When it comes to annually anticipating things, nothing beats the college football season.
NFL fans will tell you that nothing beats the NFL, but these are the same people who can’t watch it sober or without gambling on it.
NFL fans basically do the same thing that dudes in the Old West did when they got shot and had to have the bullet removed — they got drunk to ease the pain.
“Oh no, here comes a commercial between a touchdown and an extra point. Give me that bottle of whiskey and a piece of leather to bite down on.”
If the college football game you are watching goes to a commercial, you can just switch it over to one of six other games going on instead.
Nothing beats college football.
At least not until this comes along.
I found our new national sport. You had your run football. Goodbye. pic.twitter.com/rjRP9tw0dW
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) March 6, 2017
This is now the fifth installment of our 100 things to look forward to. Here are the first four:
60. O-H-I-O in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.
This is one of those things on the “must list” if you travel to a road game. No matter the venue, at some point the Buckeye fans in attendance have to get O-H-I-O going around the stadium. It generally happens when the game is no longer in reach for the home team. It provides an additional bit of punishment for their team’s performance. Accomplishing this feat in Lincoln, Nebraska would be quite the coup considering the Huskers have sold out 354-straight games dating back to 1962. Regardless of the difficulty of the ticket, however, we know Buckeye fans will find their way to Nebraska and into the stadium. It will be up to the Buckeyes to provide opportunity, however.
59. Joe Burrow vs. Dwayne Haskins.
Remember Troy Smith vs. Justin Zwick in 2003, or J.T. Barrett vs. Cardale Jones in 2014? You know, there haven’t been many interesting battles for the backup quarterback spot over the years. This one could be the most interesting, however. The winner of the Joe Burrow vs. Dwayne Haskins matchup will have the lead going into 2018 when the reins will officially be handed over to a quarterback not named J.T. This will also be a good time to choose sides for your arguments at the office or the bar. Or the arguments that start at the office and finish at the bar. As we’ve seen in the past, quarterback competitions under Urban Meyer are always worth paying attention to.
58. The emergence of Trevon Grimes.
When people tell me that Trevon Grimes is the best receiver prospect they’ve seen to come to Ohio State in a long, long time, I’m going to pay attention. At 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds, he looks like the prototype. Then you punch in his 40 time and you realize that maybe the prototype doesn’t even measure up. It’s not fair to expect much from a freshman wide receiver — especially one who dealt with injuries and never really had a big season in high school. But Trevon Grimes isn’t like most receivers, freshmen or otherwise.
57. Seeing Tracy Sprinkle back out on the field.
Last year was supposed to be Tracy Sprinkle’s year. When he committed to Ohio State, I was told that he was going to need a few years, but nobody would outwork him. Those few years led to Sprinkle starting the season opener at defensive tackle for the Buckeyes last year as a redshirt junior. A knee injury ended his season almost immediately, however. Since then he has been rehabbing, coaching, and captaining. He may not be a captain by name yet, but he’s put in the work and has earned the respect of his teammates. The only thing left for his personal resume is a senior season that makes the first four years all worth it.
Can you believe you get two more years of Nick Bosa? That’s almost unfair. That will be six uninterrupted seasons of Bosas when it’s all finally done. The 2017 season for Nick Bosa will be one of terror and destruction. Imagine if the Amityville Horror House and Godzilla had a baby. That’s Nick Bosa. He may not start a single game this year, but I’m not convinced there’s a better player on this entire defense than Nick the Younger.
55. Seeing what Dante Booker can do.
There’s a scene in a Simpsons episode where the Italian mafia and the Japanese Yakuza are fighting in Homer’s front yard but he doesn’t want to leave because he is waiting for one particular Yakuza guy to start doing something because “you know it’s gonna be good.” Dante Booker is that little dude from the Yakuza. We don’t exactly know what he can do, all we know is that others have seen him do a whole heck of a lot. What he shows in 2017 could be very eye opening, even if we miss it because Marge made us go inside.
54. Damon Webb becoming a strength of the defense.
This was a transitional and transformational offseason for Damon Webb. He grew as the season went on last year, and that continued into the winter and spring. Webb, who has now had just one full spring camp at safety, has matured into a leader of a secondary that needs direction and encouragement. As long as a defense is strong up the middle, the rest can be figured out. Without a strong middle, however, an offense can dictate how the day is going to go. Webb should be an All-Big Ten player for the Buckeyes this year, and continue to cover like the cornerback he used to be.
53. Michael Jordan growing into an All-American.
If you start anywhere at Ohio State as a true freshman, the expectations are going to latch onto you like barnacles on a boat. If you start on the offensive line as a freshman at Ohio State, either you are on pace to be one of the greatest ever, or the recruiting at that position has been lacking for about three years. This year we’ll find out where Michael Jordan fits into all of that math. He did very well as a true freshman at left guard last season, but he was far from perfect. How much closer to perfect will he be this year? If players make their biggest improvements from their freshman to sophomore seasons, then just how good can Michael Jordan be this year?
52. Baron Browning finding a weekly china shop.
Baron Browning is like a Polaroid instant camera. You point him at something, press a button, he captures what you tell him to capture, then you have to go back and look at what you put on film to see if he actually did everything properly. This spring, he didn’t always know what he was doing, but he always knew to do it fast. In other words, he may not have always been in focus, but you still got your picture. What kind of role will he have this season? There is no room for him on defense, barring something catastrophic. Will we get to see all 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds of him running down on special teams colliding and bounding until the ball is dead? That wouldn’t be so bad.
51. Eric Glover-Williams after the catch.
I don’t know how many catches Eric Glover-Williams will have, or how many yards after those catches he will pick up, but I do know there will be some Keystone Kops vibes going on.
So you want to tackle Eric Glover-Williams? Bring some friends. pic.twitter.com/l28KcxeFkP
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) April 17, 2017