A few days ago, I was walking down the street with my friend Brandon after finishing lunch at Noodles. I ran into my friend Erica who was busy talking on the phone to her parents. Erica is a freshman at IU, and she seemed overly excited about something I couldn’t figure out. After a quick greeting and hanging up the phone, she told me why she was visibly bubbling at the seams.
“I’m going to Alabama this weekend!!!”
“Wow!” I proclaimed. “Are you going for the game?”
“Well, I don’t really like college football, but I’ve never been so excited for a football game in my life!”
Yes, that’s what college sports does to us. It makes those who never once cared about football, those who couldn’t even begin to name a player on either team, let alone their team colors, more excited than a 5th grader going through his elementary school graduation ceremony. This is what college football does to us.
College football is more than just the game, however. Coming from a school with a less-than-desirable football program (Indiana University, don’t laugh), first hand experience only tells us that there are more important things than just the game itself. A lot goes into a college football game, if you aren’t playing in it. Wake up early in the morning (6am for a noon game, easy). There’s the attire: school colors. Get decked out as much as you can. There’s the tailgate, with music, friends, visiting students from other schools (who I wouldn’t put in the friends category). Grilling, dancing, talking about the game and about your team. There could be copious amounts of alcohol, unless you’re BYU. Then, after all of that, there’s the game.
The magnitude of this game for us college sports-junkies goes far beyond game day, however. We know that Alabama’s biggest rival is clearly Auburn. No one will deny the history here. However, today, those same people would be the first to proclaim that this match up is the biggest one of the season, for both teams. Throughout the last decade, both have won championships. Both have been regarded as the best team in the league. Both have also been considered worse than the other.
So, the real question here isn’t who is going to win or lose. The real question here is how this will play out down the road. Will this game just spur more talk for a potential rematch? Will this game be the deciding factor for who makes the National Championship game? Be sure to tune in to CBS at 8pm (EST) on Saturday to see what promises to be one of the most exciting college football games we’ve seen this year.
Prediction: Alabama wins. Why you might ask? When two teams of almost equal talent and caliber go up against each other, home field advantage takes the cake.