College football is back, folks. The Jonny Manziel-less Aggies of Texas A&M, and the Jadeveon Clowney-less Gamecocks of South Carolina kick off the season in what should have been a doozy of a football match… er… I mean, “game” (sorry, I’m still in World Cup mode). Both teams are without the face of the program from last year, which is symbolic of the constant change and uncertainty that keeps us glued to the action as fans. The real story here, however, is that this game was supposed to be a good one, which turns out to be an outlier among a slough of week one contests in which very few will be in doubt following halftime.
Consider the Ducks’ season opener as the about-face to the above scenario. First, we know who the leader of our team is and we know his supporting cast well. Second, the outcome of this game should be well in hand before the end of the first quarter, let alone half time — feel free to point the jinx-finger at me if I’m wrong. As Duck fans, we know the “who, what, when, where,” but we’re showing up on Saturday simply to fill in the “how.”
What I’m describing here is a complete “Cupcake,” as far as season openers go. You can’t listen to a college football analyst, or read a message board, without hearing someone lament the lack of contest in many of the early season match ups. I can’t argue with that logic, but I tend to look at the cupcake scenario a little differently as it applies to the Ducks and Autzen stadium. In fact, I would argue that in many ways the cupcake home opener should be your favorite game of the year. Here’s why: