College football is back, thank god. Let's review: I think Alabama is going to thump Oregon in the national title game to claim its second straight championship.
Bama will get there by fending off LSU; Oregon will get there by beating USC in LA, then doubling down by beating them in the Pac-12 title game. (It is more than a little intriguing that Oregon could lose to USC in the regular season, then leapfrog them with a win in the Pac-12 title game.)
I enter my 12th season as a Florida football fan -- at some point, I won't be considered a worthless carpet-bagger, but undoubtedly this ain't going to be the year. Regardless, I predict the Gators will do better than last season's pathetic 7-6 but do worse than the 14-0 that I expect from the program every year. At this point, I just want to go through games without wanting to throw my remote through the TV, which is how I spent the past two seasons.
Season opener: South Carolina escapes Nashville with a close win over Vandy, a tougher team than most folks give credit for. Not feeling like South Carolina looks like a Top 10 team.
Tonight: Michigan State will beat Boise State tonight, but it'll be awfully close. I mean, it's Boise -- they live for these kinds of games, regardless of whether or not they lost all their talent from last year.
This weekend: Picking all favorites but hoping we get an upset -- or at least a close finish or two. (Check out my fancy "picks" page at USATODAY.com.)
Andy Roddick retiring: He's got that one U.S. Open title and it's not like U.S. men's players have been particularly good over the past decade -- and don't forget that he played in the height of the Federer Era, when no titles were available except at Roland Garros -- but it always felt like Roddick never quite became what we all wanted him to be.
Notre Dame: I like SI's Mike Rosenberg and Yahoo's Pat Forde, but any column lauding Notre Dame's "values" that doesn't mention that ND head coach Brian Kelly contributed to the tragic death of team student manager Declan Sullivan is woefully incomplete. As far as I'm concerned, the way the school handled that situation -- from putting Sullivan up in the air to white-washing the "investigation" -- said everything we need to know about the school's values.
Best thing I read today: JR Moehringer's "120 reasons why football isn't going anywhere." Brilliant stuff.
Headed to the Nats-Cards game tonight, in the wake of the news that Sunday's Strasburg start is one of his final 3 of the season. This remains the stupidest thing I've seen a contending team do in a long time.