College football is finally here

On Saturday, August 25th, the long awaited college football season was finally underway. Despite the four televised games being absolute blowouts, football was finally back. With the season upon us, many fans are ecstatic and hopeful for their favorite teams.

Aside from the always interesting recruiting trail, the college football offseason typically features little-to-zero significant stories. However, that was not the case this year, as one of the most successful college football coaches of recent times, Urban Meyer, was accused of covering up domestic abuse on more than one occasion.

In late July of 2018, Urban Meyer, head coach of the storied Ohio State football team, faced accusations by one his former assistant’s ex-wife, Courtney Smith. The accusations included covering up domestic abuse, and pardoning Zach Smith of his horrific actions. Meyer, who was quickly placed on paid leave, ended up only facing a three game suspension from the program.

“I’m glad he was suspended for three games and not fired just because we need him to really have a chance,” said sophomore and Ohio State Buckeye fan Hallie Schiff. “Also, the first three games are not too difficult, so we should be able to do well without him.”

Thus far, Ohio State, lead by junior quarterback Dwayne Haskins, has not missed a beat, as they have dominated both Oregon State and Rutgers by a combined margin of 95 points.  Ohio State faced a significant road test this past Sunday in Fort Worth, versus a scrappy TCU team, but prevailed by a score of 40-28, as Haskins posted 344 yards along with his three passing touchdowns.

Quarterback battles have been a fascinating theme of the offseason and early weeks of the regular season, as the top two ranked teams, Alabama and Clemson, have more than one capable quarterback fighting for the starting job.

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa, the hero of the 2018 National Championship game, has undoubtedly earned the starting spot after putting of 646 yards and eight touchdowns on just 50 attempts this season. However, his opposition, Jalen Hurts, who holds a 26-2 record as Alabama’s starting quarterback, continues to fight for his minutes. But, as of now, it’s evident that Tagovailoa is more talented of the two, and barring a serious injury, will remain the starter for the fairshare of the season.

“I think Tua is the guy for sure,” said varsity football coach and longtime Alabama fan Adam Pullen. “He just gives us more opportunities to score the ball, and be successful on the offensive side [than Jalen Hurts].”

In Clemson, South Carolina, senior quarterback Kelly Bryant and long awaited freshman Trevor Lawrence continue to compete for the starting job, even going into week three of the season. Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 137 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener against Furman, seemed to be the surefire starter for the Tigers. However, the battle is far from over after established dual-threat quarterback Kelly Bryant’s clutch performance against Texas A&M in front of a crowd of nearly 103,000 people.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, there was never a quarterback battle to begin with. The second Shea Patterson, the former Ole Miss star, announced his transfer to the Wolverines, he won the starting job. The Wolverines quickly became one of the most raved teams in the world of college football and were chosen by 7 of the 42 ESPN experts to make the College Football Playoff.  Although, after losing week one to an experienced Notre Dame team in South Bend, their playoff hopes dropped to almost 1 percent, according to FPI.

“I think things are looking up right now”, says freshman Michigan fan Copeland Block. “Hopefully we can go 11-2, and beat some rivals this year.”

Things certainly are looking up for the Maize and Blue, as the Wolverines went on to beat Western Michigan and Southern Methodist in the following weeks, only allowing 527 combined total yards in the two contests.

Local programs, Georgia and Georgia Tech, have gotten off to fast starts on the season, posting records of 3-0 and 1-2 respectively. Georgia faced an early road test matching up against rival and SEC foe South Carolina in Columbia. The “Dawgs”, unfazed by the home crowd, dominated the line of scrimmage and came out victorious in the 41-17 rout.  Georgia Tech dominated Alcorn State in week one, but faced problems stopping the South Florida offense and getting past the stagnant Pitt defense in weeks two and three, as they walked away with losses in both matchups.

With the thick of the season still ahead of us, expectations remain high for many college football fans, no matter what team they represent, as it is well known that anything can occur in the beautifully unpredictable world of college football.