Aug. 5 News: SEC West Faces Crossroads in 2015

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The very first line of Matt Hinton’s Grantland column on the state of college football — specifically, the state of the SEC West, which has made itself synonymous with college football — nicely crystallizes the place in which the division now finds itself:

One of the most satisfying aspects of the first year of the College Football Playoff was how quickly and thoroughly the new postseason order disavowed the old one.

The BCS Order decreed that the SEC was king, seven times over from 2006 through 2012, but it took just the one College Football Playoff to give us a national championship game devoid of the behemoth. It’s worth noting that under the BCS, Alabama would have played for the title Ohio State claimed, in part, on the Crimson Tide’s back.

Hinton doesn’t necessarily break new ground from anything that hasn’t been pointed out in this offseason, but he meticulously details everything that’s gone into this offseason of uncertainty for the SEC West. He does so fairly, I might add, noting the small sample the oft-repeated 2-5 SEC West bowl record offers.

Hawaii QB Matt Wittek Ready to Make Most of His “Second Chance” After USC

AthlonSports.com

Hawaii head coach Norm Chow got a second chance to recruit quarterback Max Wittek after Wittek opted to transfer from USC. Wittek, in turn, is getting a second chance to prove himself as a college quarterback and potential NFL prospect at Hawaii.

I spoke to Wittek and his new UH teammate, offensive lineman Ben Clarke, as well as Chow, at last week’s Mountain West media days. Wittek spent his year between losing the USC quarterback job to Cody Kessler and this season getting acquainted with his Hawaii teammates, which earned him a nomination as team captain.

Kessler talks his former teammate competitor’s move to Hawaii as well in this feature for AthlonSports.com.

Patriot League Media Days Rundown

Lehigh Football Nation

Lehigh Football Nation has a quick breakdown of the odds and ends from Patriot League media days, which is one of the last FCS conferences to hold its preseason event. Something that should come to no surprise for anyone who follows the League is that Fordham boasts both the preseason Offensive Player of the Year (running back Chase Edmonds, the 2014 Jerry Rice Award winner as the nation’s top freshman) and Defensive Player of the Year (Stephen Hodge).

Fordham is a favorite to repeat as Patriot League champions, though Bucknell was just a few votes behind.

Remembering the 2005 Penn State-Ohio State Game

Matt deBear, Black Shoe Diaries

The 2005 Penn State-Ohio State game was a landmark victory in Nittany Lions’ history, restoring them as national powers after a few down years. For those in attendance, the Big Ten showdown is especially memorable, which Matt deBear conveys beautifully for Black Shoe Diaries.

The cool part of this retrospective is, that while it’s one person’s retelling of one specific game, it’s the kind of story every college football fan can relate to.

Perhaps that, more than anything else, is what attracts us to the sport. While our reasons for fandom differ, there’s a sort of universal camaraderie that exists within college football I’ve never quite seen in any other game.

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