Allow me to welcome you to the first college football Saturday with a confession: I kinda love summer and I’ll miss it now that autumn’s creeping in.
In the many months between the end of college basketball season — I’m as much a hoops junkie as I am football — I get accustomed to spending Saturdays on the beach, going for long walks and watching my skin change from a shade of milk-white to dark ecru. Just as I’m settled into a routine, football is back, and I’m feeling like Michael Corleone.
Please forgive the tired Christmas analogy, but the summer also has a feel to it like the Christmas season when I was a kid. I waited, waited, waited eagerly for December 25, and it seemed to go in a flash.
The college football season is the same way. Every weekend in the summer, someone inevitably tweets a countdown to the first college football Saturday. It arrives one August or September weekend, then is over in the blink of an eye.
Hopefully, this prologue isn’t too much of a downer. My intent is the opposite: I feel I’m embarking on the 2015 season more appreciative of the joy college football brings me. It’s the shortest of all the sports seasons, so we must embrace each college football Saturday.
I feel that’s a necessary reminder, given the season’s already started with a bang. We had college football a week ago — and what a great start to the 2015 season Montana-North Dakota State provided. Likewise, Thursday’s slate was jam-packed, and Friday promises more action. Theoretically, our thirst for football after nearly eight months off has been quenched.
But those were just samples. This is the real thing. It’s time for the first, full college football Saturday since December.
The first full day of games is littered with the standard tune-up games, pitting nationally ranked powerhouses against overmatched FCS and Group of Five competition. Still, there are no shortage of intriguing matchups.
Some games worth following didn’t make the Saturday Six-Pack: Jacksonville State opens with Chattanooga in a showdown of Top 10-ranked FCS teams, for example. FBS squads with Playoff aspirations face potential traps, like Stanford in its trip to Northwestern.
WEEK 1 SIX-PACK
Dale’s Pale Ale
Labor Day weekend and the first college football Saturday mark an unofficial end to the summer. Give a toast to the days of lounging at the beach, hiking in the mountains or going to the baseball park, because your weekends are about to booked up for the next four months.
Dale’s Pale Ale is a personal favorite summer beer: easily portable and accessible in cans without sacrificing quality; hoppy, but not so much as to bog you down like an IPA; crisp and refreshing.
Cheers, dear reader. It’s college football Saturday in America.