Thursday, September 4, 2008

Today Is A Giant Day!

The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants open the NFL's new season tonight which makes this a perfect time to take a look at the NFL and college football seasons ahead.

I could do what every other sports writer and wanna-be has done over the past few weeks, and pick winners in each division, but really who cares what I think? And how often are these predictions even remotely accurate? Who picked the Giants last year (besides me, but that was not a prediction entirely based on reason and objectivity)?

College football (Div. IA) is perhaps the easiest sport to choose a champion before the season starts, because there are really only 5-10 schools that are really even eligible to win it all, since the teams competing for it don't just prove themselves on the field like in every league of every sport around the world. Rather, they have to be chosen to be in the top 25 in the preseason poll. Then they just have to lose no more than once, and they make the finals. Start outside the top 25, and you are out of luck.

Of course this is not official. Technically speaking, anyone in D-IA (I refuse to call it "FBS") is eligible to win it all. But seriously, is there any chance that a dark horse will make the Championship game? Even someone ranked as lowly as 20th? With nearly every school opening play last weekend, basically half of the nation is already eliminated from contention. I hope those kids enjoyed their summer workouts.

That said, the IAA (I also refuse to call it "FCS") season is underway and the non-scholarship powerhouse San Diego Toreros crushed long-time power Marist. USD's star quarterback Josh Johnson has moved on to the NFL, but the team reloaded and is looking for a very rare berth into the IAA playoffs despite being a non-scholarship program. Johnson (43 TD, 1 Int. in 2007) had the best 40-yard dash, vertical leap and broad jump score of any quarterback in the NFL combine this year and made the roster, but is behind pro-bowler Jeff Garcia and long-time veteran Brian Griese.

Getting back to the NFL, the Giants were picked to finish 3rd in the NFC East this year and that is about where I have seen most other experts place them as well. This is probably about the best news that Tom Coughlin has heard since winning the Super Bowl. Imagine getting to win a championship as a gigantic underdog in one of the great games your sport has ever seen, and then turn around and get to be a huge underdog again. Not only do the Giants not have any pressure to repeat as Super Bowl winners, they won't even have pressure to be Super Bowl contenders, or Division winners, or Wild Card winners. They aren't even the biggest story in their own city. Or stadium! This could be the first time in history that a team does not get complacent after winning it all. Coughlin gets to use the underdog speech again all year!

Now, I don't realistically think they can make another run with Osi Umenyora out for the year, but to be perfectly honest, I don't even care! As long as they are not an embarrassment, my contentment meter is pretty high and will be for at least 2-3 more years after that Super Bowl win.

But the Mets had better freaking win soon.

1 comment:

Kendrick said...

Wow... your boys are on track for a perfect season. Their record projects out to 1.00 right now... can't wait for them to make history