In one week, the college football season begins (technically, one week from last night, with the tantalizing Boise St at Michigan St opener), and I can't wait.
I have muted expectations for Florida.
I am pretty sure that the national champ is a foregone conclusion -- Alabama.
I am pretty sure that USC might run the table and it won't matter.
I am pretty sure that both West Virginia and TCU are going to take the Big 12 by storm.
I am pretty sure that both Mizzou and Texas A&M are in for a rough freshman season in the SEC.
I am pretty sure that Matt Barkley is a lock for the Heisman.
I am pretty sure that Urban Meyer will have Ohio State better -- but by no means great.
But I am also pretty sure that I felt as certain last year that Alabama would roll to the title -- the loss to LSU certainly could have counted as disqualifying.
(Although I think it's clear that the SEC will always have a claim -- a legitimate one -- to one of two title-game spots. In most years, the opponent should be the best non-SEC team, but as we saw last year, that doesn't always work out.)
And I (and everyone else) was pretty sure that Andrew Luck was a lock for the Heisman -- was RG3 even on the Heisman radar at all on August 25, 2011?
Despite the hegemony of the SEC's championship dynasty and the temporarily limited two-team playoff system, college football remains the best "week-in-week-out" sport and every year on the last Saturday before the season starts, I look ahead to spending the next three months' worth of Saturdays immersed.
More on the college football season over the course of the next week.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox are lucky the Dodgers want to spend their way back to relevance. The trade, by the way, is a massive repudiation of the Theo Epstein Era in Boston (at least since the second title.)