally stand up and do the right thing when it comes to offering Colin Kaepernick a job.
But for those of us who can't wait for the excitement that fall brings to Saturday afternoons on campuses all around the country once #1 Alabama kicks off against #3 Florida State, we're all just faking the funk, hiding our boredom as best we can until the NCAA gridiron action gets going.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles will clash in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to open the 2017 college football season. Two storied programs and top pre-season rankings are helping to set the stage for the Greatest Opener of All Time.
Around this time of year, I'm buried in studying up on the college football landscape, which has significant shifts every year due to graduation, players leaving early for the NFL Draft, coaching changes and other factors.
Many are referring to this year as one that will be defined by the quarterback position. You might not get to see him play much on television, but Wyoming's Josh Allen is being mentioned as a possible top ten pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. In 14 starts last year, he passed for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for 523 yards and seven more scores.
Brett Rypien, who threw for 3,646 yards and 24 touchdowns out at Boise State last season, is another one who won't get the national television spotlight, but he's a special talent. Florida State's Deondre Francois will be looking to take a big step up after a very good campaign as a redshirt freshman last year.
Another signal caller that I'm keeping my eye on is Alabama's Jalen Hurts, who led the Crimson Tide to the national championship game as a true freshman and brings a different dimension to Nick Saban's offense that we haven't ever seen. He's still growing as a passer, but he's a supreme dual threat in having rushed for 13 touchdowns and close to 1,000 yards last year.
UCLA's Josh Rosen is the real deal, Penn State's Trace McSorley got busy last year, Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph - who threw for 4,091 yards and 28 touchdowns last season - is bananas. And wait until you see the explosive offensive fireworks Rudolph creates with wide receiver extraordinaire James Washington over the next four months.
Speaking of explosive, the best college QB you should be ashamed of not knowing anything about plays for Charlie Strong down at the University of South Florida. Goodness gracious gawd'a'mighty, if you haven't seen Quinton Flowers play ball, to quote the Korean grocer from Menace II Society, "I feel sorry for ya mother!"
Quinton Flowers Lost his father at a young age while they were watching a Miami Dolphins game in his backyard, flowers went to the bathroom and heard gunshots. his mother passed while he was in his senior year of high school, she passed of cancer.
He connected on 62.5 percent of his throws last year for 2,812 yards and 24 TD's in addition to rushing for 1,530 rushing yards and 18 scores. That's a bad boy right there!
Jake Browning took Washington to the playoffs last season, and Ohio State's J.T. Barrett was at the helm of an offense that averaged 38 points per game in the Big Ten.
But the three biggest names behind center this year, and dudes you want to watch at every opportunity is Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, USC's Sam Darnold and the returning Heisman Trophy winner in Louisville's Lamar "Action" Jackson.
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/ScottTakade JBP on IG: https://www.instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ USC QB Sam Darnold Freshman 6'4 225 lbs Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI (All rights go to University of Southern California, ESPN, xosdigitalsports, USC Athletics, PAC-12 Network, PAC-12 Conference, Universal Music Group, the NCAA & it's broadcasters.
Mayfield caps off his prolific career this year in trying to take the Sooners back to the playoffs in the first year of the post-Bob Stoops era. He established a new FBS single-season passing efficiency rating of 196.4 as a junior and threw for 3,965 yards and 40 touchdowns.
Darnold came off the bench as a freshman last year and ignited a stagnant Trojan offense, leading them on a nine-game winning streak and a thrilling come-from-behind Rose Bowl victory over an excellent Penn State squad. He threw for 3,086 yards and 31 TD's and has folks out in Los Angeles dreaming of USC's next national title.
Uploaded by Oklahoma Football Hype on 2017-08-09.
And Jackson electrified the college game last year in a way that hadn't been seen since Michael Vick was balling out at Virginia Tech. The wondrous junior threw for 3,543 yards and 30 TD's while also accumulating an insane 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
But upon looking through mostly every major preseason publication, I'm cramming to understand how they've all voted for Darnold or Mayfield as the First Team, Preseason All-American at the quarterback position.
Could they ascend to that height once the season is over? Absolutely.
But to come out the gate by disrespecting Jackson - after his Heisman Trophy winning campaign last year - and not giving him the #1 spot he deserves walking into this new season? That borders on sacrilege.
Lamar Jackson is the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Check out this University of Louisville hype video about the school's remarkable sophomore quarterback.
We know what that's all about. Jackson doesn't have the complexion for the connection, as my favorite urban philosopher Paul Mooney puts it.
No matter how amazing he was last year, and despite him walking away with college football's highest and most prestigious individual honor, you mean to tell me that some folks have the audacity to leave him off of the First Team All-American list?
That's beyond preposterous. Where I come from, the winning squad stays on the court while others call next, hoping to dethrone them. You don't just walk up and displace the dude who owns the #1 spot. That has to be earned.
But some folks think they can just walk up and take the man's crown like that? Nah, that's not how it's supposed to work.
Some will say that preseason awards, just like ranking teams before a single game has been played, are meaningless. And I agree to an extent. But this slight right here is about not giving Jackson the respect he deserved and earned.
It's the principality!!!
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/ScottTakade Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ Louisville QB Lamar Jackson Sophomore 6'3 196 lbs Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro & Outro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI (All rights go to the University of Louisville, ESPN, Fox Sports, xosdigitalsports, Universal Music Group, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), ACC Digital Network, Louisville Athletics, the NCAA & it's broadcasters.
Every single media clown that voted for Darnold and Mayfield ahead of Jackson is getting their coat pulled right here. What ya'll did was foul, and you need to get your credentials pulled as well.
I'm asking each and every one responsible, like Billy Ray Valentine's cellmate in Trading Places, "What is ya, ig'nant?"
That's a rhetorical question by the way, because Darnold and Mayfield are simply gunning for that #1 spot.
Right now, by virtue of his hardware and the record-breaking year he put in the books in 2016, that #1 spot is owned by Jackson.
And to diss him like this, straight out the box, makes no sense.