By James Howey
It’s the end of August, fall is coming, school is back in session, and another highly anticipated season of football is here to entertain sports fans all across America. Tonight, Texas A&M travels to South Carolina to open the college football season. This matchup will be the first game televised live on the SEC Network. The 2014 season will also see a new era in college football with the much-awaited four-team college football playoff system that replaces the BCS system. This change is long overdue and will help grow the already massive popularity of college football. Expect the four playoff games in January to get NFL type playoff ratings.
Some may think that this will change the importance of the college regular season, I don’t really buy that. Americans love football and Americans will completely devour any football they can get. Florida State is looking to repeat as National Champions and their quarterback Jameis Winston looks to be the first back-to-back Heisman Trophy winner since Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. I think both have a very realistic chance to happen this year and I will be very shocked if Florida State is not in the college football final four in January or if Winston is not at New York in contention for the Heisman.
A week from now, it’s the pro’s turn when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the defending World Champion Seahawks to get the NFL season under way. The NFL excels at self-promotion, advertisement, and social media in an era when those are hallmarks of the American landscape. The NFL is the most powerful and influential sport in the land. The Emmys aired Monday night. Usually the Emmys would air on a Sunday night late in September, the same time as Sunday Night Football. Obviously the NFL would easily beat the Emmys in ratings.
Reports recently surfaced that the NFL has told one of the three potential performers for the Super Bowl halftime this year, Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Rhianna, that if they graced the stage that February night in Phoenix Ariz. they will have to pay the NFL to perform; that, my friend is called pure unapologetic power. The NFL is like that hot girl in high school that knows she can do anything and get away with it. The NFL is often credited with having a league full of parity where any team can go from worst to first. While that is true in some cases, it is usually the same teams that make deep playoff runs in this league mainly because they have great quarterbacks. That is what is so remarkable about the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl last year with defense in what is truly an offensive league and Seattle did it with a good-but-not-great quarterback.
In closing, here are my predictions for college and pro football. I have Florida State over UCLA, Alabama over Oklahoma, and Alabama over Florida State in the National Championship game with Jameis Winston winning the Heisman. I have Denver over New England in the AFC championship, New Orleans over Seattle in the NFC championship, and Denver over New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIX and Peyton Manning claiming his sixth MVP trophy. Happy football season everyone!
Contact James Howey, sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org