Friday, September 03, 2004

Stage Two

This evening brings up the second week of high school football season. Tonight Troy plays at Centerville in a game that has become a pretty decent rivalry over the past several seasons. There have been some games with lopsided scores, on both sides, but there have also been some really competitive games. First and foremost in my mind is the '98 game in which Troy beat a heavily favored Centerville team and Ryan Brewer broke the Trojans' all-time rushing record. That was an awesome game.

Tonight's game is in Centerville, and I'm leaving work an hour early in hopes of getting there in time for kickoff. This game will be a good test for both teams. I'm excited to see what Troy does tonight and what improvements they've made--despite the fact that they won last week, they didn't always look crisp. I'm hoping they can tighten up and get another big win tonight.

Of course, this is also opening weekend for college football. Last night after I got home I watched part of the Texas A&M @ Utah game. Utah's head coach is the former head coach of my beloved Bowling Green Falcons, so I thought I would check them out. They looked good. Their offense is a lot of fun to watch. Of course, it's pretty similar to Bowling Green's offense, so it's pretty natural that I would enjoy it.

Speaking of Bowling Green, they open their season tomorrow afternoon at Oklahoma. The Sooners are ranked #2 in the nation, so it'll be quite a task for the Falcons to pull the upset. I wish like hell that I was making the trip out there to see the game, but I just can't. That has got to be one of the best gameday atmospheres in all of college football, and I'd love to experience it for myself. Fortunately, the game is being broadcast throughout much of the nation on ABC. In the Toledo/BG area the game has been picked up by the local Fox affiliate, so I'll be watching the game from the comfort of my couch.

The Falcons had a great season last year and are returning a lot of players. However, a lot of college football fans are writing us off for this year because we graduated our quarterback, Josh Harris, who is now on the roster of the Baltimore Ravens. Personally, I think the Falcons will still be very good. We have a lot of talent, and our new starting quarterback has the potential to be just as good as (or perhaps even better than) Josh. Omar Jacobs is a redshirt sophomore this year, and I think he's going to be spectacular. The problem for tomorrow is that he has never started a game before, and playing in front of a partisan Oklahoma crowd is going to be baptism by fire. I can't wait to see how he reacts.

I'm not predicting a BGSU win tomorrow. As die-hard as I am, I know it would be an incredible task. With a new starting quarterback, I wouldn't even be surprised if they beat us badly (it might be noted that OU's quarterback, Jason White, is a returning senior and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner). Of course, we do have a lot of talent, and it also wouldn't surprise me if we pulled the upset. I would be ecstatic, but not surprised. I think the rest of the college football world is in for a surprise, though--while I don't think the Falcons will win, I do think they'll give the Sooners a hell of a game.

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