Leaning back in my television chair, complete with retractable foot rest, cup holder, miniature refrigerator and elongated rubber tube that feeds into the bathroom (don't ask), I realized that today will be the last Sunday in which my favorite sport won't be dancing a ballet of pigskin toughness; though an afternoon with IRL street racing, and an evening of boring California NASCAR will compose my manly entertainment act for the day. I'm a NASCAR fan, and California is really, really boring.
Not yesterday. Even though I was draining the battery on my cell phone, refreshing browsers to several sites regarding NFL cuts, and anticipating reactions from Bengals-related blogs, most of my day was spent watching college football. A great experience of pure football where hitting the quarterback doesn't mean an overnight stay in the county jail.
I find the NFL and college football an intriguing idea/discussion of how something is the same, but completely different; different rules, different schemes, an exponentially higher rate of player turnover are my quickest-to-explain examples. The competition is so strong in the NFL that mistakes are magnified; significantly impacting the game. It's the best of the best; an all-star of college players, playing 512 games. When good teams in the NFL win by more than a touchdown, it's a good team winning within expectations. If good teams in college football don't blow out bad teams, we learn that the good team isn't that good; they didn't win by 50. Even though college football and the NFL play the same sport, the difference is magnified by people like us that watch any brand of football to ridiculous extremes.
Some of you noticed, while the Bengals beat the crap out of the Colts third-string players Thursday night, I updated the scores of two local college teams (UC and Miami). I love local football; high school, college and professional. Even though the Ohio State and Michigan holds the nation's best rivalry, the University of Cincinnati and Miami University hold the country's oldest non-conference rivalry fighting for the Victory Bell (Ohio version... USC and UCLA also fight for the Victory Bell). Cincinnati has a two-game winning streak. Though the Bengals are bound to have a down-season, the state of Ohio is rich with football. Good football. After all, it's our state that created most of what you know about football today.
The state of Ohio has a school nicknamed the "Cradle of Coaches" -- with names like Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler (it's no mistake that Michigan's greatest coach is an Ohioan), Sid Gillman (the guy that introduced us to deep passes), Jim Tressel and even Paul Brown. There's many I'm surpassing, but you get the point. When you read about the history of football, Ohio plays the leading role; from the creation of professional football, to Paul Brown's single-minded contributions that created a majority of everything you see today.
Speaking of college football in Ohio
Even though the Ohio State Buckeyes won, 43-0 over Youngstown State, the state of Ohio holds their breath waiting on the update of Beanie Wells. Ranging from an ankle and foot sprain, a torn ligament in his toe to turf toe (hyperextension... upward, bending back), reports are scattered, inconsistent, and likely wrong. The Buckeyes are mum, saying via email from Shelly Poe (Ohio State spokeswoman), "It's not likely that there will be any update until probably [Monday] after some initial treatments and therapy." The good news is that x-rays were negative.
The UC Bearcats dominated Eastern Kentucky, led by three first half touchdowns by quarterback Dustin Grutza. Defensive end Connor Barwin recorded two sacks.
This week, the Bearcats head to Norman, Oklahoma taking on the Sooners for the first time in history. In a bit of Mason pride, a former Comets kicker, Brandon Yingling, could compete this week for place kicking duties, after Jake Rogers was pulled missing two extra points.
For more on college football, read Matt Miller's New Era Scouting College Football Guide, combining ranks, with predictions and interviews. There's a wealth of information about college football -- and it's free.